Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Philip Rivers threw for 287 yards and four touchdowns, including a pair of scores to Antonio Gates as the San Diego Chargers kept their playoff hopes alive by defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 41-24, at Raymond James Stadium.
Rivers completed 21-of-31 passes, while Gates had four catches for 43 yards for the Chargers (7-8), who have won three straight games. San Diego is now 1 1/2 games behind Denver for first place in the AFC West. The Broncos host Buffalo on Sunday.
Should the Bills upset Denver, then the Chargers and Broncos will square off in San Diego next week with the division title at stake.
Darren Sproles had three grabs for 46 yards and a score, while Antoine Cason had a 59-yard interception return for a TD in the win.
Jeff Garcia turned in a gritty effort for Tampa Bay (9-6), completing 21-of-35 passes for 232 yards with one touchdown pass and a rushing score before leaving late in the fourth quarter after suffering a bloody forehead following a hard hit.
Antonio Bryant had six catches for 127 yards with a touchdown for the Buccaneers, who have dropped three in a row.
Tampa Bay's playoff hopes took a big hit as the teams is battling with Dallas, Atlanta and Philadelphia for a wild-card spot.