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Week 5: Chargers win second straight behind TE Gates 3 TDs

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Week 5: Chargers win second straight behind TE Gates 3 TDs Empty Week 5: Chargers win second straight behind TE Gates 3 TDs

Post  DaHibachi on Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:38 pm

TE Antonio Gates has been an unstoppable force in the Red Zone this year and his latest performance in a 24-20 win at Oakland yielded another big game from San Diego's All-Pro tight end. The performance was greatly needed as both the Raiders and San Diego entered this game with a 2-2 record and needed a win to keep pace with division leading, Kansas City (3-1).

The Raiders got the ball in the game's opening possession and two plays in, QB Jason Campbell got picked off by FS Eric Weddle, who set up an early 29 yard FG by Nate Kaeding. The Raiders; however, answered on the ensuing possession behind the power running of Ryan Grant. Early in the second quarter, Ryan Grant popped free for a 33 yard TD scamper.

QB Philip Rivers, who finished 15-17 for 216 yards and 3 TDs, responded by leading a TD drive of his own. Normally known for his deep ball, Rivers opted instead to utilize his short passing game as Oakland's defense consistently brought pressure. San Diego capped the long drive with a 16 yard TD from Rivers to Gates, giving San Diego back the lead 10-7. Oakland responded with a 32 yard FG from Sebastian Janikowski, leaving the score 10-10 at half-time.

The Chargers received the ball at half and Philip Rivers again led a long, 80 TD drive, capped by a 10 yard TD reception by Gates, the only score of the 3rd quarter. Oakland led a long drive of their own that went into the 4th quarter, but ultimately had to settle for a Janikowski FG bringing the score to 17-13 with 5:52 left in the game.

The Chargers short passing game proved to be too much for the Raiders defense as they could not come up with the key stop they needed. QB Rivers again hit a 10 yard strike to Gates on yet another 80 yard drive, extending the lead to 24-13 with just 1:50 left in the game. Jason Campbell led a TD drive to bring the lead to 24-20, but with just 18 seconds left in the game, the Raiders had to kick the onside which was unsuccessful.

The win moved San Diego to 3-2 and puts them in second place behind the Kansas City Chiefs as they prepare for a trip to St. Louis to face the Rams (1-4). Philip Rivers was asked about the win today, "Oh its big. Anytime you can get a win on the road against a division rival, you have to be happy with it." Antonio Gates was asked about yet another 3 TD performance today, "You know, its just being in the right place at the right time. I'm a huge target in the red zone. Just put the ball in the right spot and I'm going to go get it."

San Diego's defense continued its momentum from last week's game against the Cardinals. It was not a all out shut down like last week, but San Diego refused to yield the big play and forced Oakland to settle for FGs at key moments in the game.

Darren Sproles missed today's matchup with an abdominal tear, and he was sorely missed in the backfield and in the return game. The Chargers averaged near 6 yards per carry this season but were only able to muster 3.5 yards per carry today. Likewise, in the return game, Crayton barely managed the ball past the 20 yard line in 3 returns. Darren Sproles is listed as questionable for next week's matchup with the Rams.

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