Marty Schottenheimer used to put it all into perspective with three words:
“It’s Raider Week.”
And nobody knew how to beat the Raiders like Schottenheimer, the former San Diego coach who posted a 27-7 career mark against them.
Currently the Chargers’ coach, he was on the Oakland Raiders’ side of this long-standing rivalry in 2004-05.
Yes, the Chargers have beaten the Raiders seven straight times. Yes, they have far surpassed their rivals to the north in NFL prominence.
But be careful this week.
The Raiders, under first-year coach Lane Kiffin, actually look like they know how to win. Heck, they even lead the AFC West at 2-2.
The Chargers? With a win this week, they’re 3-3 and no worse than tied for first.
If you think it’s going to be easy, think again. The Chargers were lucky to escape with their lives in last year’s 21-14 win in San Diego over Oakland.
By far, it was the most fortunate of the victories during the Chargers’ 10-game winning streak.
This week, expect the Chargers to run LaDainian Tomlinson often and keep the Raiders honest with short, crisp passes.
Oakland’s offense? Better than last year, but Daunte Culpepper is no spring chicken at quarterback.
Chargers 27, Raiders 17