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Chargers 26, Raiders 13

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers' quest for the playoffs is alive for another week.

Quarterback Philip Rivers threw a go-ahead, 4-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Keenan Allen and the Chargers remained alive in the playoff race by overcoming three turnovers to beat the Oakland Raiders 26-13 on Sunday.

It was the Chargers' third consecutive win and the Raiders fifth straight loss.

It was a day for scoreboard watching at Qualcomm Stadium, as the Chargers (8-7) needed help to keep their postseason aspirations in play in pursing the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC's final wild-card berth.

Early in the afternoon, the Chargers got an assist when the Buffalo Bills defeated the Dolphins. When the Patriots later fell well behind the Ravens, the dominoes were falling in the Chargers' favor.

Allen's 4-yard, third-quarter scoring catch eased the Chargers in front 17-10. Nick Novak would add three field goals in a second half dominated by the Chargers.

The Raiders (4-11) pulled even 10-10 after the Chargers committed their third turnover late in the first half.

Allen muffed a punt recovered by Shelton Johnson at the Chargers' 16. Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 20-yard field goal in the half's final minute.

The usually reliable connection between center Nick Hardwick and Rivers hit a snag earlier in the second quarter. Hardwick snapped the ball to Rivers in the shot-gun formation, but Rivers wasn't looking. The ball was pounced on by linebacker Miles Burris and the Raiders didn't squander their good fortune.

Running back Darren McFadden converted the turnover with a 5-yard touchdown rush to give the Raiders a 7-3 lead. McFadden's scamper was set up by a 37-yard reception by tight end Mychal Rivera.

But the Chargers regained the advantage thanks to the Raiders' generosity -- and a stellar play by safety Eric Weddle.

It was Weddle's acrobatic interception of quarterback Matt McGloin's pass which gave the Chargers the ball at the Raiders' 20-yard line. Running back Ryan Mathews' 7-yard run pushed the Chargers ahead, 10-7.

The Chargers scored first when marching 82 yards in their opening possession, which was capped by Novak's 27-yard field goal, his first of four in the game.

NOTES: Raiders RB Darren McFadden, active after missing six games with a hamstring injury, scored in the second quarter. His rushing touchdown was the 23rd of his career, ninth all-time in franchise history. ... Raiders head coach Dennis Allen was the Broncos' defensive coordinator 2011, the same year Chargers head coach Mike McCoy was Denver's offensive coordinator. ... Despite temperatures in the 60s, Chargers QB Philip Rivers wore a glove on his left hand. ... Chargers TE John Phillips exited in the first quarter with a knee injury and didn't return.
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