Rivers Leads Chargers Over Winless Raiders 13-6
If the San Diego Chargers thought losing three straight games was bad enough, they should try being the Oakland Raiders.
The Chargers snapped their three-game losing streak Sunday with a 13-6 victory against the Raiders, who lost their 16th straight.
That's the equivalent of an entire season.
The Raiders' last victory came a year ago Monday.
"We did not get the win. It's all bad," safety Charles Woodson said.
Philip Rivers threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Malcom Floyd on the game's third play from scrimmage for the Chargers (6-4), who snapped a three-game skid and welcomed back Ryan Mathews, Manti Te'o and Melvin Ingram, who had been out since September.
"Oakland played well today, and it probably wasn't our best offensive day, but they had a lot to do with it," Rivers said. "We found a way to win, and that is what it's all about."
Here are things to know after the Chargers held off the Raiders:
PHILIP RIVERS: The QB gingerly eased himself onto the stool at his locker, clearly sore after injuring his leg and then having the wind knocked out of him.
While beat up, at least Rivers and the San Diego Chargers weren't beaten as they had been in their previous three games.
Rivers was hurt after a 28-yard completion to Floyd was negated by a holding call against left tackle King Dunlap midway through the third quarter. The Chargers had to settle for Nick Novak's 52-yard field goal that made it 13-3.
He had the wind knocked out of him in the fourth quarter and was walking gingerly on the sideline as backup Kellen Clemens warmed up.
OOPS: In a revelation sure to make coach Mike McCoy blanch, tight end Antonio Gates let it slip that Rivers has been playing with a rib injury.
"He took some shots. He's been taking shots all year. For those who don't know, he's been dealing with a rib injury, a very severe rib injury," Gates said. "So he's been toughing it out these last three, four weeks."
McCoy does whatever he can to keep injury information from the outside world.
Rivers went back in after Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 25-yard field goal to pull the Raiders within a touchdown with four minutes to play.
Rivers was 22 of 34 for 193 yards.
GATES: Maybe McCoy will forgive Gates based on the huge play he made on third-and-3 after the Raiders closed within a touchdown. Gates tipped a pass to himself between safeties Charles Woodson and Brandian Ross for a 15-yard gain to the Oakland 45.
"Awesome catch," Rivers said. "I think I should have thrown it to him sooner."
Woodson was in position to break it up or intercept it.
"That's a play I should have made," Woodson said. "I felt I let the team down. I don't know how many times I caught balls like that. ... That's how the season's going. It's been that close a lot of times."
DEREK CARR: The Raiders rookie QB fumbled on the game's first play from scrimmage when he mishandled a shotgun snap, and San Diego linebacker Donald Butler recovered at the 22. Two plays later, Floyd leaped to catch a touchdown pass over T.J. Carrie.
Carr was 16 of 34 for 172 yards.
"Obviously there is a lot of anger," Carr said. "Obviously there is a lot of disappointment. But no one's giving up; no one is going to give up."
Oakland got to the San Diego 7 with 4:10 left, but the drive stalled and Janikowski kicked his 25-yarder.
A desperation pass by Raiders rookie Derek Carr fell incomplete short of the end zone as time expired.
NICK NOVAK: The Chargers' kicker extended his franchise-record streak to 32 consecutive field goals by making a 23-yarder late in the second quarter. He then pushed a 48-yard attempt wide left as the half ended.