Chargers rolling and getting healthy

The San Diego Chargers sit atop the AFC West with a 9-2 record and will be heading on the road for the final time this week.

Chargers Report Card:

PASSING OFFENSE: C -- Philip Rivers struggled more than he had at any time this season. He was jumpy in the pocket, and his normal accuracy was way off. He completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes and had no touchdowns and an interception. The day's best Chargers pass came from LaDainian Tomlinson, when he lofted a 19-yard scoring toss to Antonio Gates to tie the score. The Chargers also dropped a couple of passes, and Vincent Jackson had a bonehead move when he spiked the ball before he was down by contact. The pass protection was shaky early on but found its feet as the game progressed.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus -- Tomlinson ran for 100 yards for the fifth consecutive game and produced two scores on the ground. But the run blocking was suspect, as nearly half of Tomlinson's running yards came on a 44-yard scamper. The Chargers line was missing LG Kris Dielman, and his absence was noted, as that is the direction San Diego usually runs.

PASS DEFENSE: C -- Quentin Jammer had a killer pass interference call that set up a Raiders touchdown and was beaten for another score. But he did have a key interception that helped turn the tide in the game. Drayton Florence also had a pick, which iced the victory. The pass rush was pretty good with five sacks, and it hassled Aaron Brooks for most the game.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- The Raiders managed just 84 rushing yards, and No. 1 RB Justin Fargas averaged only 2.3 yards on 14 carries. The play of the inside linebackers was stout, as Randall Godfrey had a season-high 13 tackles with a sack, and Donnie Edwards added 11 tackles. The Raiders rushed for only 2 yards in the second half.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- The coverages were weak -- all you need to know is K Nate Kaeding had a hand in two tackles. But the return game got a boost from rookie Antonio Cromartie, who almost broke one when returning it 91 yards. Nate Kaeding had an odd pooch kickoff that went out of bounds. P Mike Scifres had a typically good game, but the coverages were shoddy and need to be fixed.

COACHING: A -- Marty Schottenheimer's message is still getting across: one play at a time. That was obvious as the Chargers were flat the first half, but they didn't let that bother them in rallying in the second half. Wade Phillips gets some credit, as his defense was nails the second half. The offense was spotty with Rivers' game off, but offensive coordinator Cam Cameron made the perfect call at the perfect time on the halfback pass from Tomlinson to Gates.

Raiders Report Card:

PASSING OFFENSE: C -- Oakland got a second consecutive decent performance by QB Aaron Brooks (17-for-30, 187 yards, 29 yards rushing), but a deflected interception by Quintin Jammer in the fourth quarter preceded the game-tying touchdown. The Raiders made nice use of a surprise weapon, free agent TE John Madsen (three receptions, 69 yards, one touchdown). Randy Moss drew enough attention to free up others, but it's still no excuse for his production (three receptions, 26 yards).

RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- Another game of inches for TB Justin Fargas (11 carries, 32 yards). No running back had a gain of over 6 yards, although the Raiders did get a rare rushing touchdown (No. 4 this season) on a 1-yard run by ReShard Lee. Zack Crockett, who had seven carries for 22 yards, converted on short yardage for first downs twice, and the Raiders might consider making him the lead back and using the struggling Fargas as a change-of-pace back.

PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- Nnamdi Asomugha had one interception, dropped another one and missed a difficult chance for a third. Chargers receivers, other than TE Antonio Gates (six receptions, 81 yards) simply couldn't get open. San Diego QB Philip Rivers had his worst game (14-for-31, 133 yards, one interception). The Raiders blew coverage against Gates on a 19-yard TD pass from LaDainian Tomlinson, a play everyone in the league knows the Chargers love. It was the lone blight in this area.

RUSH DEFENSE: B -- Tomlinson scored early on a 4-yard run, late on a 10-yard run, and the only big yardage came on a 44-yard burst that led to one of San Diego's scores. His 19-carry, 109-yard performance looks much better on paper than it did on the field. He averaged 3.6 yards per carry minus the big run. Oakland's team speed made it very difficult for the Chargers to run outside.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- Yes, Chris Carr averaged 37.3 yards on three kickoff returns with a long of 44, giving the Raiders excellent drive starts. But two plays in this game proved lethal. On Oakland's opening possession, Sebastian Janikowski missed a 36-yard field goal attempt -- his first miss of the season inside 49 yards. After Oakland's first score, Antonio Cromartie drew the coverage inside, then burst outside for a 91-yard return that set up the Chargers' first touchdown. Instead of going into halftime up 10-0, the Raiders were tied 7-7.

COACHING: C-plus -- Art Shell deserves credit for keeping his team ready to play. Now 2-9, the Raiders have played all three foes in football's toughest division down to the wire before losing. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan bottled up the Chargers offense like no one other than brother Rex Ryan's Ravens early in the season. Oakland's offense made nice use of Madsen, a much better natural receiver than starter Randal Williams. The offense fell apart on the last two possessions, however, once the Raiders had fallen behind. The team's timeouts were long gone thanks to confusion and a questionable review decision by Shell.

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