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Chargers know Raiders tough to beat

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    By Kevin Acee
    Saturday, October 9, 2010 at 11:59 a.m.

    OAKLAND — This streak is ridiculous.
    The Chargers go into Sunday’s game having beat the Raiders 13 straight times.
    Only one other current NFL team (New England) has beaten another (Buffalo) more consecutive meetings (14).
    Jacques Cesaire , Stephen Cooper , Kris Dielman, Antonio Gates, Quentin Jammer and Mike Scifres are the only players currently on the roster to have participated in a Chargers loss to the Raiders.
    “It's very difficult (to comprehend),” said Tom Cable, the fifth Raiders head coach during the streak that began the final day of the 2003 regular season. “What they have accomplished has been extraordinary.”
    Yet ultimately meaningless come 1:15 p.m.
    “Granted, the 13-game streak is real,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. “But they all stand alone. There are guys on that Oakland team that say, “What streak?’ This team as it stands today has never played that team.
    “I realize I’m talking out both sides of my mouth. At the same time there is something special to say there is a division opponent a lot of people in here have not lost to.”
    But 14 straight wins over the Raiders and 92 cents (plus tax) will get the Chargers a copy of this newspaper Monday morning to see some more critical numbers.
    “It’s way more important to get to 3-2 and win two in a row than get to 14,” Rivers said.
    “What is important is that it is a division game, and we need the win,” defensive end Jacques Cesaire said. “That is what is important, and it would be good to get two in a row. It would be great to win on the road this year, which we haven’t done yet.”
    To that end, too, the Chargers know their bakers dozen has not been easy – at least not all the time.
    And their past two games in Oakland have been among the toughest victories the Chargers have had in that span.
    Said Chargers head coach Norv Turner: “When you get on the bus, after the way those two games went, at the time I felt fortunate we were able to win those games.”
    It could be argued the Raiders should have won those games. No one on the Chargers will argue that.
    “They’ve played their butts off,” said Jammer, the only current Charger to have lost twice to Oakland. “The Raiders, you know what, a lot of people might kill me about this, but I think they are a good football team, a really good football team. I think they are coming into what they want to be on offense.
    Their defense has always been pretty damn good. So, it is going to be a tough test. It is always a tough test. When you go to Oakland, you are going to get a game.”
    The Chargers did not score the first 37½ minutes of the team’s Sept. 28, 2008, game in Oakland and trailed 15-3 before winning 28-18.
    In last season’s opener, the Chargers lost four starters to injury. (In fact, it was the second time in three seasons center Nick Hardwick has suffered an injury that caused him to miss multiple games in an early-season meeting with the Raiders.)
    The Chargers didn’t lose the game because Darren Sproles scored with 18 seconds remaining and the Raiders had JaMarcus Russell at quarterback. His interception that ended Oakland’s first drive at the goal line was more like a pass to Jammer. (It was Russell’s seventh interception in five games against the Chargers.)
    Can’t count on him anymore, as Russel was released in the spring and Bruce Gradkowski will quarterback the Raiders on Sunday.
    Responding to a question that included the effect of Russell being gone, Turner said of the Raiders: “You can see the energy they have … They’re making big plays down the field in the passing game. They’re playing with a better energy. I think they’re a lot better football team than they’ve been.”
    And they haven’t been pushovers, despite what the streak says.
    “That’s the thing maybe misunderstood on the outside, but in here we know what type of team we’re going into,” Rivers said. “We know every time we play them what it’s like."

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