Raiders

Luck, Hilton hook up late to rally Colts past Chargers 26-22

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Luck, Hilton hook up late to rally Colts past Chargers 26-22

INDIANAPOLIS  — Andrew Luck shook off a sore throwing shoulder, then watched T.Y. Hilton break a tackle on a 63-yard touchdown pass with 1:17 to play Sunday, giving the Indianapolis Colts a 26-22 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

It's the second time this season Luck has produced a late score to give Indy a lead in the waning seconds. But, unlike the season opener two weeks ago, the Colts recovered two fumbles in the final 62 seconds to preserve the win.

Luck finished 24 of 37 for 331 yards with one TD and one interception to earn his 15th career come-from-behind win — not bad for a guy who missed practice Wednesday and did limited work Thursday in practice because of the injury.

At times, Luck struggled, losing a fumble late in the first half that San Diego returned 61 yards to tie it at 13.

When it mattered most, though, Luck persevered. He converted on fourth-and-7 with an 8-yard pass to Hilton with 1:52 left, then found Hilton again after an injury stoppage. Hilton spun out of a tackle and zig-zagged his way down the field to avoid Chargers defenders to help the Colts (1-2) snap a two-game losing streak.

Philip Rivers got two more chances to win it. The first ended when safety Clayton Geathers stripped the ball from tight end Hunter Henry and Pro Bowl safety Mike Adams fell on it. The second ended when the Colts recovered another fumble on a desperation play as time expired.

Rivers was 25 of 38 for 310 yards.

Melvin Gordon was held to 16 carries for 35 yards, but scored a TD.

STILL WAITING

Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa practiced in pads for the first time this week. The No. 3 overall draft pick has yet to make his NFL debut. After showing up following a prolonged contract holdout, Bosa's return was set back by a hamstring injury. Now the question is how much longer will the Chargers keep him out?

DIGGING OUT

Indy still hasn't started 0-3 since 2011, when Peyton Manning missed the entire season with an injured nerve. How big was this win? Since the current playoff format took effect in 1990, only five 0-3 teams have made the postseason. The last team to do it was the 1998 Buffalo Bills.

THE STREAK CONTINUES

Frank Gore rushed for 70 yards in the first half and looked almost certain to end the Colts' streak of consecutive games without a 100-yard runner at 52. Instead, Gore gained only 11 in the second half, finishing with 81, to extend the league's longest active streak to 53.

INJURY REPORT

Chargers: Linebacker Manti Te'o came into the game as San Diego's leading tackler, but left in the first quarter with an Achilles tendon injury and did not return. The injury occurred when he appeared to plant his left leg while chasing Gore into the flat. The Chargers' other starting inside linebacker, Denzel Perryman, left early in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be an injured knee. Left tackle King Dunlap (illness) and tight end Antonio Gates (hamstring) were inactive.

Colts: The Colts played the entire second half without the regular starters on the right side of their offensive line. Guard Denzelle Good (back) was inactive and Reitz (back) left during the first half. He did not return. Geathers (foot) left in the third quarter, but returned.

Why Drew Rosenhaus hopes Antonio Brown-Raiders trade sets precedent

Why Drew Rosenhaus hopes Antonio Brown-Raiders trade sets precedent

Antonio Brown's agent hopes his client is a trendsetter. 

Despite Brown having three years left on his contract deal and the trade necessitating a massive amount of dead money on their books, the Pittsburgh Steelers traded Brown to the Raiders for just a third- and fifth-round pick. Drew Rosenhaus thinks the deal could set a precedent for players under contract who are unhappy in their current situation. 

“What I hope it does is maybe bring some more balance," Rosenhaus told NBC Sports' Peter King in his Football Morning in America column. "There aren’t many players like Antonio Brown but perhaps—and I’m not suggesting that everybody go out and try to renegotiate their deal or ask for a trade—but I hope it gives players more leverage throughout the league.

"I hope it gives agents more confidence that they can affect something in a way that can make a positive change for their clients. Maybe this is a deal that’s bigger than just one particular contract.”

As Rosenhaus himself notes, Brown is a unique case. He is one of the very best players at his position, catching at least 100 passes for at least 1,200 yards and at least eight touchdowns in each of the past six seasons. Brown made the Pro Bowl in each of those years, and was first-team All-Pro every season from 2014 to 2017. 

Furthermore, his relationship with the Steelers was especially strained. Beginning with his Facebook Live stream from inside the Pittsburgh locker room in 2017 and culminating with his benching in Week 17 last season, it became clear that Brown's relationship with the Steelers was no longer tenable. A player without Brown's pedigree likely wouldn't have had the same leash before the Steelers ultimately decided to part ways. 

[RELATED: Brown takes jab at Bills for false rumors]

Still, Brown's trade definitely represents a departure from business as usual in the NFL. This is an owner-driven and owner-dominated league, where player contracts are not guaranteed and the average career lasts about three years. The Brown saga, frankly, was far more NBA-like. 

If football players begin to have more power like their basketball peers, Brown's trade to the Raiders would mark a clear turning point. 

Rashaan Melvin says he cheated Raiders fans during season with the team

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Rashaan Melvin says he cheated Raiders fans during season with the team

Rashaan Melvin said his goodbyes to the Raiders after the Lions announced a deal that would bring the cornerback to the team.

But Melvin's farewell to the Silver and Black was a bit of a sad one. Melvin said he felt as though he cheated the fans:

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Im thankful for every opportunity God has placed in my life. We all must go through some things to get to what is actually meant for us. I greatly appreciate the Oakland organization for giving me the opportunity to further my career this past season. I respect the raiders organization, I respect the tradition, and I respect the die hard fans that has and will forever believe in raider nation. I feel like I cheated the fans, and organization, and a long list of players that came before me that made the organization what it is. It was always a life time dream of mine to wear the silver and black. It really hurt me that I wasn’t able to be myself, and play the style of play that I know I was capable of playing. To all my guys in that locker room I appreciate you guys for making the year special through everything. I cherish the relationships that were created on and off the field. I respect you guys, and I wish you boy’s the best!! Y’all ball out for the City of Oakland 1 more time or for however long y’all there! Respect!! #22 #raidernation ✊🏾✊🏾

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This, of course, appeared to be more of him not feeling as though he played to his potential. Playing for the Raiders had been a dream of his.

Melvin only started in seven games last season which could be partly why he's feeling the way he's feeling. 

"To all my guys in the locker room, I appreciate you guys for making the year special through everything."