Revenge of the Raiders

The Oakland Raiders are telling anyone who will listen that Sunday's matchup at home against the San Diego Chargers is not one that warrants being billed as "Revenge of the Raiders."

The Oakland Raiders (3-6) would have good reason to bill it that way, however. The San Diego Chargers (6-3) left plenty of tread marks on the Raiders when these two teams met on Halloween afternoon. The Chargers dominated Oakland in every facet in a 42-14 annihilation. San Diego scored touchdowns on six of its first seven possessions.

The Raiders get a shot at their AFC West division rivals three weeks later. Oakland enters Sunday's home game with essentially two weeks of momentum. The Raiders snapped their five-game losing streak on Nov. 6, one week after that forgettable day in San Diego, with a 27-24 win over Carolina. The Raiders then had their bye week.

"We're not worried about revenge," Raiders defensive end Bobby Hamilton said. "They beat us the first time. There's nothing we can do about that. Now we've just got to worry about this game right now. They're a good team. They've been scoring a lot of points. They've got a lot of weapons."

The Chargers, who are also coming off a bye week, outgained the Raiders 448-221 in total yardage.

"That's how they've beaten teams," Oakland quarterback Kerry Collins said. "They've gotten up early on them and played good defense. Their offense has been playing well. We'd like to get off to a fast start. I think it's important to us on both sides of the ball. It's a big game for us obviously."

While the Raiders hope their bye week continues their forward mobility, they also hope that the Chargers week off cools them down somewhat. One week after slaughtering Oakland, San Diego throttled New Orleans 43-17.

Oakland has a little bit of history on its side, even if it is 11-years old. In 1993, the two teams met on October 31 and November 21. The Chargers beat the then Los Angeles Raiders, 30-23, in the first encounter. Three weeks later, the Raiders were 12-7 winners.

"Obviously there's a certain amount of familiarity," said Collins, who was a junior at Penn State University at that time. "It's only been a couple of weeks. The game is still fresh in everybody's mind. You look at the films and see how they played us the first time, maybe you are able to see some tendencies you'll face this week."

Somebody please cover Antonio Gates

The Raiders had a good view of the back of San Diego tight end Antonio Gates' jersey in the first meeting.

Gates caught five passes for 63 yards and two touchdowns in the first meeting. He was so open on one of his scoring grabs that it prompted defensive tackle Warren Sapp to blow up at head coach Norv Turner on the sideline.

Raiders tight end Teyo Johnson played the role of Gates on the scout team that week in practice. Johnson estimated that he gained about 400 yards in practice that week.

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com


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