Raiders make franchise history in 9-touchdown demolition vs Chargers

A total beatdown for the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night led to franchise history, as they demolished the Los Angeles Chargers, 63-21, to improve to 6-8 on the season. 

It is the most points scored by a Raiders team in franchise history. 

The Chargers, reeling already without Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen in this game, fell to 5-9 on the year with head coach Brandon Staley’s seat even hotter now after this complete letdown of a game. 

Los Angeles might have been the most uninspired a team has looked all season to start a game, and it began with a three-and-out on Easton Stick’s first career drive as a starter, gaining just seven yards before punting it to the Raiders. 


Jakobi Meyers #16 of the Las Vegas Raiders completes a pass for a touchdown against Michael Davis #43 of the Los Angeles Chargers during an NFL football game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Los Angeles Chargers at Allegiant Stadium on December 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Michael Owens/Getty Images)

Then, Los Angeles saw back-to-back fumble drives, with Stick getting stripped sacked before Joshua Kelley fumbled on the first play of the third drive for the Chargers. It was almost three fumbles lost in a row when Gerald Everett had the ball stripped from him, but the Chargers were able to recover.

Finally, rookie Derius Davis fumbled a punt return, adding insult to injury at this point in the game. 

Throughout all the Chargers’ struggles, rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell and the Raiders’ offense were make the best of their opportunities. 


It started with a 12-play, 68-yard drive that the Raiders capped with a rushing touchdown by Zamir White, who was one of three running backs filling in for the injured Josh Jacobs. 

After the first Chargers fumble, O’Connell needed just four plays to find Tre Tucker streaking across the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0. O’Connell showed off his deep ball skills on the very next drive, as Jakobi Meyers laid out from the five-yard line and caught a 22-yard touchdown to start pulling away in the first quarter. 

But the Raiders weren’t done beating down on their AFC West rival.

Tre Tucker catches touchdown

Wide receiver Tre Tucker #11 of the Las Vegas Raiders scores a touchdown in front of cornerback Michael Davis #43 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the second quarter at Allegiant Stadium on December 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Candice Ward/Getty Images)

Davis’s fumble on the punt return led to a perfect play-action pass to tight end Michael Mayer, who walked into the end zone for an 11-yard score. 

Then, a direct snap to Brandon Bolden on a third-down play led to a 26-yard run for the fifth touchdown of the half. An ensuing turnover on downs by the Chargers led to another Raiders score, with Tucker getting in the colored paint yet again to cement this as a blowout with two quarters still to play. 

Remember, this was a Raiders squad that wasn’t able to score a single point against the Minnesota Vikings four days ago, and interim head coach Antonio Pierce wasn’t sure if Jimmy Garoppolo should be back under center. 

Instead, O’Connell led the way, thanks to some turnovers, to put together the second-largest halftime lead by an NFL team in history. 

Meanwhile, the Chargers weren’t out of playoff contention, but this performance shows what path they’re heading for toward the end of the season. 

Aidan O'Connell checks at the line

Quarterback Aidan O’Connell #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders stands behind center against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first quarter at Allegiant Stadium on December 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The second half was more of the same for the Raiders, who found Davante Adams with a trick play touchdown on a pass from Meyers. Meyers actually threw the ball to him twice, helping Adams rack up eight catches for 101 yards. 

Even the Raiders’ defense got involved in the scoring, picking up touchdowns on back-to-back drives in the second half on fantastic plays. The first was Malcolm Koonce hitting Stick on his blindside, which forced the ball out for John Jenkins to scoop up and bring back 44 yards for a scoop-and-score. 

Then, Jack Jones read a screen to Austin Ekeler perfectly, jumping the route and making a spectacular one-handed interception that he ran back for a pick-six. 

Los Angeles was finally able to get on the scoreboard thanks to no one being around Josh Palmer on a 79-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline on the Chargers’ first drive of the second half.  Alex Erickson and Quentin Johnston would also find the end zone in the fourth quarter. 

But, at the end of the day, it was garbage points. The Chargers wanted to get out of Sin City as fast as possible and try to put this one behind them. 

Brandon Bolden celebrates touchdown

Running back Brandon Bolden #34 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates after scoring a touchdown with teammate tight end Michael Mayer #87 against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second quarter at Allegiant Stadium on December 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Candice Ward/Getty Images)


Looking at the stat sheet, O’Connell went 20-for-34 for 248 yards and four touchdowns. Stick didn’t have the worst of games when all was said and done, going 23-of-32 for 257 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. 

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