Veteran linebacker Khalil Mack made six sacks and forced two fumbles to help the Los Angeles Chargers defeat the Las Vegas Raiders 24-17. The Bolts’ defense stepped up in the absence of safety Derwin James and linebacker Joey Bosa.
“There’s a belief we got [on defense] whether I’m down or [Bosa’s] down, there’s no let off, don’t let off the gas,” Mack said. “It’s always good going into the bye with a win. You can build on that, get some guys healthy and get ready to roll when we get out of the bye.”
Khalil Mack made six sacks to help the Chargers defeat the Raiders 24-17 pic.twitter.com/rDrf7ktfVE
— Amanda Scurlock (@Amandtastic) October 2, 2023
Bolts quarterback Justin Herbert was not surprised by Mack’s achievements because he witnessed his strong work ethic in practice.
“[Mack is] about as good as it gets, I’m super thankful that he’s on our team,” Herbert said. “We see it in practice every day, the way he goes about it. He’s a true professional, he’s an incredible leader on our team.”
Herbert made 13 passes for 167 yards, scoring one touchdown pass and making two touchdown runs. Raiders signal caller Aidan O’Connell completed 24 throws for 238 yards. However, he lost 50 yards from the seven sacks he sustained.
The Bolts running game struck first with Darius Davis getting a 51-yard rush. A few plays later, Herbert rushed into the endzone from 12 yards out.
Khalil Mack forced the Raiders’ offense off the field with a sack with 9:22 left in the first quarter. Las Vegas came out stronger in their next possession, wideout Jakobi Meyer completed a 25-yard passing play that put Las Vegas in to Bolts territory. O’Connell committed a quarterback sneak to reach the endzone and even the score.
The Chargers shined the brightest in the second quarter where they scored in their first three possessions of the phase. In route of the Bolts scoring a field goal to take the lead, Herbert was sacked by defensive end Maxx Crosby for a loss of eight yards.
With 9:01 left in the phase Raiders defensive tackle Jerry Tillery tackled Herbert after he scrambled out of bounds in front of the Chargers sideline. The Bolts immediately swarmed Tillery to defend their quarterback; Tillery was disqualified due to the play.
The Bolts went into halftime ahead 24-7.
“It was definitely the [defensive] line, [defensive] line going crazy, they had a wonderful game,” said corner Asante Samuel jr. “I’m just so glad to be around such a great group of guys.”
The Chargers defense held the Raiders to 6 first downs in the first half. The Bolts have 13
— Amanda Scurlock (@Amandtastic) October 1, 2023
The Raiders offense rallied back, scoring a field goal in the third and a touchdown in the fourth. This closed their score to 24-17.
With 3:30 left in regulation, the Raiders offense was on the verge of scoring. On a first-and-goal, Samuel made an interception, giving the Chargers the last possession of the game. The final highlight of the game was Herbert’s pass to wide receiver Joshua Palmer on third down.
“I was right there, I had the perfect view,” linebacker Eric Kendricks said. “It was an absolute dot-ball, just right at his fingertips. Great catch, great ball, I mean that’s what football is about.”
Chargers Rookie linebacker Daiyan Henley saw action on special teams against the Raiders. He returned to the field last week against the Minnesota Vikings after sustaining a hamstring injury early in the season. He noted how practice keeps him focused on his purpose.
“That’s tough because I’ve never been injured, never missed a game and missed practice,” Henley said. “It was definitely a setback. That’s why these past two games has just been getting my legs back under me.”
The Chargers head into a bye week and will return to battle the Dallas Cowboys on October 16 for Monday Night Football at 5:15P.M.