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Branden Oliver part of the solution to Chargers' rushing woes

The Chargers need to get more out of their run game, which could mean more time for Branden Oliver. Jake Roth/USA Today Sports

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers are blessed with an elite quarterback.

Philip Rivers has thrown for an NFL-best 2,452 yards through seven games, the third-most through the first seven games in NFL history, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

He is on pace to finish with 5,604 yards, which would break the single-season record of 5,477 set by Peyton Manning in 2013.

Those are eye-popping numbers by Rivers, but the Chargers have just two wins to show for it.

The Chargers have thrown the ball 67 percent of the time so far this season. In 2013, the Chargers went 10-1 when they ran the ball at least 27 times. San Diego has reached that threshold just twice in seven games this year.

San Diego needs to get back to balance on offense. And it starts by handing the ball off to Melvin Gordon, Branden Oliver and Danny Woodhead early in the game.

"I still feel like it will take more work,” Oliver said about his expanded role Sunday. “We’ve just got to keep sticking together and keep going.”

Oliver played a season-high 33 snaps against the Raiders, finishing with 35 rushing yards while averaging 3.9 yards per carry. It was the first game Oliver got into any kind of rhythm since leading the Chargers with 582 rushing yards last season.

The Chargers scored 23 points in garbage time against the Raiders. And while those points against a vanilla Oakland defense seem insignificant, the Chargers rushed for 56 yards in the second half, establishing some momentum that they could build on against Baltimore Ravens.

“That was like the foundation we laid yesterday [Sunday],” guard Orlando Franklin said. “Unfortunately we lost. But we scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, and that’s phenomenal in this league. So I feel like the sky’s the limit for this team, and we’ve just got to continue to get better.”

Here’s a closer look at the snap counts for the Chargers from Week 7:

OFFENSE (Based on 90 snaps)

Quarterback: Philip Rivers 90.

Running back: Danny Woodhead 41, Branden Oliver 33, Melvin Gordon 15.

Wide receiver: Keenan Allen 90, Stevie Johnson 73, Malcom Floyd 50, Dontrelle Inman 36.

Tight end: Ladarius Green 84, David Johnson 17, John Phillips 11.

Offensive line: Trevor Robinson 90, D.J. Fluker 90, Joe Barksdale 88, King Dunlap 78, Orlando Franklin 60, Kenny Wiggins 30, Chris Hairston 14.

Offensive analysis: San Diego pass-catchers lead the NFL with 1,392 yards after the catch. … Fluker leads the offense with seven penalties, including four for holding. … The Chargers have been outscored 108-59 in the first half so far this season. ... Rivers completed 6-of-11 passes for 48 yards, a touchdown and an interception on third down against the Raiders. Rivers was not sacked, posting a 58.1 passer rating on third down. ... Rivers threw for 213 yards in the fourth quarter, the most passing yards he’s had in any quarter in his NFL career.

DEFENSE (Based on 62 snaps)

Line: Corey Liuget 43, Kendall Reyes 40, Ricardo Mathews 23, Sean Lissemore 21, Ryan Carrethers 19.

Linebacker: Melvin Ingram 57, Donald Butler 53, Kavell Conner 43, Kyle Emanuel 29, Jeremiah Attaochu 29, Nick Dzubnar 14, Denzel Perryman 12, Cordarro Law 8.

Secondary: Jahleel Addae 62, Brandon Flowers 60, Jason Verrett 60, Jimmy Wilson 51, Patrick Robinson 42, Adrian Phillips 14, Darrell Stuckey 2.

Defensive analysis: The Chargers have given up 41 points off of 13 turnovers this season, tied for No. 23 in the NFL. ... Flowers leads the defense with seven penalties through seven games. ... The Chargers are allowing a league-worst 6.46 yards per play. ... Derek Carr finished 6-of-8 for 71 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions on third down against the Chargers. He was not sacked, posting a 100.0 passer rating on third down.