Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Raider Nation took over San Diego as Raiders clinch playoff berth

Raider Nation took over San Diego as Raiders clinch playoff berth

Each NFL team plays a total of 16 games each season, eight home and eight away. While one of the Raiders "home" games was actually in Mexico City this year, they seemed to have had an extra one in San Diego this year. 

Raider Nation has always traveled well to San Diego and it wasn't surprising to see a crowd at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego comprised of what looked like it could be almost 80 percent Silver & Black-wearing fans. 

In fact, the Chargers had a feeling that would be the case as it was reported they were practicing with crowd noise blaring through speakers this week to prepare for what fans were calling "Black Out San Diego". And the fans didn't disappoint. 

"Raider Nation showed up," head coach Jack Del Rio said after the game. "It was pretty awesome to see. It had to be at least 60 to 70 percent. I don't know what the numbers were, but a lot of black shirts out there. A lot of silver & black, a lot of pride, and a lot of happy people right now."

The Raiders offensive line noticed the fan's presence as well, and knew they could build off their excitement. 

"This is my third year here and it's been like that since I've been here," offensive tackle Donald Penn said. "The great thing is we've got good fans and they travel with us. They knew how important this game was. We knew how important this game was. We wanted to get into the playoffs and punch our ticket and they came out here and they supported us."

The Raiders defense also fed off the crowd, even waving their arms upwards to pump up the crowd as if they were in the friendly confines of the Coliseum in Oakland.

There's no doubt the crowd noise affected the Chargers offense, and Philip Rivers will be the first to tell you so. 

"You saw us go silent count the whole game -- it was a road game," Rivers said after the game. 

His young tight end agreed. 

"It sucks, definitely," Chargers rookie tight end Hunter Henry said after the game. "To be at home, and basically have to go to a silent count and work with sound."

Raider Nation will have another chance to take over the game next week, but at home as the Raiders host the Indianapolis Colts on Christmas Eve.


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