Palmer pulls the plug on reeling Chargers

Carson Palmer looked like an NFL quarterback again, throwing two touchdown passes, and Michael Bush ran 30 times for a season-high 157 yards and one touchdown to lead the Oakland Raiders to a 24-17 win over San Diego on Thursday night in San Diego, the Chargers’ fourth loss in a row.

The Raiders (5-4) broke a two-game losing streak and took a half-game lead over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West.

Palmer threw touchdown passes of 33 and 26 yards to Denarius Moore in his second start and third appearance since being acquired in a trade with Cincinnati. He’d been semi-retired and living in Del Mar, just north of San Diego, before being traded. He lives next door to Chargers coach Norv Turner. Palmer was 14-for-20 for 299 yards, with one interception.

Bush helped carry the load for the Raiders with running and also had three catches for 85 yards.

The Chargers (4-5) looked dismal most of the night and lost left tackle Marcus McNeill, right guard Louis Vasquez and linebacker Takeo Spikes to injuries.

The Raiders have won three in a row against the Chargers. Before that, San Diego had won 13 in a row in a rivalry that dates to the birth of the AFL.

With the Chargers threatening to tie it late in the fourth quarter, Phillip Rivers was intercepted in the end zone by Matt Giordano with 3:22 left. It was Rivers’ NFL- and career-high 15th pick. Rivers was sacked on consecutive plays near midfield to end the game. He fumbled on the final play, giving him an NFL-high 19 turnovers.

Rivers was 23-for-47 for 274 yards. He was sacked six times as the Raiders overwhelmed Brandyn Dombrowski, who replaced McNeill at left tackle.

The Raiders had 14-point leads in the second and third quarters, and San Diego could never quite catch up.


Claiming its players might have a higher natural level of human growth hormone than the general population, the NFL players’ union proposed conducting a study of players that accurately reflects the natural level of HGH in their systems before the NFL gets its wish of HGH testing.

Anti-doping experts say there’s no need for a separate population study for NFL players because tests performed by the World Anti-Doping Agency before the HGH test was brought to market included scores of samples from football players and others with similar body types. The ratios of those tests didn’t vary significantly from those of other athletes and subsequent testing over the years has not yielded different results.


The NFL and players’ union reached agreement on the distribution of $620 million to retired players, highlighted by increasing benefits to no less than $600 per month and additional benefits of $124 per season for seasons before 1975, and $108 per season for seasons from 1975-1992. … The Cowboys put kicker David Buehler on injured reserve because of a right groin injury. … Arizona QB Kevin Kolb did not practice again Thursday, increasing the likelihood he won’t start against Philadelphia, his former team..