WR Vincent Jackson (Donald Miralle/Getty)
While the Ravens helped themselves to fifths, the Chargers passed on a second round of losses, serving up a 32-14 win. Sunday’s divisional shakeup proved it is too early to stick a fork in the AFC West, but the Chargers enjoy the bird’s eye view.
Time was on their side
--The malfunction of the game clock in the early seconds of the Chargers-Ravens matchup set the tone. The teams played a scoreless first quarter. Once the Chargers' clocks started ticking the Ravens struggled to keep up. The Chargers won, 32-14. The Ravens earned their fifth-consecutive loss.
--With a 36-yard run, LaDainian Tomlinson rushed past his 10,000th career yard. In the six-and-a-half years it took, he earned a spot along side Emmitt Smith as the fourth-fastest player in the league’s history to accomplish the feat. Entering the game, Tomlinson needed just 29 yards. Against the third-best run defense in the league, Tomlinson was unable to reach the mark in the first half.
LB Ray Lewis’s goal to keep Tomlinson from rushing for 100 yards was met. Tomlinson ran 77 yards on 24 carries. He gained 45 more on six catches, which tied Antonio Gates for the team lead. Gates took the opportunities and scored twice.
--Gates went into Sunday’s game looking for one touchdown to tie Wes Chandler (41) for fifth place on the Chargers' all-time list. He got that in the second quarter and pulled ahead in the third. Gates topped the century mark (105) for the first time in five weeks, this after enjoying three 100-yard games in the first five weeks.
-- San Diego’s defense sacked QB Kyle Boller four times. Rivers was more fortunate as he was never sacked and rarely hit.
River passes through it
--With 249 yards and three touchdown passes Philip Rivers beat his sophomore slump. Rivers looked to throw back-to-back 300-yard games for the first time in his career, but fell 51 yards short. On Sunday, Rivers completed 71 percent of his pass attempts. The Chargers are 5-2 when he throws at a 60 percent or higher success rate.
-- Chris Chambers caught five balls but gained only 4.4 yards per catch. he also scored a touchdown for the second time wearing Blue & Gold. It was in his Chargers' debut in week eight that he square danced past the Houston Texans to christen the end zone. Chambers has scored in two of three home games but has yet to cross the goal line on the road.
Birds of a feather
-- A .500 record for November was a fight to the finish. The win over the Ravens put the Chargers at 2-2 for the month. The Bolts have won six straight home games in the month of November and 12 of their last 14 in the month, dating back to 2004. The Chargers moved to 3-3 all time against the Ravens.
--Much like the Chargers, the Ravens followed a dynamic 2006 season with a dud. Last year, the Ravens were 13-3. With a franchise-worst five-game losing streak, they fell to 4-7.
--The Chargers were able to topple the Ravens' nest, but the Denver Broncos could not disrupt the Chicago Bears' den. Despite the Broncos loss, the race for the AFC West will be a photo finish. The Broncos are just one game behind the Chargers. They will play three of their last five games on the road. The Broncos are 2-5 away from Invesco Field. Their toughest opponent will be the Chargers in week 16.
-- The Kansas City Chiefs-Oakland Raiders matchup proved how up for grabs the AFC West is. The Raiders ended their nine-game losing streak in Kansas City and moved up to 3-8. In any other division, they would be counted out; this year, winning the West could be anyone’s game.