Raiders Vault: The Streak Breaker

We will be publishing a special string of articles at the Raider Ramble to help familiarize many of the new fans in Las Vegas who might not be familiar with their story. Another addition to this collection is a look back at a classic between the Raiders and Chargers.

Here’s the previous entry to the series:

Raiders Vault: The Feud That Changed The AFC West

The Autumn Wind is a Raider, Pillaging just for fun

Raider Nation knows the rest. It’s a classic, it caused fear and is forever known. From 2003 to 2010 though, the Autumn Wind was a cakewalk. There were 13 straight losses. They came in all kinds: Blowouts, close games, and straight blown lead heartbreakers. In 2010 that finally changed.

The Turnaround

The date was October 10th, 2010. At the time, the Raiders were sitting at 1-3. Meanwhile, the Chargers had a 2-2 record, so it seemed like the “normal get healthy” win for San Diego. A little over a minute into the game, this division matchup showed it would be different. After a very quick three and out for the Chargers, they came out to punt and it was blocked out of the endzone safety.

The ensuing kickoff went out of bounds and the team started the drive at the 50, but it stalled and the Raiders had to settle for a field goal. For a moment, it seemed like the same old Raiders. Then, the Chargers had another blocked punt, but this time Oakland picked it and returned for a touchdown. Suddenly, the Raiders were up 12-0 and some people were just sitting down. The Chargers fumbled the ball on the next two drives in Raiders territory, but surprisingly, nothing came of it.

Related: Raiders 2020 Schedule: Sim City Ready for Prime Time

As the offense stalled, the Chargers jumped in front, and after an exchange of field goals, they were up 17-15 at the half. The Raiders were lucky to still be in the game. The third quarter saw the Chargers extend their lead to 24 points and the Raiders responded with a long drive to go down 24-22 as the final quarter was set to begin. The drama was just beginning and 13 straight losses were about fifteen minutes away from becoming 14.

The Fourth Quarter

The Chargers started the fourth quarter by driving down and getting a field goal, extending their lead to 27-22. That’s when the real fun began. With 12 minutes left, the Raiders quickly embarked on a 14-play, 8:21-minute drive that exhausted the Chargers defense. The Raiders regained the lead 28-27, but there were still 3:39 minutes left.

Under different circumstances, the Chargers would’ve driven down and won it at the last moment. It seemed to be the norm. With 1:22 remaining, the Chargers benefited from a pass interference call in their favor. They were down at the Raiders 23-yard line and everything pointed to them pulling out another one. That’s where it all changed. San Diego was charged with a holding penalty. Immediately after on an all-out Raiders blitz, Philip Rivers threw an incomplete pass while getting belted. On the very next play, history changed.

On another blitz, the Chargers signal-caller was hit before he could release the pass and fumble again in Raiders territory. Following a review confirming the fumble, the Raiders had the lead. Amongst a crowd that was going wild, 13 straight losses had come to an end.

This was a great moment for the Raiders in these last ten years, and since 2010, the Raiders and Chargers have split the last 20 games and that includes the sweep by the Raiders in the last season in Oakland. What will the future hold now with the Raiders in Las Vegas? Only time will tell.

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Top Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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