Turnovers and penalties plagued both teams, but the Chargers overcame their early mistakes with a strong defensive effort in the second half to win the ballgame.
In the second quarter, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers fumbled a snap, and Oakland capitalized with a scoring drive to take a 7-3 lead. Rivers was intercepted by cornerback Mike Jenkins on San Diego’s next drive, and San Diego returned the favor with an interception by Eric Weddle on Oakland’s drive. With the interception, the Chargers had excellent field position at the Oakland 20, and used two plays to get into the end zone. The Ryan Mathews seven-yard rushing TD and Novak extra point gave the Chargers a 10-7 lead at 3:13 in the second.
A crucial play came late in the second when Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen muffed a punt return that was recovered by Oakland at the San Diego 16. The Chargers were able to limit the Raiders to a Sebastian Janikowski field goal, and headed into halftime tied at 10. After a messy first half, San Diego had the momentum, and tightened up their game in the second half to win comfortably.
In the third quarter, Keenan Allen broke the 10-10 tie with a four-yard touchdown reception. Nick Novak hit a field goal at the end of the third, and to begin the fourth, giving the Chargers a 23-10 lead with 14:51 to go in the game. The Raiders answered with a Janikowski field goal, but the Charger defense shut down the Raiders over the final 11:19. Novak added his fourth field goal at 6:23 in the fourth, and the Chargers won 26-13.
Next game: San Diego plays Kansas City (11-4) next Sunday at 4:25 pm ET on CBS. Oakland plays Denver (12-3) next Sunday at 4:25 pm ET on CBS.