Primetime nothing without a win

Sunday night – the Chargers third primetime game of the year but this time it is against their most hated rivals, the Oakland Raiders.

Qualcomm Stadium will be coming into national homes for the third time and it has been a treat the first two, if for different reasons.

The Bolts crushed the Giants in their first Sunday night appearance, an announcement to the world that they were for real, despite an 0-2 start to the year.

Two weeks later, the Bolts were on Monday night against the Steelers. They played a tightly contested game till the final minute, losing on a field goal.

Rolling, thanks to a four game winning streak, they face the Raiders, a team they have beaten four straight times.

As the season winds down, and playoff implications deepen each week, there is incentive enough. Pour on Oakland and the fire in each player's bellies is raging.

"It is Raider week," quarterback Drew Brees said. "If that is any more motivation, more power to us."

"As a kid, I never really liked the Raiders," linebacker Donnie Edwards admitted.

And Sunday night the rest of the world will see just how deep the dislike goes.

If there is one game that head coach Marty Schottenheimer demands the best from his team it is this week. Schottenheimer has beaten Oakland more than any coach in the history of the NFL.

Forget about whether or not the team is in a riveting mood because of the competition, looking at the rest of the AFC is far more important.

San Diego faces the second toughest schedule to end the year and this is the easy game. A .636 winning percentage awaits – only Kansas City has it tougher at .691.

Only six teams make the playoffs and the Chargers are on the outside looking in today.

"We know there is no room for error," added Brees. "We need to prepare as if each week is the Championship game."

Sunday night, the Chargers should bring their best. They have no choice after painting themselves into a corner early on.


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