--Philip Rivers opened eyes as a first-year starter in 2006 when he led the NFL in fourth-quarter passer rating with a 113.2. His performance in the game's final stanza has been even more impressive in 2008, as his passer rating is a sparking 139.3. Rivers was sharp in the fourth quarter against the Raiders, hitting Antonio Gates for a 9-yard score and finding Darren Sproles for a crucial two-point conversion.
--LaDainian Tomlinson topped the century mark for the first time this season. As usual, Tomlinson was at his best when he could smell the end zone. LT ripped off touchdown runs of 13 and 41 yards, both of which came in the fourth quarter. Aside from those runs, LT was held under 3 yards per carry with a long of only 7 yards.
WR Vincent Jackson
---San Diego's pass rush is finding its legs without Shawne Merriman. One week after registering a season-best three sacks against the New York Jets, the Chargers doubled that number with six against the Raiders. OLBs Shaun Phillips and Jyles Tucker both recorded sacks for the second straight week. Luis Castillo also picked up his first 1.5 sacks of the season. Castillo also logged a quarterback-hurry that forced JaMarcus Russell to throw the ball away and turn it over on downs in the final two minutes.
--Tim Dobbins has carved out a significant niche in the base defense. He made the most of his minutes on Sunday, netting three solo tackles and the first interception of his career. Ted Cottrell must decide how much playing time to give Dobbins going forward, as Stephen Cooper returns from suspension this week. Most likely, Dobbins will remain on the field while veteran Derek Smith falls from the rotation.
What Didn't Work
--The Chargers continued to stumble out of the gates, falling behind an opponent for the fourth time in as many games. The biggest issue is early-game turnovers. In Week 3, Rivers threw an interception on his first pass. In Week 4, the Chargers fumbled on their fifth play, resulting in a safety and a five-point deficit.
LB Stephen Cooper
--Nate Kaeding is the most accurate kicker in the NFL with a minimum of 100 attempts (86.1 percent). However, while he's connected on better than 94 percent of his kicks from inside 40 yards, he's hit just under 74 percent from beyond that mark. The trend continued on Sunday, as Kaeding missed from 44 and 47. Without better accuracy from that range, Norv Turner might find himself going for it on fourth down between the opponent's 40- and 30-yard line.
--The kick coverage was better but still has room for improvement. Johnnie Lee Higgins returned the opening kickoff 39 yards to create great field position and whip the crowd into frenzy. The Raiders capitalized on the breakdown by the coverage team, driving 48 yards to set up a 22-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski.
The Chargers wrap up a two-game road trip against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are a bit of an enigma, starting the season 0-2 before delivering a stunning 38-13 upset over the New England Patriots. Miami's win was powered by Ronnie Brown, who did his best impression of Tomlinson by running and throwing the Dolphins into the end zone.
SDBoltReport.com's Michael Lombardo will be reporting live from Dolphin Stadium to give Chargers fans breaking news from the game as the Chargers look to pull north of .500 for the first time this season.
Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003.