The Chargers did what they needed to do on Sunday, defeating the visiting Raiders 26-13 in San Diego.
With Miami and Baltimore losing, San Diego (8-7) has now edged into a three-way tie for the final wild-card spot in the AFC.
The Chargers host the Chiefs, who have clinched the AFC’s No. 5 seed, in the season finale on Dec. 29.
The Chargers edged away with 13 straight points after halftime. San Diego took the lead for good on a four-yard TD pass from Philip Rivers to rookie wideout Keenan Allen in the third quarter. The Chargers converted 6-of-11 third downs and scored all five red-zone trips in avenging an October loss at Oakland (4-11).
Tailback Ryan Mathews, who rushed for 99 yards on 25 carries for the Chargers, was wearing a medical boot on his left foot after the game, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. According to Gehlken, Mathews went inside the stadium, ostensibly to have the injury examined, but he returned to the game.
The Raiders’ lone touchdown came on a five-yard second-quarter TD run from Darren McFadden. They put together two good fourth-quarter drives, but they resulted in a combined three points.
The Raiders finish their season by hosting Denver next Sunday.