This Sunday, the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers will face each other for the 101st time since both clubs began play in 1960. The Silver & Black hold a 54-44-2 advantage in the regular season series and a 1-0 edge in post-season match-ups.
In their last contest on November 1, 2009, the Chargers prevailed 24-16, as LaDainian Tomlinson turned back the clock and had a solid performance, Shawne Merriman had recorded his first sack since 2007 and San Diego stretched their winning streak against the Raiders to 13.
“When I first got here, the intensity and atmosphere of the game, it rubbed me the wrong way,” said Tomlinson. “By beating them 13 times, it means 13 times their fans went home with their heads hanging.”
“It’s one of those things that was long coming,” Merriman said. “I don’t put as big an emphasis on sacks as everybody else does. But they are important. I realize I’ve got to go out and make plays and get those sacks in order for us to be a better defense. As long as I’m doing that and putting pressure on the quarterback and forcing him to do things that he doesn’t want to do, we’re going to be better.”
Oakland’s last win against the Chargers was on September 28, 2003. The Silver & Black triumphed 34-31 in overtime after Rich Gannon rallied his club from a 14-point deficit. “Rich did this, and we all helped,” said then Raider center Barret Robbins. “That’s why he’s the most valuable player of this league. You could sense a calm feeling out there. We were going to get it done.”
Gannon was 26-of-43 for 348-yards and three touchdowns. A 36-yard pass to Alvis Whitted cut the Charger lead to 31-24 in the 4th quarter. Then on their next drive, Charlie Garner dashed into the end zone from 24-yards out to tie the ball game.
“I hope that this game serves as a catalyst and a launching pad to get us going again,” Oakland coach Bill Callahan said. “We came alive. We were wearing them down at the end. I thought our stamina was excellent down the stretch.”
Through the years, SBReport.net and Raiderfans.net have been covering this bitter rivalry. Here are some photos from out archives:
DeLawrence Grant (59) and Derrick Burgess (56) converge on Drew Brees during the 2005 campaign.
Tyler Brayton (91) gets his hands on Philip Rivers in 2006.
Andrew Walter (16) had a miserable night in 2008 against the Chargers.