Anger Reigns as Another Sweep Possibly Looms for the Oakland Raiders

Ian PhilipAnalyst IIIJune 7, 2009

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 04:  Oakland Raiders fans look on during the NFL Game against the San Diego Chargers on December 4, 2008 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Despite all the sorrow and angst, the Raiders could go another six years without a victory over the Chargers and the all-time series would only be at .500. One wonders why this has ever been called a rivalry.

The Chargers have little to show for their recent domination over the Raiders. Each year the pundits pick the powder blue to represent the AFC in the big game and each year they find a new way to disappoint their front running fan base.
-Chris Shellcroft

Ouch! It took long enough, but Raider fans really seem to be sick of losing to the Bolts and are staring a possible continuation of sweeps after being swept five seasons in a row—and they needed overtime to avoid a sweep the year before that!

There is even an unanswered "wiki question" asking "When was the last time the Raiders beat the Chargers?"

I've read an article or two about how the Raiders can beat the Chargers. One guy even  attempted to arm the Raiders coaching staff with knowledge on how to overcome the Bolts.

Apparently, it's as simple as sticking two tight ends out there and running the ball on every down. Actually, I enjoyed this article, but it was a case of "easier said than done."

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If Oakland is smart, they will turn this game into a slugfest. The Raiders have to keep the game close to have a prayer. Once San Diego gets a lead, they usually step on the gas and turn you out. -Coach Elkins

The big problem with that theory is that San Diego won back to back slugfests with the Tennessee Titans and knocked the Titans out in the 15th round both times. They've engaged the Steelers, Colts, and Patriots in multiple street fights.

In those steel cage death matches, he who made the least mistakes won the game and that's where the Raiders play the role of jobber. Shockingly, the Raiders haven't won the turnover battle against the Chargers since December 8, 2002!

I don't care what strategy you use, if the Indianapolis Colts can't beat the Chargers when they lose the turnover battle, the Raiders probably can't beat the Chargers without actually winning the turnover battle.

Going negative sixteen in the turnover battle over the last five years is the primary reason for the Raiders futility against the Bolts.

Marty Schottenheimer stressed two things when he was the head coach of the Chargers.  DO NOT turn the ball over and score touchdowns rather than field goals in your opponents red zone.

If the Raiders want to ever compete with the current Chargers squad, they'll have to find a way to make the Chargers beat themselves. That will be a monumental task with the way the Raiders are currently drafting.

Speed guys? How much faster than the 4.3 running Antonio Cromartie can any guy they draft be? Can a 5'9" corner running 4.25 forty seriously out-leap or out-muscle 6'5" 240lbs Vincent Jackson (who runs a 4.4)? Can your speed rusher get by two time Pro Bowl LT Marcus McNeil consistently to rush Philip Rivers into a mistake?

Where are the tough S.O.B.s that the Raiders need to deal with linebackers Stephen Cooper, Shawne Merriman, and Shaun Phillips (and now Larry English).  Can anyone frustrate LaDainian Tomlinson, push around Antonio Gates, or single block Jamal Williams?

They don't need more speed, they need more toughness - or better yet both if possible.

Do you really think a two tight end scheme is going to give you that? Ask Larry Holmes if "strategy" worked against a young lion-like Mike Tyson. What Holmes needed was Tyson to either paint his chin red and stick it out while wearing a blindfold or step in a bear trap.

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