Final

Ravens 14

(4-7, 1-5 away)

Chargers 32

(6-5, 5-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:15 PM ET, November 25, 2007

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA 

1 2 3 4 T
BAL 0 7 7 014
SD 0 22 7 332

Top Performers

Passing: P. Rivers (SD) - 249 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: L. Tomlinson (SD) - 24 CAR, 77 YDS

Receiving: A. Gates (SD) - 6 REC, 105 YDS, 2 TD

Chargers win 5th of 7 with flourish, further brushing off start

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- It had been a while since the San Diego Chargers looked this good.

After a stretch in which they'd faced questions about everything from Philip Rivers' shaky passing to coach Norv Turner's leadership abilities, the Chargers raced past the floundering Baltimore Ravens 32-14 on Sunday.

Rivers quieted the boo-birds and rediscovered Antonio Gates, throwing two of his three touchdown passes to the All-Pro tight end.

LaDainian Tomlinson didn't find a lot of holes against the Ravens' tough defense but did become the 23rd player in NFL history with more than 10,000 yards rushing.

Outside linebacker Shawne Merriman was so fired up that he started into his spasmodic "Lights Out" sack dance after merely tackling Willis McGahee early in the game. Then again, it sure beat getting knocked on his rear end as Merriman had been a week earlier by Maurice Jones-Drew in a loss at Jacksonville.

It was such a laugher in the final minutes that fans were folding giveaway placards into paper airplanes and launching them from the upper decks. Merriman caught one and bowed to the crowd.

"We're coming together. We're ready to rock," said center Nick Hardwick, who returned after missing four starts with a foot injury. "We know what we've got to do to make it to the playoffs and make a good push in the playoffs and we're ready to get started on it."

The Chargers (6-5) won for the fifth time in seven games following their shocking 1-3 start and took over sole possession of first place in the AFC West following Denver's loss at Chicago.

The Ravens (4-7) set a franchise record with their fifth straight loss and tumbled into a last-place tie in the AFC North with Cincinnati. Quarterback Kyle Boller was sacked four times.

These teams finished with the best records in the AFC last year and would have met for a Super Bowl berth if not for pratfalls in their playoff openers. The Ravens lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, and the Chargers melted down against New England.

Baltimore hasn't been the same since, and the Chargers, especially Rivers, have been wildly inconsistent in Turner's first season as head coach.

Rivers, who came in leading the NFL with 17 turnovers, didn't throw an interception for only the third game this season.

The Chargers were booed after going three-and-out on their first possession, including a predictable run by Tomlinson on first down. Rivers was booed several times after overthrowing receivers but won over the crowd during the second quarter, when San Diego surged to a 22-7 lead.

"We're just as mad as anyone when we don't convert or make something happen," Rivers said.

"I think it's unfortunate because I don't think people understand," said Turner, who's 64-87-1 in three NFL head coaching stints. "That team is second in the league in rush defense. I don't think any game has been won on the first play of the game and certainly has never been won on the second play of the game."

Safety Ed Reed bit hard on a pump fake and Rivers found Gates wide open in zone coverage for a 35-yard touchdown pass midway through the quarter. Rivers hit an equally open Chris Chambers on a 5-yard scoring toss just before halftime.

Gates caught a 25-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter. He finished with six catches for 105 yards.

"We gave them two lollipops," Pro Bowl linebacker Bart Scott said.

"When you have a couple of blown coverages on one of the best tight ends in football, it's always going to go that way," linebacker Ray Lewis added.

Rivers was 25-of-35 for 249 yards. Tomlinson carried 24 times for 77 yards and had six catches for 45 yards.

"It was just a good day for us," Gates said. "It's something to build on."

Tomlinson had a quiet day until his 36-yard run early in the third quarter pushed the reigning league MVP past 10,000 career yards rushing. He raised his career total to 10,048 and tied Emmitt Smith as the fourth-fastest player to do so, in 106 games.

He reached the 10,000-yard milestone three days after Warrick Dunn of the Atlanta Falcons did it. Jacksonville's Fred Taylor made it into the exclusive club on Nov. 11 against the Tennessee Titans.

Tomlinson came out after the run, and the milestone was acknowledged on the video screen. Fans started chanting "L.T.! L.T." and the running back, in his seventh season, pointed to the crowd and bowed.

Merriman sacked Boller and forced a fumble that linebacker Marques Harris recovered midway through the second quarter, setting up Nate Kaeding's 46-yard field goal.

It was the first sack in five games for Merriman, who had an NFL-high 17 last year.

Mike Anderson muffed the kickoff after Chambers' touchdown catch and Tim Dobbins recovered, setting up Kaeding's 41-yard field goal. Kaeding finished with four field goals.

McGahee scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter and Boller threw a 13-yard TD pass to Le'Ron McClain in the third.

Game notes


Baltimore's Derrick Mason had seven catches for 99 yards. ... Ravens DE Jarret Johnson sustained a concussion. McGahee had a foot injury but returned.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
BAL
SD
1st Downs1918
Passing 1st downs
1213
Rushing 1st downs
43
1st downs from penalties
32
3rd down efficiency
5-127-15
4th down efficiency
0-11-1
Total Plays5765
Total Yards210332
Yards per play3.75.1
Total Drives1012
Passing154249
Comp-Att
21-3325-35
Yards per pass
4.27.1
Interceptions thrown
00
Sacks-Yards Lost
4-370-0
Rushing5683
Rushing Attempts
2030
Yards per rush
2.82.8
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-22-3
Penalties3-306-60
Turnovers20
Fumbles lost
20
Interceptions thrown
00
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession28:0531:55

Passing Leaders

BALC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Boller21/331915.8104-37
SDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Rivers25/352497.1300-0

Rushing Leaders

BALCARYDSAVGTDLG
McGahee17593.5113
Smith3-3-1.002
SDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Tomlinson24773.2036
Rivers231.502

Receiving Leaders

BALRECYDSAVGTDLG
Mason79914.1023
Smith4287.0011
SDRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gates610517.5235
Jackson56513.0031

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERBALSD
sdFG13:14Nate Kaeding 27 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 47 yds, 4:31
03
balTD10:07Willis McGahee, 1 yd run (Matt Stover kick is good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 37 yds, 3:12
73
sdTD7:23Antonio Gates, 35 yd pass from Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding kick is no good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 60 yds, 2:43
79
sdFG5:11Nate Kaeding 46 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 2 yds, 0:43
712
sdTD0:30Chris Chambers, 5 yd pass from Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding kick is good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 49 yds, 3:22
719
sdFG0:03Nate Kaeding 41 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 3 plays, 11 yds, 0:22
722
THIRD QUARTERBALSD
sdTD11:36Antonio Gates, 25 yd pass from Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding kick is good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 72 yds, 3:30
729
balTD5:46Le'Ron McClain, 13 yd pass from Kyle Boller (Matt Stover kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 69 yds, 5:51
1429
FOURTH QUARTERBALSD
sdFG8:45Nate Kaeding 41 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 65 yds, 6:11
1432