Chargers' effort all Hart

Starting in place of Terrence Kiel, Chargers' safety Clinton Hart had a huge day. He made up for a ball he that hit his facemask in Oakland with two turnovers, including one he returned for a touchdown.

Clinton Hart jarred the rock loose from the grasp of LaMont Jordan with a helmet to the ball hit. Linebacker Randall Godfrey hopped on the loose ball at the Oakland 34 as the first quarter wound to a close.

Hart also intercepted a pass and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown. It was the first interception of the year for Hart but second ball he returned for a score. Hart was the recipient of a lateral from a Donnie Edwards interception in New England and he ran 40 yards for a score.

"I wasn't going to settle for anything but the house – the paint," Hart said.

Hart's interception was his first of the year and the eighth for the Chargers. The only other interception in his career came against Oakland on Halloween last year.

Michael Turner scored his second touchdown of the season in the second quarter, which is also the second touchdown of his career. He scored his first touchdown against Buffalo two weeks ago.

"He was thrown in there as the guy on two drives and I think he did a great job," said quarterback Drew Brees. "He ended up in the end zone – he stepped in and did a great job."

DeQuincy Scott with a huge sack in the first quarter that pushed them from the 33 to the 44, taking the Raiders out of field goal range. Scott recorded his second sack of the game in the fourth quarter to push his total to 4.5 for the year. The last time he had two sacks in a game was October 19, 2003 against Cleveland.

Matt Wilhelm recorded his first sack of the year and the first of his career in the fourth quarter.

"There is a different feel this year," Wilhelm said. "We understand what kind of players we have."

Keenan McCardell caught an eight-yard out at the two-minute warning of Sunday night's game to become the 13th player in NFL history to record 800 catches.

"It is special," Brees acknowledged. "I don't think people realize how hard that is to do. Hopefully we will try and get him to 1,000 here."

On the same catch, McCardell passed Harold Jackson to move into the NFL's all-time Top-20 list for career receiving yards with 10,424. He stands 13th on the all-time receptions list with 803, 11 shy of former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Henry Ellard.

"A lot of guys on that ladder that I want to catch," McCardell said. "At the end of the day it is about winning and to achieve our goals which is to be world champions.

"It was (a big catch). We were moving the ball and it kept a drive alive. Coach Cam called my number and it was up to me to come through."

This season, McCardell ranks second on the team with 48 catches for 662 yards.

Drew Brees is 6-2 against the Raiders. In his last five games against Oakland, he has thrown 11 touchdowns and only one interception while completing more than 66 percent of his pass attempts (107-of-160).

In two nationally televised prime-time games this season, Brees has been a very accurate passer, completing 70.9 percent of his pass attempts (56-of-79) with five touchdowns and one interception.

"If we think we are going to go minus three in the giveaway/takeaway and win football games, we need to have our heads examined," Schottenheimer said. "I was pleased with that.

For the season, Brees has passed for 2,813 yards and is on pace for a 3,700-yard season. At his current pace, he would become only the second quarterback in team history to pass for more than 3,500 yards, joining Dan Fouts, who did it five times during his Hall of Fame career.

Six times this season, Brees has thrown more touchdowns than interceptions in a game and the Chargers are 6-0. Last season it happened nine times in the regular season and the Bolts were 8-1 in those nine games. For his career, Brees has had 25 games in which he has thrown more touchdowns than interceptions and the Bolts are 19-6 in those games, a winning percentage of .760.

In the last six games, Gates has 38 catches for 516 yards and six touchdowns, an average of 6.3 catches per game and 86.0 yards.

Gates is the team's leading receiver with 63 catches and 874 yards. He also leads the team with eight touchdown catches, one more than McCardell. Gates leads all NFL tight ends in touchdowns, receptions and yards.

Mike Scifres boomed a 71-yard punt in the first quarter, the longest punt of his career. His previous long was 60 yards, a mark he hit three times in 2004 and matched against the Jets this year.

The club record is 82 yards held by Paul MaGuire, ironically, one of the TV announcers for the game for ESPN, back on November 19, 1961. The last time a punter cleared 70 yards with a boot was Maury Buford on September 12, 1982 against Denver.

Only 18 of Scifres' 50 punts have been returned this season, the fewest in the league among punters with that many attempts.


SD Super Chargers Top Stories