PREDICTION: Raiders 30-28
Oakland has one goal: contain RB LaDainian Tomlinson. That has to be the Raiders' focus as he has burned Oakland for an average of 146 rushing yards and 5.7 yards per over the past three seasons. If they can't reverse that trend, the Raiders won't be able to force the game into the hands of QB Drew Brees, who was off the mark on several passes in Monday's loss to Pittsburgh.
San Diego wants to control the ball if for no other reason than to protect their beleaguered secondary from Raiders WRs Randy Moss and Jerry Porter. The Chargers will attempt to bring a variety of looks in an attempt to pressure Raiders QB Kerry Collins, who has been making very good decisions all season and avoiding costly mistakes. Look for Oakland to get RB LaMont Jordan involved early in an attempt to force the safeties to cheat forward and set up the play-action pass against the Chargers' struggling corners.
FAST FACTS: Chargers: Coach Marty Schottenheimer is 23-7 against Oakland and 3-0 against Raiders coach Norv Turner. ... Tomlinson is two games shy of Lenny Moore's NFL record of 19 consecutive games with at least one touchdown.
Raiders: Collins has thrown a career-high 149 passes without an interception. ... Seek consecutive home wins for first time since Weeks 2 & 3 last season.
Drayton Florence (ankle) didn't practice and looks to be a game-day decision. If he can't go, Sammy Davis gets his first start of 2005. Florence was more optimistic on Friday that he would be available - but to what extent was not known..
Shane Olivea (knee) missed team drills and was not happy with how he felt on Friday. He's a tough guy with a high tolerance for pain, so he will likely start on Sunday. But he may not last the whole game, and if goes down, he'll be would be replaced by Leander Jordan.
Toniu Fonoti (broken hand) didn't practice and is out another two weeks, and perhaps for good. Kris Dielman again gets the start and even if Fonoti is not traded it does not appear Dielman will be leaving the starting rotation anytime soon.
Darren Sproles (ankle) didn't practice and is questionable. He should go Sunday.
Ryan Krause (foot) didn't practice and will be out Sunday.
Steve Foley (abdominal) practiced for the first time in a couple of weeks, than took Friday off; he's questionable. He will play Sunday as he's more fit than he was last week.
Eric Parker (back) skipped practice; he's probable and will play Sunday.
Shawne Merriman is looking to flip the light's out switch with increasing frequency these days. Each time he gets on the field it seems he is in the backfield. Last week was the first time it turned into a sack and he added a forced fumble.
Bhawoh Jue will get to see what it is like to play Oakland this week in the heated rivalry. He is the only starter who has not been a part of the AFC West matchup.
"It is a huge rivalry," he offered. "Something I can't wait to see and be a part of."
Langston Walker (strained abdomen) was back at practice Thursday and is now considered likely to play Sunday.
Jake Grove (knee), who had indicated he thought he might be well enough to play against San Diego on Sunday, did not practice and will probably be listed as out on Friday's final injury report.
Kerry Collins' third-down passer rating of 65.7 ranks No. 24 in the NFL. He has only completed 45 percent of those passes and has yet to throw for a touchdown on third down.
LaMont Jordan continues to lead all AFC running backs in pass receptions with 20 for 147 yards and a touchdown.
Sebastian Janikowski is tied for fifth in NFL kickoff touchbacks with five.
Although he has the longest punt return in the AFC this year (34 yards), rookie PR Chris Carr ranks just sixth in the conference in average (7.4 yards).
A $50 Randy Moss Halloween mask was making the rounds in the locker room Thursday but players declined to put it on. RB Zack Crockett said he didn't want to frighten his children but LT Barry Sims conceded that the hair (done Afro style) was pretty appealing.