The Chargers battled the Raiders in the last week of the NFL regular season, in hostile territory, and out of the box the game looked close. Operative word in the last sentence being: looked. Up until the half it appeared that the Raiders weren’t going to roll over. A meager 14-10 deficit and the imminent benching of the San Diego playmakers made the outlook for the third quarter quite positive. However, Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell showed little poise coming out of the half and came down with a case of the fumbles. The Silver & Black ended up looking every bit of their 4-12 record, getting trampled with a final score of 30-17.
The game doesn’t mean much to those outside America’s Finest City. But by winning and getting the third seed, it’s a ticket to Indy instead of Foxborough, that is if you can make it past the Wild Card round. That’s not a gimmie, by the way. The win also brings Tennessee to town instead of Jacksonville, the last team to beat the Chargers.
I will not buy the ‘easy route’ predilection that says somehow going into the divisional playoff game in Indianapolis is somehow better than one against New England. Perfect season does not beget perfect team. Yes, the Patriots have had a very special season, but they are still beatable. Everyone is. I’d say fending of the Jaguars for the time being is far better then anything else down the line.
Commentators will tell you that the chase to the Super Bowl in the AFC goes through the Patriots. But, and this is a big but, like a J-Lo butt, you have to win that Wild Card playoff game. Looking past the Titans is wholly ignorant and potentially disastrous. Everyone is aware that the Patriots are lurking, waiting. Who cares?
One game, one win, no room for error; every single ounce of energy must be focused on the Titans. Who’s next doesn’t matter; who’s now is what counts.