Jon Gruden and Co. reached into their bag of tricks early in Sunday’s game against the Chargers, and it worked.
The Raiders were looking to do whatever they could to take an early lead , and to also keep quarterback Philip Rivers off the field, so they elected to run a trick play on their opening drive.
It worked to perfection.
The Chargers approached the fourth-and-four scenario as if the Raiders were going to punt the football, but that’s not what happened. Punter Johnny Townsend initially made it look as if he were going to kick the ball, but then elected to take off running off the left end. He had plenty of room in front of him as he ran down the sideline, and by the time he was pushed out of bounds, he had picked up 42 yards on the play.
That’s one way to pick up yardage when the offense is struggling.