5 things to know after Chargers beat Raiders 26-13
It’s three down and three to go for the San Diego Chargers.
The Chargers needed three games to end in their favor on Sunday.
They all did, including their 26-13 victory against the rival
Now they’ve got to go through it all over again next Sunday in
order to snag the AFC’s second wild-card berth.
Buffalo’s 19-0 win against Miami was being shown on the
scoreboard video screen while the Chargers were warming up. Updates
of New England’s 41-7 victory against Baltimore were shown during
”I was going to know, somehow,” said quarterback Philip
Rivers, whose Chargers had to have both Miami and Baltimore lose in
order to stay alive.
In overcoming three turnovers, the Chargers got a lot of help
from the Raiders – two turnovers and 12 penalties for 73 yards by
The Chargers (8-7) have won three straight games for the first
time this season, but head into their finale still needing help.
They have to beat Kansas City at home while needing Baltimore to
lose at Cincinnati and Miami to lose at home to the New York
”All three went our way today, including the one we had our
control in,” Rivers said. ”Same boat next week. We need all three
to go our way. The only one we can control is the one here against
Rivers threw a go-ahead, 4-yard touchdown pass to rookie Keenan
Allen with 5 minutes left in the third quarter and Ryan Mathews ran
for 99 yards and one touchdown, setting a career high with 1,111
yards. Nick Novak kicked four field goals for San Diego.
”The Chargers are still beating and I know no one wants to play
us right now, that’s for sure,” said safety Eric Weddle, who had
The Raiders (4-11) played like a team that will miss the
playoffs for the 11th straight season.
Here are five takeaways from the game:
RYAN MATHEWS: Mathews limped to the locker room in the fourth
quarter but later returned to the game. He had a bandage on his
left ankle afterward and left the stadium wearing a protective boot
on his left foot. The Chargers are loathe to give out injury
updates, so it remains to be seen whether the boot is precautionary
or if the injury is serious. Mathews fell 1 yard short of his third
straight 100-yard game and sixth overall this season. Mathews’
final run of the day was away from the media – he grabbed his
clothes, a backpack and a football and headed to the trainer’s
room, which is off limits to reporters.
KEENAN ALLEN: The rookie had what he called ”one of my
best-worst games, you could say.” Besides the go-ahead TD grab,
Allen fumbled a punt that the Raiders recovered to set up Sebastian
Janikowski’s 20-yard field goal to tie the game at 10 with 10
seconds left before halftime. ”The touchdown kind of evened it all
out, but I definitely have some corrections to make.”
RAIDERS PENALTIES: Oakland repeatedly helped the Chargers
continue drives. One of the biggest blunders came when Mike Jenkins
was penalized 15 yards for taunting Mathews after he pushed the
running back out of bounds. Allen scored six plays later. ”We had
too many penalties,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. ”A lot of
our penalties, specifically defensively, came on third down, which
allowed them to extend some drives.”
PAGING NICK NOVAK: Novak finished with four field-goals. The
only score of the first half that wasn’t set up by a turnover was a
27-yard field goal by Novak in the first quarter. The Chargers
misfired on more plays than they’d have liked, and they had to call
on Novak three more times in the second half, from 48, 28 and 33
SLOPPY: The game was tied at 10 after a messy first half that
included three turnovers by the Chargers and seven penalties for 39
yards by the Raiders. Early in the second quarter, Rivers wasn’t
ready for a shotgun snap and the ball bounced off him for a fumble
that was recovered by former San Diego State linebacker Miles
Burris at the Raiders 42, setting up Darren McFadden’s 5-yard run
for a 7-3 Oakland lead. Rivers was picked off by Mike Jenkins to
end San Diego’s next drive, but Weddle then intercepted Matt
McGloin at the Raiders 20, deflecting the ball to himself. That set
up Mathews’ 7-yard run and the Chargers regained the lead at 10-7.
Allen’s fumbled punt was recovered by Shelton Johnson at the 16.
The Raiders had to settle for Janikowski’s tying 20-yard field goal
with 10 seconds left before halftime.
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