Chargers control their own destiny

The San Diego Chargers are on the roll they had longed talked about, winning four straight.

They are bolstered by the confidence that comes from being the only NFL team to erase two 17-point road deficits in consecutive weeks, and win.

They are becoming the talk of the NFL, with their record-breaking running back leading a high-octane offense.

It's time for the Chargers' close-up and they get to solidify their star status on Sunday, when welcoming the Oakland Raiders into Qualcomm Stadium.

After surviving the meat of their schedule, four of the Chargers' final games are at home, where they are undefeated at 4-0.

But the Raiders could provide a stiffer test than one would have imagined. The Chargers worked over Oakland 27-0 in the opener, and seldom has a rival squad looked to be such a mess.

And while the Raiders are still woeful, they have shown a pulse of late. They've lost their last two games by an identical 17-13 score -- to the Chiefs and Broncos -- but they led in both of those contests' fourth quarters.

The Chargers, though, are more focused on what they have to do rather than their opponent coming to life. Two of their biggest goals collide on Sunday -- winning the AFC West title and avoiding a loss at home.

With a one-game lead over the Denver Broncos, the Chargers have their mitts on their playoff wheel.

"Now we have three divisional games at home," quarterback Philip Rivers said. "We control our own destiny. That's all we can ask for is to let it be in our hands."

And that continues by handing the Raiders their ninth loss in 11 games.

"We need to focus on winning the division," Rivers added. "That's one thing that guarantees you a (playoff) spot. All the other stuff will be a bonus."

That includes getting a first-round bye and setting up home-field advantage in other possible playoff scenarios.

But the Chargers are trying not to get ahead of themselves, especially with the Raiders arriving. An upset by their Northern California rivals would sprinkle a little sugar on what has been a bitter Raiders season.

While leaving a sour taste in the Chargers' mouth.

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