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Visiting Raiders playing to keep their jobs

#1
San Diego Union-Tribune
http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20051130-9999-lz1s30scout.html

Chargers' next opponent: Oakland Raiders (4-7)

5:30 p.m. Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium

The Raiders had (wild) dreams of making a playoff run after a dramatic victory at Washington improved them to 4-6, but then came Sunday's nightmare: a 33-21 home loss to Miami that included 13 penalties and seven sacks. That means the playoffs are out – it could become official as early as Sunday – and the Raiders are left to play for nothing but to try to avoid a third straight losing season for the first time since the early 1960s.

Don't bet on that. Not only must the Raiders play the Chargers this week, but they also have games against two first-place teams, Denver and the New York Giants. About the only suspense down the stretch will be speculation regarding the job status of coach Norv Turner and quarterback Kerry Collins, and whether the Raiders spend more energy fighting among themselves (as they did in the Miami game) or with their opponents.

The Raiders had (wild) dreams of making a playoff run after a dramatic victory at Washington improved them to 4-6, but then came Sunday's nightmare: a 33-21 home loss to Miami that included 13 penalties and seven sacks. That means the playoffs are out – it could become official as early as Sunday – and the Raiders are left to play for nothing but to try to avoid a third straight losing season for the first time since the early 1960s.

Don't bet on that. Not only must the Raiders play the Chargers this week, but they also have games against two first-place teams, Denver and the New York Giants. About the only suspense down the stretch will be speculation regarding the job status of coach Norv Turner and quarterback Kerry Collins, and whether the Raiders spend more energy fighting among themselves (as they did in the Miami game) or with their opponents.

Three players to watch

Randy Moss – His first season with the Raiders has been mostly a bust; although he's averaging 18.3 yards a reception, he has made only 38 catches and scored just five TDs. Since he was injured against the Chargers, Moss has had more than three catches or 43 yards in a game only once, and his longest gain has been 29 yards.

Derrick Burgess – The dangerous defensive end is tied for the NFL lead with 11 sacks. He has had five two-sack games, all in the past eight weeks, including against the Chargers when he went mostly against Leander Jordan. This week he'll see more of Shane Olivea as he chases Sean Jones' franchise record of 151/2 sacks.

Kerry Collins – The veteran is 7-17 as Oakland's starting quarterback the past two seasons, and fans have started calling for backup Marques Tuiasosopo to get a shot. Collins passed for 292 yards but no touchdowns in an October loss to the Chargers. In his past four games, he has five TD passes and seven interceptions.

Familiar face

Besides ex-SDSU linebacker Kirk Morrison, the Raiders have several coaches with San Diego ties. Head coach Norv Turner was the Chargers' offensive coordinator in 2001. Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye II is the father of the Chargers' director of scouting, Jimmy Raye. Special teams assistant Martin Bayless played for the Chargers from 1987 through '91. And wide receivers coach Fred Biletnikoff was an assistant at Orange Glen High in 1982 and Palomar College in '83.

Injury report

The Raiders are thin in the secondary. Cornerback Charles Woodson and safety Derrick Gibson have been sidelined and backup safety Reggie Tongue suffered a season-ending knee injury against Miami. They picked up CB Lenny Walls off waivers from Denver yesterday. Defensive tackle Warren Sapp also is out for the season.

Last meeting

LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 140 yards and accounted for a touchdown rushing, receiving and passing as the Chargers won 27-14 at Oakland on Oct. 16.

Series history

Oakland leads the series 55-35-2, but the Chargers have won four straight for the first time since they captured the first six meetings in 1960-62. The Raiders had won six of seven in San Diego before losing the past two years here.

Did you know?

The Raiders have scored only one touchdown in the first half of their past four games. They lost three of the four.

Did you hear?

"I know that there's frustration in terms of some of the inconsistencies that we have on offense. They're not isolated to one area. If they were, that would be an easy thing. Kerry (Collins) does a lot of good things throughout the games. Obviously, in (the Miami) game, there's things that he could have done better."

–Raiders coach Norv Turner

Key stat

The Raiders have rushed for only 114 yards in the past three games against the Chargers, including 39 in the first meeting this season.

Projected starters

OFFENSE

WR18Randy Moss

LT65Barry Sims

LG70Brad Badger

C64Jake Grove

RG67Ron Stone

RT76Robert Gallery

TE83Courtney Anderson

WR84Jerry Porter

QB5Kerry Collins

FB32Zack Crockett

RB34LaMont Jordan

DEFENSE

DE98Bobby Hamilton

NT92Ted Washington

DT93Tommy Kelly

DE56Derrick Burgess

LB91Tyler Brayton

LB55Danny Clark

LB52Kirk Morrison

CB21Nnamdi Asomugha

CB27Fabian Washington

SS40Jarrod Cooper

FS30Stuart Schweigert

SPECIAL TEAMS

P11Sebastian Janikowski

K9Shane Lechler
 

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