Mathews leads Chargers over Oakland

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Updated: December 22, 2013

San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) – Ryan Mathews ran for 99 yards and a
touchdown while surpassing his previous career-high for rushing yards in a
season as the San Diego Chargers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 26-13
win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

The Chargers (8-7), who have won four of five, can clinch the sixth and final
playoff spot in the AFC with a win over the Chiefs next Sunday and losses by
Baltimore and Miami.

San Diego defeated Kansas City 41-38 at Arrowhead Stadium earlier in the
season.

Philip Rivers completed 19-of-29 passes for 201 yards, a touchdown and an
interception for San Diego. Danny Woodhead gained 52 yards on eight carries
and rookie Keenan Allen hauled in his fifth touchdown catch in the last three
games.

“We just kept on fighting,” said San Diego head coach Mike McCoy. “That’s the
thing, we just kept on going. Running the ball efficiently, making good
decisions in the passing game. We just kept on fighting.”

Mathews’ previous career-high for yards on the ground came in 2011, when he
collected 1,091. The fourth-year pro out of Fresno State now has 1,111 on the
year with a game to go.

Matt McGloin threw for 206 yards and a pick in his sixth start of the season
for Oakland (4-11), which lost its fifth straight game. Darren McFadden scored
the lone Raiders touchdown, his first since Oct. 27, and Andre Holmes caught
five passes for 71 yards.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed that we lost the game,” said Oakland coach Dennis
Allen. “There’s multiple factors that go into that. We had too many penalties,
third downs.”

Nick Novak opened the scoring late in the first quarter with a 27-yard field
goal to give the Chargers an early lead. Novak went 4-of-4 for the game.

Early in the second quarter, the Chargers were driving again when center Nick
Hardwick snapped the ball while Rivers was making an adjustment, causing
it to trickle free. Miles Burris recovered for Oakland at the Raiders 42-yard
line.

The Raiders took advantage of the miscue. On 3rd-and-5 from the San Diego 42,
McGloin went up top for Mychal Rivera, who hauled in a 37-yard reception to
set up McFadden’s 5-yard touchdown run.

After Eric Weddle tipped and juggled an errant McGloin throw before reeling in
a diving pick, a roughing the passer penalty on Oakland set up 1st-and-goal
from the 7. Mathews took a handoff and absorbed a hit in the backfield before
falling into the end zone on his second effort to put San Diego in front.

Sebastian Janikowski’s 20-yard field goal late in the half made it 10-10 at
intermission.

San Diego went back in front on Allen’s short touchdown reception 10 minutes
into the third period and then padded the lead with a 48-yard Novak kick with
56 ticks left in the frame.

Novak added two more field goals around a Janikowski 3-pointer for the final
margin.

Game Notes

The Chargers are hoping to avoid missing the postseason for a fourth straight
season … The Chargers have now taken nine of the last 11 meetings with
Oakland at Qualcomm Stadium … Rivers improved to 29-6 as a starter in
December … Oakland went just 4-of-13 on third down.