OAKLAND — Day after day, Gary Brown worked out at the YMCA, dreaming of getting back to the NFL--and of having the kind of game he had Sunday.
Brown ran for 181 yards and a touchdown in 36 carries, and fill-in kicker Greg Davis made six field goals as the San Diego Chargers defeated the Oakland Raiders, 25-10.
San Diego (3-3) smothered the league's top-rated offense as Oakland gained only 241 yards--13 on the ground.
Brown, who spent 1991-95 with Houston and did not play in the NFL last year after being released by the Oilers in training camp, was averaging 47 yards a game this season after signing with San Diego as a free agent.
"A lot of people thought I was going to come back and just be a cover guy on kickoffs and stuff like that," said Brown, who kept in shape last year by lifting weights at the YMCA in Williamsport, Pa. "But that's not what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a premier running back."
Brown was at his best late in the game. He carried five times for 56 yards, including bursts of 32 and 17 yards, on an 80-yard drive in the third quarter that he capped with a one-yard touchdown run.
"Six months of working out, and finally it clicked. Every day you dream about it. Every time I went to the YMCA, I thought about it," he said. "I just realized I didn't want to be sitting around the rest of my life guessing or wondering what I could have done."
The Chargers began the game with the third-worst rushing attack in the NFL, but repeatedly opened huge holes for Brown, who also took advantage of sloppy tackling by the Raiders.
Quarterback Stan Humphries, who was 18 of 33 passing for 226 yards, said the Chargers really never expected to run so well against the Raiders.
"You want to run the football and keep them honest, but for some reason our line and Gary Brown were just able to keep going," Humphries said.
Davis, released by Minnesota two weeks ago, was signed by the Chargers to fill in for injured kicker John Carney. He probably will be unemployed again soon--Carney might be back from a strained ligament in his right knee before San Diego's next game, Oct. 19.
"It's really unbelievable the way things occur. To me, it's a miracle," Davis said.
Napoleon Kaufman scored the only Raider touchdown, turning a short Jeff George pass into a 70-yard scoring play.