The San Diego Chargers have won six of their last seven games and saw the return of LaDainian Tomlinson to their growing arsenal of offensive weapons. His success in Oakland is unprecedented.
LaDainian Tomlinson scored the 51st touchdown of his career against Oakland on Sunday on a one-yard run in the first quarter. It marked the seventh consecutive game in which he crossed the goal line. He's closing in on the team record for consecutive games with a touchdown of nine, held jointly by Natrone Means (1993-94) and Lance Alworth, who did it in 1963 and '64. Paul Lowe scored touchdowns in eight-straight games over the 1960-61 seasons, and Tim Spencer scored in seven-straight over the 1985-86 seasons.
His 37 carries were a season high. His previous high was 26 carries against Houston in the opener. His previous season high in yards rushing was 147 against Tennessee.
He had averaged 76.6 per game through the first nine games of the season. He upped that average to 85.34 after Sunday's game.
Drew Brees has thrown 156 consecutive passes without an interception. His last interception was in the first quarter of the Chargers' game at Atlanta Oct. 17 on the game's opening drive. That is his only interception in the last eight games. He threw two interceptions against the New York Jets Sept. 19. Brees has thrown just one interception in his last 240 pass attempts. The team record for consecutive pass attempts without an interception is 168. It was set by Dan Fouts in 1981.
Drew Brees' rushing touchdown in the second quarter was the second of his career. Both have come against Oakland in Oakland. His only other rushing touchdown came on October 20, 2002.
Antonio Gates caught his ninth touchdown pass in the first quarter. His touchdown reception moved him into a second place tie (Reggie Wayne) in the NFL for touchdown receptions behind Terrell Owens (13).
Gates had five receptions for 83 yards in the first half. Gates ended the game with eight receptions for 101 yards. He has 62 receptions on the year, tying him with Derrick Mason for most receptions in the league.
Nate Kaeding had his extra point try blocked on the Chargers first scoring drive. Kaeding had been a perfect 32-of-32 until his miss. The last time the Chargers had an extra point blocked was November 3, 2002 against the New York Jet when Josh Evans blocked the attempt.
Kaeding also missed a 41 yard field goal attempt in the third quarter. He pulled it wide left – his second missed field goal of the year. Kaeding later came back to hit a 19 yard field goal.
Ben Leber got his first sack of the season in the first quarter. He also recovered a fumble in the third quarter and returned it 23 yards. It was his first fumble recovery of the season and in his three year career.
Randall Godfrey caused the fumble after a Jerry Porter reception. It was the third forced fumble of the year for Godfrey. When talk turned to the ferocity of the hit, Godfrey was just glad Porter was able to return to the game.
"I caught him when he was turning back,'' said Godfrey. "I caught him pretty good. The good thing about it was he got up and came back in. It's a little scary when you see a player down and they can't get up.''
The Chargers began their third drive on the Oakland 48. Drew Brees hit McCardell for 17 yards and then Gates caught one for 28 yards to put the ball at the six yard line. Lorenzo Neal took the ensuing handoff and fumbled the ball, forced by Tommy Kelly, into the end zone. It was recovered by Denard Walker of the Raiders who brought it out to the 26 yard line. It was the first carry of the day for Neal and just his tenth carry of the season.
According to the Chargers staff at halftime, the fumble gave the Raiders life as a score could have begun the assault and rout.
Roman Oben, declared eligible on a goal line play in the third quarter, got a chance to catch a touchdown pass. He was open on the play and Brees drilled the ball in but Oben could not handle the pass. It went incomplete and the Chargers settled for a field goal.
"We didn't give him grief," fellow lineman Toniu Fonoti said. "We just told him we would get a score, don't worry about it. We just tried to lift him up."
Oben was called for a rare tripping penalty late in the third quarter. It was actually the second such penalty called on the Chargers as Tim Dwight was called for a tripping penalty on a kickoff return.
The crowd, not a factor much of the first half, forced the Chargers to throw two timeouts on one drive as the third quarter wound down. By expending those two timeouts, they had none entering the fourth quarter.
In reference to Friday's brawl involving players and fans in an NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons, one sign in the North end zone read "Don't Punch the Fans."
Matt Wilhelm was active for the first time this year. He played on special teams and recorded an assisted tackle.
Marty Schottenheimer is 23-7 against Oakland and 8-5 following bye in his career.