Chargers
Raiders
30 - 17 Final
  for this game

Chargers lock up No. 3 seed with swarming defense

Dec 31, 2007 - 5:15 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- A year that began in turmoil for the San Diego Chargers ended in triumph with the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs.

The Chargers forced three turnovers and recovered a fumble in the end zone en route to a 30-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Philip Rivers completed 13-of-23 passes for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns and LaDainian Tomlinson found the end zone for the 16th time this season for San Diego, which will face the Tennessee Titans in the wild card round of the playoffs next weekend.

"It's a good win," Rivers said. "You can never take a win for granted."

The Chargers, who began the season 1-3 after finishing the 2006 campaign with the best record in the NFL, faced questions about their character and ability to adapt to a new coaching staff early in the season.

But San Diego (11-5) rebounded under first-year coach Norv Turner to finish the season with six straight wins.

"I think Norv (Turner) has done a heck of a job this year," River said. "If we come out 5-0 everyone expects that. But we didn't and we were able to turn it around and deal with the adversity throughout the year."

"It was an important game for us," Turner said. "It's good for the team to get the third seed. We were aware of the scores and had an extra reason to play it out. ... It's confidence to win six in a row. We have a lot of different playmakers on this team."

San Diego made its defensive presence felt on the very first play of the game, when defensive end Igor Olshansky intercepted rookie JaMarcus Russell on a short pass attempt.

For Russell, who was drafted No. 1 overall by Oakland (4-12) in last April's draft, it was his fifth turnover in 25 drop-backs as a professional football player.

The Chargers wasted little time turning the turnover into points, driving 47 yards on nine plays and taking a 7-0 lead when Rivers found Tomlinson for a 7-yard TD with 9:53 left in the opening quarter.

Also, for the second straight year, Tomlinson finished up the season with the league's rushing title.

"This one has been a little more difficult than last year," Tomlinson said. "I really had to work for it."

Rivers completed all four of his pass attempts on the drive to four different receivers.

Russell got some significant help from Oakland's ground game, with Dominic Rhodes carrying the ball on seven of his team's next 10 plays over two drives before tying the game with a 1-yard rush at the 4:31 mark in the first.

The Raiders' benefited from starting the scoring drive on San Diego's 35-yard line after Rivers stumbled and tossed a handoff attempt into the backfield, where Oakland recovered.

Rhodes finished the contest with a season-high 122 yards on 29 carries.

The Chargers took the lead back with 38 seconds remaining in the half when Rivers connected with Chris Chambers for a 19-yard score.

"He's (Chambers) great at making those jump-ball catches in the end zone," Rivers said. "The throw wasn't perfect but he was able to pull it down."

The teams traded field goals before San Diego put the game away when linebacker Jyles Tucker broke through the line of scrimmage and stripped Russell on the goal line.

Tucker jumped back up and dove on the ball in the end zone to put the Chargers on top, 24-10, with 7:12 left in the third.

"(Tucker) got the hat trick," Turner said, referring to the sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery.

Russell salvaged the game for himself with a beautiful 35-yard strike to Jerry Porter in the end zone with 1:19 left in the third.

"It was good, my first touchdown pass in this stadium," Russell said. "It was fun. I had a lot more time to see everything and really get a feel."

It was the second career TD for Russell, who finished 23-of-31 for 224 yards.

"I think JaMarcus did some really good things today," Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said. "His decision-making was night and day from last week."

Nate Kaeding added field goals of 31 and 24 yards in the fourth quarter for San Diego.






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    Chargers vs. RaidersDec 30 7:22 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 7 7 10 6 30
    OAKLAND 7 3 7 0 17 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SDG - TD, LADAINIAN TOMLINSON 7 YD PASS FROM
    PHILIP RIVERS (NATE KAEDING KICK),
    5:07. Drive: 9 plays, 47 yards in
    4:55. Key plays: Rivers 12-yard
    pass to Chambers to Oakland 34;
    Rivers 5-ya

    Dec 30 7:22 PM


  • NFL
    FG SDG
    NATE KAEDING 28 YD
    SAN DIEGO 30
    OAKLAND 17 1:46 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Chargers vs. RaidersDec 30 7:17 PM


  • NFL
    FG SDG
    NATE KAEDING 32 YD
    SAN DIEGO 27
    OAKLAND 17 13:36 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Chargers vs. RaidersDec 30 6:43 PM
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    Chargers vs. RaidersDec 30 6:39 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 7 7 10 24
    OAKLAND 7 3 7 17 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SDG - TD, LADAINIAN TOMLINSON 7 YD PASS FROM
    PHILIP RIVERS (NATE KAEDING KICK),
    5:07. Drive: 9 plays, 47 yards in
    4:55. Key plays: Rivers 12-yard
    pass to Chambers to Oakland 34;
    Rive

    Dec 30 6:36 PM


  • NFL
    TD OAK
    JERRY PORTER 32 YD PASS FROM JAMARCUS RUSSELL
    (SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 24
    OAKLAND 17 1:19 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Chargers vs. RaidersDec 30 6:32 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    JYLES TUCKER RECOVERED FUMBLE IN END ZONE
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 24
    OAKLAND 10 7:12 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Chargers vs. RaidersDec 30 6:21 PM


  • NFL
    FG SDG
    NATE KAEDING 36 YD
    SAN DIEGO 17
    OAKLAND 10 12:51 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Chargers vs. RaidersDec 30 6:01 PM
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    Chargers vs. RaidersDec 30 5:58 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 7 7 14
    OAKLAND 7 3 10 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SDG - TD, LADAINIAN TOMLINSON 7 YD PASS FROM
    PHILIP RIVERS (NATE KAEDING KICK),
    5:07. Drive: 9 plays, 47 yards in
    4:55. Key plays: Rivers 12-yard
    pass to Chambers to Oakland 34;
    Rivers 5

    Dec 30 5:44 PM


  • NFL
    FG OAK
    SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI 53 YD
    SAN DIEGO 14
    OAKLAND 10 0:01 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Chargers vs. RaidersDec 30 5:43 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    CHRIS CHAMBERS 19 YD PASS FROM PHILIP RIVERS
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 14
    OAKLAND 7 0:38 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Chargers vs. RaidersDec 30 5:37 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 7 7
    OAKLAND 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: SDG - TD, LADAINIAN TOMLINSON 7 YD PASS FROM
    PHILIP RIVERS (NATE KAEDING KICK),
    5:07. Drive: 9 plays, 47 yards in
    4:55. Key plays: Rivers 12-yard
    pass to Chambers to Oakland 34;
    Rive

    Dec 30 4:54 PM


  • NFL
    TD OAK
    DOMINIC RHODES 1 YD RUN
    (SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 7
    OAKLAND 7 4:31 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Chargers vs. RaidersDec 30 4:41 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    LADAINIAN TOMLINSON 7 YD PASS FROM PHILIP RIVERS
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 7
    OAKLAND 0 9:53 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Chargers vs. RaidersDec 30 4:24 PM
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    Chargers vs. RaidersDec 27 12:05 AM
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    Chargers vs. RaidersNov 17 3:29 PM