Raiders at Chargers Walkthrough

Sunday will mark the 92nd meeting between the Chargers and Raiders. The Raiders lead the series, 54-35-2. The Chargers won the first meeting this season 27-14 and have won four straight. The Raiders last won 34-31 in overtime on Sept. 28, 2003. Oakland last won in Qualcomm Stadium 27-7 on Dec. 8, 2002.

2005 RANKINGS: Raiders: offense 15th (27th rush, 7th pass); defense 27th (19th rush, 21st pass). Chargers: offense 6th (5th rush, 9th pass); defense 12th (2nd rush, 26th pass)

PREDICTION: Chargers 30-24

KEYS TO THE GAME:

The Chargers have averaged 32.5 points during their four-game winning streak. The plan isn't a secret -- ride RB LaDainian Tomlinson until the defense proves it can stop him. If the Raiders, who allowed Tomlinson to rumble for 140 yards in the first meeting, figure out a way to contain him this time around, QB Drew Brees will need to play much better after throwing three interceptions last Sunday. Oakland is young in the secondary and should be very vulnerable to play-action if San Diego can establish the running game early on.

The Raiders' offense has flattened out with QB Kerry Collins throwing eight interceptions in his past 173 attempts -- and his slow release will be vulnerable to San Diego's improving pass rush. However, Collins must be effective in the vertical passing game because the Raiders, who averaged just 3.0 yards on 13 carries in the first meeting, won't earn a living by pounding the ball against the Chargers' stout front seven.

Raiders: WR Randy Moss has three or fewer receptions in five of his last six games. PK Sebastian Janikowski's 262 career points is tied with WR Tim Brown for fourth place in franchise history. WR Jerry Porter has 19 receptions for 333 yards and four touchdowns in his last three road games.

Chargers: Tomlinson has 1,129 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in nine career games against Oakland. WR Keenan McCardell needs one reception to become the 13th player all-time to reach 800 for his career.

PERSONNEL NEWS:

Raiders:

Brad Badger returned to practice full time in the rain Thursday, but he still is unlikely to start against San Diego.

Jake Grove, who took most of the reps at left guard Thursday, probably will start there against San Diego with Adam Treu starting at center.

Justin Fargas has been active for the past nine games but has only two carries, for 2 yards each, in the third and fourth games of the season.

Renaldo Hill, who plays nickel corner and safety, leads the Raiders with 26 tackles over the past four games -- six more than rookie LB Kirk Morrison.

LaMont Jordan has 272 touches (218 carries, 59 receptions), trailing only Indianapolis' Edgerrin James (304 touches, 276 rushes, 28 receptions) in the NFL. Jordan is fifth in yards from scrimmage with 1,272 and is the only running back with more than 200 carries and 50 receptions.

Chargers:

Terrence Kiel (ankle) didn't practice. If he can't go, veteran Clinton Hart would replace him.

Roman Oben (foot) practiced on consecutive days for the first time in a month. He said the foot is holding up OK, but he could still give way to Leander Jordan on Sunday night.

Justin Peelle (shoulder) missed another practice on Thursday. Although Antonio Gates is back playing, Peelle's presence would be missed if he can't go. The Chargers figure to give the tackle on whatever side NFL sack leader Derrick Burgess lines up some help with their best blocking tight end, and that would be Peelle.

DeQuincy Scott (leg) sat out another practice and is questionable, but on the plus side. But if he can't go, it would mean more playing time for Jacques Cesaire and possibly Derreck Robinson.

Nate Kaeding has been working hard at directional kicking, and it paid off on Sunday. Coach Marty Schottenheimer said Kaeding's placements were among the reasons the struggling coverage unit had one of its best games.

Nick Hardwick doesn't show up on the injury report, but his right hand has been giving him problems. That's worth watching on Sunday.

Coach Marty Schottenheimer confirmed that WR Eric Parker will remain as the punt returner instead of rookie Darren Sproles. Sproles will continue in his role as a kick returner.

Vincent Jackson (hamstring) was restricted in some of his work. Jackson, a second-round pick, can't stay on the field because of nagging injuries had has but one catch this season.


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