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Mathews leads Chargers over Oakland
San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Mathews ran for 99 yards and a touchdown while surpassing his previous career-high for rushing yards in a season as the San Diego Chargers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 26-13 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
The Chargers (8-7), who have won four of five, can clinch the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC with a win over the Chiefs next Sunday and losses by Baltimore and Miami.
San Diego defeated Kansas City 41-38 at Arrowhead Stadium earlier in the season.
Philip Rivers completed 19-of-29 passes for 201 yards, a touchdown and an interception for San Diego. Danny Woodhead gained 52 yards on eight carries and rookie Keenan Allen hauled in his fifth touchdown catch in the last three games.
"We just kept on fighting," said San Diego head coach Mike McCoy. "That's the thing, we just kept on going. Running the ball efficiently, making good decisions in the passing game. We just kept on fighting."
Mathews' previous career-high for yards on the ground came in 2011, when he collected 1,091. The fourth-year pro out of Fresno State now has 1,111 on the year with a game to go.
Matt McGloin threw for 206 yards and a pick in his sixth start of the season for Oakland (4-11), which lost its fifth straight game. Darren McFadden scored the lone Raiders touchdown, his first since Oct. 27, and Andre Holmes caught five passes for 71 yards.
"Obviously, I'm disappointed that we lost the game," said Oakland coach Dennis Allen. "There's multiple factors that go into that. We had too many penalties, third downs."
Nick Novak opened the scoring late in the first quarter with a 27-yard field goal to give the Chargers an early lead. Novak went 4-of-4 for the game.
Early in the second quarter, the Chargers were driving again when center Nick Hardwick snapped the ball while Rivers was making an adjustment, causing it to trickle free. Miles Burris recovered for Oakland at the Raiders 42-yard line.
The Raiders took advantage of the miscue. On 3rd-and-5 from the San Diego 42, McGloin went up top for Mychal Rivera, who hauled in a 37-yard reception to set up McFadden's 5-yard touchdown run.
After Eric Weddle tipped and juggled an errant McGloin throw before reeling in a diving pick, a roughing the passer penalty on Oakland set up 1st-and-goal from the 7. Mathews took a handoff and absorbed a hit in the backfield before falling into the end zone on his second effort to put San Diego in front.
Sebastian Janikowski's 20-yard field goal late in the half made it 10-10 at intermission.
San Diego went back in front on Allen's short touchdown reception 10 minutes into the third period and then padded the lead with a 48-yard Novak kick with 56 ticks left in the frame.
Novak added two more field goals around a Janikowski 3-pointer for the final margin.
The Chargers are hoping to avoid missing the postseason for a fourth straight season ... The Chargers have now taken nine of the last 11 meetings with Oakland at Qualcomm Stadium ... Rivers improved to 29-6 as a starter in December ... Oakland went just 4-of-13 on third down.
12/22 23:04:47 ET