In an AFC West battle for first place, the Oakland Raiders and newly acquired quarterback Carson Palmer finally started firing on all cylinders, and defeated the San Diego Chargers 24-17 to take the lead in the division where all four teams were within one game of each other.
Palmer joined the team about 3 weeks ago, after sitting out most of the first half of the season under contract to Bengals. Prior to Thursday night’s game, he had 6 interceptions in six quarters of play for the Raiders, but he looked more like the Palmer of old on Thursday, as he went 14 of 20 for 299 yards, with 2 TDs and 1 INT, for a QB efficiency rating of 125.
The Raiders also got their running game back in gear despite Darren McFadden still being out with a foot sprain. The Raiders managed 191 yards rushing, led by Michael Bush getting 30 carries for 157 yards.
The Raiders jumped out to a 17-3 halftime lead, and then held off a third quarter rally by San Diego for the win.
Philip Rivers put in a solid game for the Chargers, and got his turnovers under control, but he couldn’t put up quite enough points to compete with the Raiders 489 total yards of offense. Rivers finished the day 23 of 47 for 274 yards and 2 TDs, plus 1 INT, along with 1 fumble. The Chargers only managed 75 yards rushing.
The Raiders take their 3rd ranked rushing game to Minnesota next weekend, to face Christian Ponder and the 2-6 Vikings. The Chargers travel to Chicago to take on the 5-3 Bears, who are riding a three-game winning streak into this weekend.