By Dave Thomas
It does not take much to stir the pot when it comes to the San Diego Chargers tackling the rival Oakland Raiders on the gridiron.
While some who follow the Silver and Black may claim there is more of a rivalry with the hated Chiefs and/or Broncos than there is with the Bolts, there is still a decent amount of animosity between Oakland and San Diego when the two collide on the football field. Add in the fact that the Raiders are the only team currently in the AFC West with a losing record (1-3), and you should have the makings of another bitter match up come Sunday in Northern California.
As San Diego was evening up its record at 2-2 on Sunday (defeated Dallas 30-21), Oakland was dropping its third game of the month and season, a 24-14 home loss to the previously winless Washington Redskins. To date, the only Raider victory was a home win two weeks ago against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars.
Raiders Have Weapons Not to Overlook
Even though early indications are the once-proud Raiders will miss the playoffs again this season, they still pose some offensive weapons that San Diego’s defense will have to key in on.
Running back Darren McFadden has rushed for 215 yards and a pair of TDs to date, while wide receiver Denarius Moore is the top throw to threat, hauling in 233 yards on 15 receptions (two touchdowns) so far.
On defense, the Silver and Black is led by Kevin Burnett and Charles Woodson (20 solo tackles each), who have been in on 24 and 26 total tackles, respectively.
While many eyes coming into the season were on Ohio State product Terrelle Pryor at the quarterback spot for the Raiders, former Green Bay and Seattle QB Matt Flynn got the start this past Sunday in the loss to Washington. Pryor, who had suffered a concussion in the prior game (37-21 Monday night loss against the Broncos in Denver), was declared inactive against Washington.
Flynn, who received a big contract to go to Seattle (Russell Wilson beat him out for the job) following the 2011 season, finished his day versus the Redskins 21-of-32 for 227 yards and a touchdown.
Chargers Need More Momentum
Even though San Diego will be facing a struggling Oakland squad, the Chargers know all too well that this game is far from a guaranteed victory.
Oakland, which leads the all-time series between the two clubs 57-47-2, would like nothing better than to have their foes to the south join them in the AFC West cellar at 2-3.
For more Chargers news and updates, visit Chargers Central.
Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.