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News » LT, Rivers lead Chargers to 27-7 lead over Raiders

LT, Rivers lead Chargers to 27-7 lead over Raiders

LT, Rivers lead Chargers to 27-7 lead over Raiders
SAN DIEGO (AP) - The San Diego Chargers finally looked like world-beaters. Too bad it might be too late.

LaDainian Tomlinson scored on a 3-yard run against his favorite punching bag and Philip Rivers threw two touchdown passes, including a 59-yarder to Vincent Jackson, to give the Chargers a 27-7 lead over the Oakland Raiders after three quarters Thursday night.

Once considered favorites to reach the Super Bowl, the Chargers (4-8) came in trailing the Denver Broncos by three games in the AFC West with four to play. San Diego had lost three straight and five of six.

San Diego was trying for its 11th straight win in the rivalry that dates to the birth of the AFL in 1960. Still, the underachieving Chargers came in just one game ahead of Oakland in the standings.

Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell was intercepted twice by linebacker Stephen Cooper and also lost a fumble, leading to 17 points for the Chargers. Russell didn't get up right away after throwing his second interception and was later taken to the locker room on a cart with an injured right ankle. His return was questionable.

Andrew Walter replaced Russell at the start of the third quarter. Neither team scored in the quarter.

Tomlinson's TD midway through the first quarter was the 137th of his brilliant eight-year career, moving him into sole possession of fifth place on the career list. He had been tied with Marshall Faulk, who was at the game working for the NFL Network.

Tomlinson came in with 1,815 career rushing yards and 21 total touchdowns in 15 games against the Raiders (3-9), his most against any opponent.

San Diego's opening drive bogged down inside the Oakland 5-yard line and the Chargers had to settle for Nate Kaeding's 20-yard field goal. Kaeding added a 39-yarder just before halftime.

Three plays into Oakland's first possession, Russell fumbled as he was being sacked by outside linebacker Shaun Phillips and inside linebacker Jyles Tucker recovered at the 12-yard line. Tomlinson carried three straight times, scoring untouched off left tackle.

Oakland ran only seven plays in the first quarter.

Rivers threw an 8-yard TD pass to Darren Sproles early in the second quarter, capping a 15-play, 96-yard drive that took 8 minutes, 29 seconds. Tomlinson and Sproles carried five times each and Rivers had three carries on the drive.

San Diego got the ball back on Cooper's first pickoff. Jackson got behind two defenders and hauled in Rivers' scoring pass down the right sideline to make it 24-0.

Russell was hit by Philips while throwing late in the second quarter and the ball went straight to Cooper. He lateralled to Antonio Cromartie for a 14-yard gain.

Head linesman John McGrath hurt his right leg midway through the second quarter and missed a few plays while his leg was taped by the Oakland training staff.

After Kaeding's second field goal, Oakland's Justin Miller returned the kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 5, 2008

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