Chargers play keep away

The Chargers held the ball for over 22 minutes in the first half and over 35 minutes for the game. While they ran the ball for 190 yards, the defense limited Oakland to 36 yards rushing – and just 11 in the first half.

"When you can establish the line of scrimmage in a game, most of the time you win," said wide receiver Keenan McCardell.

And they were able to find running room, particularly in the first half, without starting right tackle Shane Olivea. And later, Nick Hardwick would succumb to injury.

Marty Schottenheimer is 4-0 against Raiders Head Coach Norv Turner and the Chargers have also won the last four times against Oakland, including a sweep last year.

Scottenheimer's 24 wins against the Raiders are the most against any one opponent in his illustrious coaching career.

He was especially pleased with the defensive effort from his squad:

"Defensively, our ability to control the offense, albeit with a limited number of snaps, gave us the opportunity to create the kind of point differential. We kept the big plays to a minimum. We played smart, disciplined, sound defense."

The Chargers are the NFL's highest scoring team with 176 points. Their average of 29.3 points per contest is second in the NFL to the New York Giants' 29.8 points per game. The Chargers faced the Giants at Qualcomm Stadium on Sept. 25 and routed the New Yorkers by a score of 45-23, their most points in a game since 1993.

The Bolts scored on four straight possessions in the first half.

Reche Caldwell, subbing for Darren Sproles, took the opening kickoff 60 yards. It was the longest kickoff return of his career. His previous high was a 39-yard return on Oct. 20 also vs. Oakland.

Clinton Hart downed a Mike Scifres punt inside the five. Hart would miss an easy interception on the ensuing Oakland drive. The ball went into his hands and hit his left shoulder before popping out. Quentin Jammer missed an interception in the red zone late in the third quarter. The Raiders eventually scored.

The defense was credited with 11 passes defensed, its most of the year. Donnie Edwards, Bhawoh Jue (who had an interception, his team leading third) and Jammer were each credited with two passes defensed.

Kerry Collins completed 50 percent of his passes, going 24-of-48. He spent the majority of the game with Randy Moss.

"The loss of Randy Moss had an impact on what they do. The couple deep balls that went through - maybe he (Moss) runs them down," said Schottenheimer.

Eric Parker, playing in place of Darren Sproles on punt returns, was nailed on his first return punt attempt and dropped the ball when Jarrod Cooper smashed into him. Parker would recover the ball he fumbled. He would be replaced by Keenan McCardell on punt return duty later in the game.

Lorenzo Neal caught four passes in the first half – his most receptions in a game since Dec. 6, 1996 while with New Orleans. That year he caught six in a game twice and had 31 receptions on the year – his career high. Neal entered the game with four receptions this year. His four receptions led the team.

Leander Jordan his first start at right tackle as a member of the Chargers in place of Shane Olivea and it marked the first time he earned a start since 2001 when he opened up the game at guard for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jordan gave up two sacks in the fourth quarter to Derrick Burgess and was sporadic with his play through the game.

Igor Olshansky recorded his first sack of the year on Sunday. It was his second career sack with his first coming a year ago, on almost the exact same day. He sacked Michael Vick on Oct. 17 last year for his first NFL sack. Olshansky picked up his second sack of the game in the second quarter.

"It just turned out that I beat my guy," said Olshansky. "It was pretty easy to get leverage on 6-foot-8 Langston Walker."

Rookie second round pick Vincent Jackson saw his first action of the year on Sunday, playing solely on special teams.


SD Super Chargers Top Stories