Chargers future is clear

The future is clear for the San Diego Chargers, as long as they don't put their head in the clouds thinking they have accomplished some great feat at 4-3.

Don't do it, Chargers. Remember your past, and avoid looking into the future.

The Chargers welcome the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, for a Halloween treat. While the Raiders are scuffling along with four straight losses and a 2-5 mark, the Chargers are headed the opposite direction. They've won three of four, and at 4-3, have matched last year's win total.

But the Chargers would be wise not to overlook the Raiders and peek too far down the road.

Of the nine games against the seven remaining teams on the schedule (they play the Chiefs and Raiders, twice) just two squads show a winning mark: the Colts and the Broncos.

Other than that, it's a bunch of sub-.500 teams, greasing the road for the Chargers to make the playoffs for the first time since 1995.


"That doesn't interest me at all," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "It doesn't reflect in any way what it will be like when we play somebody. You have heard me say this before. Doesn't matter who you play and it doesn't matter where you play. The thing that's important is when you play. And is the football team moving forward or are they moving backward?"

Looking back to 2001, the Chargers were a lofty 6-1 from the gate in Schottenheimer's first San Diego season. But they then went toes up and finished 8-8 and minus a playoff berth. So excuse Schottenheimer if he isn't putting together his ticket list for the playoffs' opening weekend.

You know, we have played now seven games and you know, we're 4-3," he said. "We could probably be 3-4 or 2-5 or 5-2. That's just the way our business is."

The business at hand is beating the Raiders, which on the surface looks like a doable task. But anytime these old AFL rivals hook up, a close, hard-fought game usually follows. And while the Chargers have left the Raiders in their wake in the AFC West standings for now, they don't want to wake up Monday morning asking "what happened?"

"All we're looking at right now is Oakland, Raider week," Schottenheimer said.

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