By Dave Thomas
With a win over a potential playoff team last Sunday, the San Diego Chargers look to continue their winning ways Sunday evening when they travel to the Bay Area to meet the rival Oakland Raiders.
After being in three consecutive three-point contests (one win, two losses), the Chargers had a little more breathing room last Sunday in their 30-21 win over NFC East leading Dallas. Although the Cowboys were threatening late in the contest, the Bolts were able to come up with a big defensive play from corners Crezdon Butler and Richard Marshall in the red zone (Butler stripped the ball from Dallas receiver Terrance Williams, Marshall recovered it in the end zone) to preserve the victory.
Riding that momentum, the Chargers now head to Oakland to meet their long-time AFC West adversary. The game was designated for an 8:30 p.m. local start Sunday due to the Oakland A’s using the Coliseum over the weekend in their opening-round MLB series with the Detroit Tigers.
San Diego Rallied to Beat Dallas
In what would have to be considered their most complete game of the season to date, the Chargers rallied from a 21-10 deficit to hand Dallas its second road loss to an AFC West team (lost 17-16 to Kansas City in Week 2). The win allowed San Diego to avoid sharing the AFC West basement with Oakland, who currently sits at 1-3 following a 24-14 home loss to Washington a weekend ago.
Heading into this Sunday night’s meeting with the Raiders, the Chargers must deal with the fact that two players they counted on this season for major contributions are more than likely done for 2013.
Earlier in the week, the Chargers reported that starting wide receiver Malcom Floyd and starting outside linebacker Dwight Freeney were both sent to the reserve-injured list. Floyd has been dealing with a sprained neck suffered in the 33-30 win over Philadelphia on Sept. 15, while Freeney injured a quad muscle in the victory over Dallas.
In Floyd’s absence the last several weeks, both wide receiver-kick returner Eddie Royal (three touchdowns vs. Philadelphia) and running back Danny Woodhead (two TD receptions in the win over Dallas) have stepped up.
With the unusual start time for Sunday’s meeting in Oakland (Raiders lead the all-time series 57-47-2), the Chargers still have some banged up parts to their machine to deal with.
Among the Chargers not participating in late week practice were guards Chad Rinehart and Rich Ohrnberger, along with tackle King Dunlap.
Although it was a patchwork offensive line against Dallas last weekend, the Chargers managed to keep quarterback Philip Rivers upright and healthy for most of the game. Rivers, who was sacked an astounding 49 times a season ago, only suffered one sack in Sunday’s meeting with the Cowboys.
Following the trip to Oakland this Sunday, the Chargers return home for a Monday night meeting (Oct. 14) with Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.
- Jeromey Clary (clavicle)
- Rick Ohrnberger (groin)
- Johnny Patrick (chest)
- Shareece Wright (hamstring)
- Derek Cox (knee)
- Nick Hardwick (not injury related)
- Ryan Matthews (hamstring)
- Te’o Manti (foot)
- Chad Rinehart (toe)
- T King Dunlap (concussion)
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.