Win And In

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If this was a year ago the season would be over and the Chargers would be playoff bound with their 9-7 record.

But it’s not! Thus, the Chargers plan on qualifying for the post season in rookie head coach Brandon Staley’s debut they will have to beat division rival Raiders in Las Vegas on Sunday Night Football.

Both teams arrive at this destination with identical 9-7 records, but that is where all similarities end.

Since the team last met on Oct. 4 at SoFi Stadium, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was forced to resign after just five games when an email scandal revealed he made disparaging and racial comments while employed at ESPN. Deadspin dubiously selected Gruden as IDIOT OF THE YEAR.

Since then, Interim coach Rich Bisaccia has also had to deal with a number of other distractions, namely the fatal drunk driving crash that forced the team to release star receiver Henry Ruggs III but had managed the keep the team focused.

The Chargers won the first game 28-14, as tight end Jared Cook, running back Austin Ekeler and receiver Donald Parham joined franchise quarterback Justin Herbert in starring roles.

Nonetheless The Silver & Black can make its first playoff appearance in 19 seasons if they can avenge that defeat.

They will have to achieve that without rookie cornerback Nate Hobbs who was arrested on a misdemeanor DUI charge.

Raiders Hall of Fame Coach John Madden and NFL icon death has seemingly fueled the Raiders as they kept their playoff hopes alive with an upset victory over the Colts last week.

Quarterback Derek Carr is the main reason the Raiders are in position. Albeit often maligned and inconsistent, Carr has been clutch when necessary and ranks 8th among QBs with 4,618 yards with 21 TDs and 14 interceptions.

Herbert on the other hand has been worldly brilliant, tossing 35 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. He’s also rushed for 301 yards and another 3 touchdowns.

Ekeler has been the Bolts other unsung hero, leading the team in rushing with 847 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Both of these teams have been like Jekyll and Hyde.

The Raiders lost to the woeful Giants, Bears and The Washington Football Team. The Chiefs beat them by a combined 89-23 in their two meetings. However, they beat playoff bound squads Cowboys, Eagles and Colts.

Meanwhile, the Chargers on one week can appear to be a Super Bowl contender and then the head scratchers. Loses to the Ravens 34-6, the Vikings at home and the Texans on the road.

This is a team that beat both playoff bound Chiefs and Bengals. Go Figure…

One of these teams is going to enter into an off season of disappointment.

It will sting a lot more for the Chargers than it would for the Raiders which will bring in a new head coach. The Bolts were expected to be in this position and a defeat will be utter failure for this team and head coach.

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