Chargers prevail after confusion

From the Associated Press

Once all the confusion was sorted out and the ball still belonged to the San Diego Chargers, they made sure to get it into LaDainian Tomlinson's hands.

Tomlinson has been a touchdown waiting to happen for nearly two months, by running, catching or throwing. The star running back once again saved San Diego on Sunday, keying yet another second-half rally to give the AFC West leaders a 21-14 win over the Oakland Raiders, their fifth straight victory.

The way they have been rallying and winning, even with boneheaded plays such as the one receiver Vincent Jackson made, the Chargers (9-2) might have something special going after so many seasons of false hopes and brutal play.

"I certainly hope so, because I might have a heart attack pretty soon," said Tomlinson.

Tomlinson rushed for two touchdowns and broke out a favorite San Diego trick by throwing for another, a 19-yard pass to tight end Antonio Gates to tie the score, 14-14, with 9:46 left.

Four plays before, Jackson nearly gave away the ball.

With the Chargers trailing, 14-7, and facing fourth-and-two from the Raiders' 40, Jackson made a diving catch of a 13-yard pass from Philip Rivers, rolled to the ground untouched, then stood up and spun the ball forward in celebration. Oakland's Fabian Washington jumped on the ball.

"My emotions just got me for a second," said Jackson, a second-year pro.

Referee Mike Carey originally signaled Oakland's possession and the Raiders' offense came on the field. The Raiders (2-9) rushed to the line of scrimmage, but umpire Garth DeFelice told them to hold up while Carey huddled with other officials.

Then it was ruled an illegal forward pass, with Carey saying that with the penalty, the Chargers didn't have enough yardage for the first down, and it was Raiders' ball.

Then he ruled the Chargers did have enough yards for a first down, at the 32.

"I think we have a new rule about to happen," Raiders quarterback Aaron Brooks said. "What's the difference between a spike and a little flippity-flip, or whatever he did?"

Brooks felt the Raiders would have won if they had gotten the ball. Instead, they lost their seventh straight to San Diego.

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