Were the Los Angeles Chargers aware that they were scheduled for a football game Thursday?
Brandon Staley’s team hit a new low in front of a national audience as the Las Vegas Raiders annihilated the Chargers in a jaw-dropping 63-21 beatdown.
The 63 points scored by the Raiders stands as a franchise record, surpassing their previous best of 59 set against the Josh McDaniels-led Denver Broncos in 2010.
For the Chargers, 63 points also marked a franchise-low in points allowed in a single game. Their previous record was a 57-31 loss to the St. Louis Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” offense in 2000.
The Raiders, who were shut out last Sunday, didn’t field an offense that strikes fear like “The Greatest Show on Turf,” but the Chargers had no answer for opposing quarterback Aidan O’Connell and Co.
O’Connell immediately led Las Vegas to a 42-0 half-time lead after throwing four touchdown passes. Tre Tucker caught a pair of scores, while Michael Mayer and Jakobi Meyers hauled in one each. Running backs Zamir White and Brandon Bolden scored rushing touchdowns as well.
Raiders interim head coach Antonio Pierce emerged from the locker room after halftime and mentioned to TNF sideline reporter Kaylee Hartung that he told his team to “press the gas pedal even harder” in the second half.
They did just that.
Meyers threw a short touchdown to Davante Adams on a trick play to cap off the opening drive of the third quarter. Then the defense joined in by capitalizing on mistakes by Chargers signal-caller Easton Stick, who was making his first career start in place of the injured Justin Herbert.
Defensive lineman John Jenkins scooped up a strip sack and took it to the house in the third quarter. His touchdown was immediately followed by a one-handed pick-6 from Jack Jones on the Chargers’ ensuing drive.
“We kicked some ass today,” Pierce told reporters postgame, including Tina Nguyen of KTNV.
Los Angeles didn’t score its first points until Joshua Palmer caught a 79-yard touchdown while down 49-0 in the third quarter. Stick threw two more touchdowns in the final 10 minutes of the game to bring the score to 63-21.
The Chargers’ loss Thursday brings increased scrutiny over Staley’s performance. When asked postgame if he expects to be the team’s head coach Friday, Staley responded with “I don’t know that.” Staley added that he believes he should remain in charge despite the loss.
“Games like this happen in the NFL to every coach that’s ever coached in this league. You can look at any great coach that’s ever coached in the league. Sometimes, games like this happen,” he said, per NFL Network’s Bridget Condon.
Meanwhile, Pierce has now brought his record to 3-3 since taking over as the Raiders’ interim coach. Las Vegas also snapped a three-game skid to improve to 6-8 with the prime-time win.