Chargers repel Raiders, Ravens fly past Bengals
AP Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 12:00 am TWN
OAKLAND, California -- The Oakland Raiders struggled in Dennis Allen's debut as coach, not scoring a touchdown until the final minute as they lost 22-14 at home against the San Diego Chargers in their NFL season opener on Monday.
In the night's other game, the Baltimore Ravens extended their home winning streak to 11 games by beating the Cincinnati Bengals 44-13.
San Diego's Philip Rivers threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Malcom Floyd and Nate Kaeding equaled his career best by kicking five field goals for the Chargers.
Rivers threw for 231 yards, but was sacked just once and did not turn the ball over after having 20 interceptions a year ago.
The Raiders not only couldn't find the end zone until the last minute, they also botched three punts after an injury to Pro Bowl long snapper Jon Condo.
Darren McFadden caught a career-high 13 passes for Oakland. A head injury to Condo in the second quarter proved to be even more significant when backup long snapper Travis Goethel was involved in three plays that resulted in three field goals for the opposition.
Carson Palmer finally got Oakland a touchdown with 54 seconds left on a 2-yard pass to rookie Rod Streater and the two connected for a 2-point conversion to make it 22-14. But San Diego recovered the onside kick and iced the game.
Palmer went 32 for 46 for 297 yards.
In Baltimore, Joe Flacco threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns while Ed Reed took an interception 34 yards for a Ravens score.
Using the no-huddle offense almost flawlessly, the Ravens amassed 430 yards and got two short touchdown runs from Ray Rice. After letting an early 14-point lead dwindle to 17-13, the Ravens pulled away by scoring 24 straight points in just over six minutes.
Flacco watched the final eight minutes on the sideline after going 21 for 29 in Baltimore's ninth consecutive victory in the AFC North. The Ravens were the only team in the division to win the opener.
The Ravens sacked Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton four times and turned two turnovers into touchdowns over a two-minute span. After Reed's touchdown return, Ray Lewis forced a fumble that was recovered by Lardarius Webb, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by Rice to make it 41-13 with 13:41 remaining.
Dalton went 22 for 37 for 221 yards, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 91 yards and a score in his Cincinnati debut.
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