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Chargers need no motivation this week

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    <img src="http://bolttalk.com/images/chargersvraiders02.jpg" class="left" alt="Chargers vs Raiders" />Divisional games are one thing but when the San Diego Chargers face the Oakland Raiders the meaning takes on a whole new level.

    Never mind the Chargers raced to the AFC West title last year with a 12-4 mark. Forget that it was the team's first winning season since 1995, which is also the last time it had reached the playoffs.

    To many Chargers backers, one of the highlight of the season was the team sweeping its two-game series with the hated Oakland Raiders.

    "The fans still talk about that," linebacker Ben Leber said. "That means a lot to them."

    The last time the Chargers had swept the Raiders was in 1992, on their way to their last AFC West championship before the 2004 breakthrough.

    The Chargers will try to make it four straight over the Raiders on Sunday, despite facing a short week after an emotional loss to the Steelers on Monday night.

    The Raiders have little competition as the Chargers' biggest rival. The Chiefs closed the gap back in the '90s when Marty Schottenheimer was there instead of San Diego, and former Chargers coach Bobby Ross was pushing the Chiefs for division titles.

    The Broncos also get a rise from the Chargers' boosters, but nothing like the fever that accompanies any Chargers-Raiders matchup.

    The Raiders figure to test the Chargers' up-and-down secondary with a full dose of Randy Moss. And LaMont Jordan will give the run defense a challenge as well.

    But the Chargers are confident their secondary is maturing, even if it's at a slower pace than predicted. And the run defense is showing its strut again, with nose tackle Jamal Williams clogging the middle.

    Plus the Chargers' versatile offense could cause the Raiders defense fits -- especially on the back end, where Oakland has one of the NFL's worst pass defenses.

    The Chargers' impressive running game, led by Pro Bowler LaDainian Tomlinson, could be salivating as well. Tomlinson has four career 100-yard rushing games at the Raiders' expense, and that includes his career-high day of 243 rushing yards on Dec. 28, 2003. He also had a career-high 39 rushing attempts against Oakland on Oct. 20, 2002, a game in which he rushed for 153.
     

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