KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:15 ET
SERIES: 97th meeting. The Raiders lead, 55-39-2. The Chargers are going for their ninth straight victory over the Raiders. The Raiders haven't defeated the Chargers since doing it in Oakland in overtime on Sept. 28, 2003. Otherwise, the Chargers have won four of the past five games in Oakland and look to set a record for most consecutive wins against an opponent on Sunday.
PREDICTION: Chargers 23-16
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Raiders are allowing a league-high 4.9 yards per carry, and will see plenty of Tomlinson and backup Michael Turner as the Chargers attempt to grind the game out and secure the No. 3 seed in the AFC. QB Philip Rivers will likely give way to Billy Volek if San Diego is able to pull away.
Raiders rookie QB JaMarcus Russell will make his first career start against the first 3-4 defense he has seen. He turned the ball over four times last week, and will struggle to adjust to the speed of San Diego's defense. Oakland must get a strong effort from RB Dominic Rhodes to keep Russell out of long passing downs.
Chargers: DT Jamal Williams (hip/ankle) will be a game-time decision; FB Lorenzo Neal (leg) remains out; PK Nate Kaeding (leg) might be replaced on kickoffs by P Mike Scifres.
Raiders: RB Justin Fargas (strained MCL) and QB Daunte Culpepper (quadriceps) were placed on Injured Reserve.
FAST FACTS: Tomlinson has eight 100-yard rushing games and 1,653 total rushing yards in 13 career games against Oakland. ... Raiders DT Warren Sapp needs 3.5 sacks to become the second tackle in history with 100 (John Randle, 137.5).
--OLB Marques Harris could be out Sunday after undergoing surgery on his hand Wednesday. Harris is a valuable backup on passing downs.
--DE Luis Castillo could see more action on running downs Sunday. He held up well on passing downs last week after returning to action for the first time since early November after undergoing ankle surgery.
--DT Jamal Williams (ankle, hip) will play sparingly Sunday, if at all. The Chargers will be cautious with their Pro Bowler and anchor of the run defense.
--RB Darren Sproles, and not Michael Turner, will continue to get the bulk of carries if LaDainian Tomlinson can get some rest Sunday.
--CB Drayton Florence has played well as the nickel back, not pouting after being replaced in the starting lineup by Antonio Cromartie. Florence is a free agent after the season.
--WR-KR Tim Dwight was limited in practice, has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury and his status for the season finale is uncertain.
--LB Jon Alston missed practice for the second consecutive day with a calf injury and appears likely to miss the San Diego game.
--DT Warren Sapp received a $75,000 fine from the NFL but was not suspended for receiving three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and an ejection against Jacksonville.
--DE Derrick Burgess received a $25,000 fine for receiving an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the same sequence during which Sapp was ejected.
--WR Johnnie Lee Higgins will return punts if Tim Dwight cannot play.
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