An exclusive look at the AFC West rivalry that is the Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego Chargers through the decades.
The Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers renew hostilities Sunday, October 25, at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. The two longtime rivals wrap up the season series Christmas Eve in Oakland.
Perhaps the darkest period of this rivalry came between 2003-09 when the Chargers won 13 straight against the Silver and Black. I only mention it because one of my favorite memories of this series is when the Raiders snapped that streak 35-27 in Oakland and went on to win three in a row.
The late 1970s and early 1980s saw so many great match-ups between these two teams – Dan Fouts for the Chargers, Kenny Stabler and Jim Plunkett for the Raiders. There always seemed to be something important on the line…a playoff berth, a Super Bowl berth. The Holy Roller was my favorite as a kid. Tight end Dave Casper's reaction after recovering that fumble in the end zone for a touchdown was priceless. I have never seen a player more stoic after scoring the game-tying touchdown.
The key to beating the Chargers always seems to be getting Rivers off his game. When the Raiders have had success against the prolific Chargers quarterback, pressure and causing turnovers are the two major factors. Second-year LB Khalil Mack, who got his first career sack against Rivers, and the Raiders retooled defense will need to disrupt Rivers.
Here are some interesting facts about this year's match-ups:
Oakland will host an AFC West opponent as part of the NFL's Thursday Night Football for the third time in four years when they take on the San Diego Chargers on Christmas Eve. They hosted the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014 and Denver Broncos in 2012. This is the Raiders only prime time appearance scheduled for 2015.
This will mark the Raiders' sixth contest against the San Diego Chargers on a Thursday night, with the last one coming on Nov. 10, 2011. Oakland holds a 4-1 record in those games.
The Raiders have faced the Chargers 110 times, the most of any opponent. They have faced the Broncos and Chiefs each 109 times, as they only played each team once during the strike-shortened 1982 season.
On Thursdays, the Raiders are 8-9 all-time, including a 3-4 record on Thanksgiving Day. The Raiders last hosted a Thursday game on Nov. 20, 2014, when they beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 24-20.
This will be the sixth Thursday game hosted by the Raiders. The others are: Nov. 24, 1966 vs. Buffalo (L, 10-31), Nov. 28, 1968 vs. Buffalo (W, 13-10), Oct. 25, 1979 vs. San Diego (W, 45-22) and Dec. 6, 2012 vs. Denver (L, 13-26), Nov. 20, 2014 vs. Kansas City (W, 24-20).
In 10 games on Thursday vs. the AFC West, Oakland is 7-3.
In 2013, the Raiders played in the latest NFL game ever played when they hosted the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 6. Due to an Oakland Athletics' postseason game, the Raiders moved their game to an 8:35 p.m. PT start, marking the latest start time in NFL history.
San Diego has won six of the last seven meetings, including three straight. Oakland's last win was a 27-17 triumph at O.co Coliseum on Oct. 6, 2013.
Oakland will be seeking its first win at Qualcomm Stadium since Nov. 10, 2011 (24-17). The Raiders are 29-25-1 (.536) all-time at the Chargers.
Last season, San Diego swept the season series with a 31-28 win on Oct. 12, and a 13-6 victory on Nov. 16.
In Week 6 last season, QB Derek Carr became the first rookie in NFL history to complete four touchdown passes in a single game against San Diego, as he threw for 282 yards on 18-of-34 passing with a career-high four scores and one interception.
Safety Charles Woodson returned a fumble 25 yards for his 13th career defensive touchdown, tied for the NFL record, against San Diego on Nov. 6, 2013.
Wide receiver Andre Holmes recorded the only multi-touchdown game of his career vs. San Diego on Oct. 12, 2014, tallying four catches for 121 yards (30.3 avg.) and two touchdowns, including a 77-yard score. His career totals in three games against the Chargers include 11 receptions for 211 yards (19.2 avg.) and two touchdowns.
Chargers defensive line coach Don Johnson served as a Raiders assistant coach from 2007-08.
The Chargers signed former Raiders T Joe Barksdale earlier this offseason.