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San Diego Chargers hold off winless Raiders

*Running back Ryan Mathews returned the lineup to help the Chargers snap a three-game losing streak with San Diego's 13-6 win over the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. Here's what we learned: *

  1. It was far from pristine, but Philip Rivers and the Chargers bounced back from their pre-bye implosion against the Dolphins to hold off the NFL's most abysmal team. What kind of game was this? San Diego punter Mike Scifres felt like the runaway MVP after repeatedly pinning Oakland deep with picture-perfect boots. The Chargers, though, can't feel great about a passing attack that lacked rhythm and struggled with bouts of miscommunication against a Raiders defense that held the Bolts to 4.4 yards per play.
  1. Seeing his first action since Week 2, Ryan Mathewsdialed up 70 yards off a team-leading 16 attempts. The Chargers used the veteran in a committee that saw rookie Branden Oliver carry the ball for 36 yards, with many of his 13 carries coming in the red zone. San Diego's 120 yards on the ground were the team's first 70-plus yard effort since ripping off 116 against Oakland back in Week 6.
  1. After playing his best football in that Week 6 loss, Raiders rookie Derek Carr threw for just 172 yards and failed to move Oakland's talent-poor offense. He continues to impress with his athleticism -- eluding sacks with nimble movement in the pocket -- but Carr is being asked to do it all on a roster that lacks difference-makers at every skill position.
  1. Nothing hurts Carr more than Oakland's dead-on-arrival ground game. After churning out 56, 76, 37 and 30 yards over the past four weeks, the Raiders ran for just 71 at 3.7 yards per clip. Much of that came on one drive. After starting the second half with 89 total yards, Oakland had 87 total yards nine minutes into the third quarter:
  1. Snapping a three-game losing streak, the Chargers (6-4) are just one game out of first place in the AFC West. From where we stand, though, San Diego doesn't have the look of a club that scares you down the stretch.
  1. Back to Rivers: The veteran passer played through the pain of a banged-up knee and later appeared to be in further discomfort after taking a sack from sensational rookie pass rusher Khalil Mack. We'll keep an eye on any updates regarding the quarterback's status.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Sunday game from an action-packed Week 11. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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