The second quarter allowed the Raiders another opportunity to capitalize on a mishap involving Rivers. Raiders CB Chris Johnson intercepted Rivers' pass intended for WR Buster Davis and returned the ball 12 yards. This set up the drive that allowed the Raiders to hit a 28-yard field goal marking a 15-0 lead.
Rivers registered another interception in the third quarter as Raiders CB DeAngelo Hall snagged a high pass attempt to WR Vincent Jackson and returned the ball 21 yards. Luckily for the Chargers, that drive did not end in a Raiders score as LB Tim Dobbins notched an interception three plays later.
QB Philip Rivers
"This is a team game and we lose as a team and win as a team," Rivers said. "I thought our defense was outstanding. We put them in some tough situations today and they kept battling and fighting. Offensively, when we had to, we stepped up and made the plays necessary with some big runs late."
Rivers did connect with Jackson for a 12-yard catch in the fourth quarter that set up a touchdown by TE Antonio Gates on the next play. Gates successfully found a path between two Oakland defenders to get open in the end zone and snag a ball from Rivers for a 9-yard touchdown pass. Leading the team with five receptions, Gates closed the game with 58 yards and the one score.
Rivers ended the game 14-of-25 for 180 yards and a touchdown. He finished with a passer rating of 58.8, less than half of his season average coming into the contest.
While Rivers had led the NFL in touchdowns and passer rating after three weeks, he fell behind Brett Favre in both categories after Sunday's contrasting performances.
Despite the setback, Rivers managed to keep a positive outlook on the game.
"We knew preparing this week this is a tough defense," Rivers said. "I thought this was the best defense we have played this year. They came out and played hard. They won some plays and we won some plays. Ultimately, we found a way to finish out. We just kept fighting. It wasn't our best offensive game, but we kept fighting and our defense kept giving us a chance."
Sunday's game confirmed what the Chargers have long known about Rivers: Sometimes, less is more. The Chargers have a losing record (2-3) when Rivers throws for more than 300 yards. However, when he passes for less than 300 yards, the Chargers are 27-8.
If Rivers can cut down on the turnovers and rediscover his trademark accuracy, the Chargers can get on a roll. The quest starts on Sunday, as the Chargers square off against the Miami Dolphins and their No. 26 ranked pass defense.