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Sunday, December 22, 2013
Rapid Reaction: San Diego Chargers

By Eric D. Williams

SAN DIEGO -- A few thoughts on the San Diego Chargers' 26-13 win over the Oakland Raiders.

What it means: The Chargers (8-7) avenged an earlier loss at Oakland by defeating their AFC West rivals at Qualcomm Stadium. With the Miami Dolphins (8-7) losing and the Baltimore Ravens (7-7) headed for a loss against New England, the Chargers still have a chance to sneak into the playoffs as the final AFC wild-card team. For that to happen, the Chargers need to win at home in the team's season finale against Kansas City, and both Baltimore (at Cincinnati) and Miami (at home against the New York Jets) must lose next week.

Mathews sets career mark: The accolades keep coming for San Diego running back Ryan Mathews, who rushed for 99 yards on 25 carries, including a 7-yard touchdown. Mathews now has a single-season career-high 1,111 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns this season. His previous high was 1,091 yards in 2011.

About those turnovers: The Chargers turned the ball over three times against Oakland but escaped with a win. San Diego benefited from 12 Oakland penalties for 73 yards. The Chargers had eight turnovers against the Raiders in two games this season.

Stock watch: San Diego kicker Nick Novak finished 4-for-4 on field goals, making attempts from 48, 33, 28 and 27 yards. Novak has been consistent and is now 32-of-35 on field goals on the season, including 2-for-2 from 50 or more yards. Novak's 32 field goals ties for second-most in a season in Chargers franchise history with Nate Kaeding (2009). John Carney holds the record with 34 field goals made in the 1994 season.

What's next: The Chargers face Kansas City at Qualcomm Stadium in the final game of the season on Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET.