The Los Angeles Chargers will head to the “Black Hole” on Sunday to battle the Oakland Raiders, a team they have already beaten once this season.
The last time the Chargers faced the Raiders with just two losses on their record this late in the season came back in the unforgettable 2006 season. It was Week 12 of that season and the 9-2 Chargers hosted the 2-9 Raiders.
Despite the discrepancy in wins and losses, the Raiders played the Chargers tough that day at Qualcomm Stadium.
This year’s Raiders’ team may be even worse than that one was, but Jon Gruden and his bunch will be hungry for a win so the Chargers must stay focused and not look past them. They may have been guilty of that in 2006, but lucky for them, they had LaDainian Tomlinson.
LT had a big day, but the Raiders actually took a 14-7 lead into the final frame. Tomlinson stepped up when the team really needed him, as Philip Rivers had a rough day, completing just 42 percent of his passes with no touchdowns and an interception.
Rivers didn’t throw a touchdown pass, but Tomlinson did.
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With less than 10 minutes to play and the ball at the Raiders’ 19-yard line, Rivers pitched the ball back to Tomlinson who then sailed a pass to Antonio Gates into the end zone for the tying score. The Chargers would get the ball back after a forcing a three-and-out and after a six-play, 67-yard drive, Tomlinson ran in a 10-yard touchdown.
Leading 21-14 with less than four minutes to play, the Chargers were able to get an interception against Aaron Brooks, their second pick of him on the day.
Tomlinson finished the game with 109 yards rushing with two touchdowns and the passing touchdown. He threw for seven touchdown passes during his tenure with the Chargers with three of those coming against the Raiders.
Tomlinson won’t be on the field for the Chargers on Sunday, but these two teams are heading in similar directions as they were in 2006, with the Chargers at 6-2 and the Raiders at 1-7. Chargers fans can only hope this team gets to the place many thought it would in 2006.