Running back Rickey Young scored a touchdown and rushed for 83 yards and rookie Rolf Benirschke kicked two field goals as the upstart San Diego Chargers upset defending Super Bowl champion Oakland, 12-7, today.
The stunning loss dropped the Raiders to 8-2 and out of first place in the AFC's West Division behind 9-1 Denver, which defeated Kansas City, 14-7. The Chargers evened their record at 5-5.
Oakland quarterback Ken Stabler left the game late in the first period with a twisted knee suffered when he was hit by San Diego defensive tackle Louie Kelcher. His replacement, Mike Rae, was unable to move the usually potent Oakland offense.
Young scored the Chargers' touchdown 8:45 before halftime on a four-yard sweep of left end to climax a 44-yard, eight-play drive engineered by rookie quarterback Cliff Olander. Benirschke's conversion attempt was blocked by the Raiders' Ted Hendricks, making it 6-0.
Oakland took the lead with 4:04 left before halftime on a seven-yard run by Rae and Errol Mann's conversion. The touchdown was set up by a 37-yard pass interference penalty against Mike Williams that put the ball on the San Diego 42. Rae scored seven plays later.
Benirshke, cut by the Raiders during the preseason, made his first field goal with 3:57 left in the third quarter, a 22-yarder, after Olander moved the Chargers from their 17-yard line to the Oakland five.
Benirschke's second three-pointer came with 3:15 remaining in the game, this one from 46 yards out.
The San Diego defense took over after that, keeping the Raiders from mounting a serious threat the rest of the way.
There was no immediate word on how serious Stabler was injured or if he would miss any games. But he stood on the sidelines during the remainder of the game with his left knee wrapped in ice.
Stabler completed four of 10 passes for 40 yards before going out with 4:13 left in the first quarter.
The Chargers piled up 310 yards in total offense to only 142 for the Raiders. Joe Washington gained 55 yards on six carries, including a 19-yard dash, and caught two passes for 22 yards. Lawrence Barnes added 50 yards on 15 rushes.
Clarence Davis led the impotent Oakland offense with 49 yards on 12 carries. Mark van Eeghen was held to 37 yards on 12 attempts.