Oakland Raiders v. San Diego Chargers Game Day Open Thread

Nov 6, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders fans pose for a photo before the start of the game against the Denver Broncos at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 6, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders fans pose for a photo before the start of the game against the Denver Broncos at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Oakland Raiders travel down to San Diego to square off with the Chargers with a playoff berth on the line. Come talk about the game and all things Raiders football here.

The Oakland Raiders are in San Diego – their home away from home – to take on Philip Rivers and the Chargers in a game that’s big for the Silver and Black. With a win today, the Raiders can punch their ticket to the postseason for the first time since Rich Gannon was throwing the ball to Jerry Rice and Tim Brown.

Needless to say, the road back to relevance and seeing the Raiders in the postseason again has been a long time coming.

But they’re not quite there yet. They still have some work to do and business to handle before they can celebrate locking down an invite to the postseason dance. And the first order of business is handling Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers.

The Raiders are currently riding a three game winning streak over San Diego – which comes on the heels of a three game losing streak. And five of those six games have been close – as in a touchdown or less.

Suffice it to say, even in lean years, the Chargers always play the Raiders tough.

This is a wounded, depleted team without anything to play for. Their playoff hopes are long over, they’re simply playing out the string, and they’re playing one of their final two games in front of their home fans – or at least, those home fans who bother to show up.

The Raiders have always traveled well down to San Diego and with the team having one foot out the door as they head to LA, we should expect to see an ocean of Silver and Black down there today. The early reports from fans on Twitter are saying exactly that – the parking lot at Qualcomm is a sea of Silver and Black.

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It’s just like Derek Carr said earlier this week – it’s like another home game. And San Diego, bracing themselves for the Silver and Black tsunami, took the incredible step of piping in artificial noise to help them deal with the massive influx of the Raider Nation pouring into their stadium.

Stop and think about that for a moment – the home team has to pipe in crowd noise during practice to cope with the noise being created by the opposing fans. It’s a beautiful thing.

The Raiders will be looking to bounce back from a very flat, uninspired, mistake-filled effort against the Chiefs last week. Having had a few extra days off to prepare for San Diego might have helped heal some of the bumps and bruises many of the players have been dealing with.

Of big concern though, are the injuries to Carr’s finger, Michael Crabtree‘s finger, Amari Cooper‘s shoulder, and Kelechi Osemele‘s kidney stones. All four are expected to be good to go against San Diego – and in a game as important as this, of course they are. But it remains to be seen how those injuries will hamper them. If at all. It’s something well worth keeping an eye on.

In looking to bounce back, the Raiders are also looking to snap their long, painful, playoff-less streak. If they can handle the Chargers and clinch that ticket to the dance, expect to see eruptions in San Diego, Oakland, and all points between.

There is another streak the Raiders will be looking to extend – Khalil Mack‘s sack streak. He currently has eight straight games with a sack. If he can get to Rivers today, making it nine straight in one season, he will set an NFL record. Mack continues to shine and is doing some unprecedented things along the way.

The Raiders though, will need to contend with Joey Bosa, who is proving to be an incredibly disruptive force. In the first game against the Raiders, Bosa was making plays all over the place and putting a big kink into Oakland’s game plan.

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Bosa’s five tackles and two sacks had as much to do with keeping San Diego in that game as Rivers did. And the Raiders will need to find a way to neutralize him if they hope to succeed.

There is a lot on the line today for the Raiders. Clinching a playoff berth will validate Reggie McKenzie‘s long, arduous, thoughtful, and forward looking rebuild. It will validate his belief in moving slowly and setting up for the long term rather than trying to strike quickly and be in a perpetual state of flux.

And perhaps then, his critics, detractors, and haters will finally be quiet.

So, how are you feeling out there today, Raider Nation? Will the Silver and Black wrap up a playoff spot? Or will they get tight and falter? How do you see this game playing out? What are the biggest storylines in your mind?
We’d love for you to share your thoughts. This is your place to talk about the game and all things Raiders football. So step on up, speak out, and be heard.

And above all – GO RAIDERS!