Chargers (2-2) and Raiders (1-3) reunite in LA, both have had their share of LA as their title, however this one is the Chargers. I also am reuniting with the blogging so please bare with me as this will be all over the board, a quick whip around, just so I get my rhythm rolling, so hear it goes!
This will be the second time in decades that the match up is in Los Angeles, with either as the host team, obviously last year was at the Stubhub Center, but the last time that the LA Chargers hosted before last year was November 27th 1960 where the LA Chargers walloped the Oakland Raiders 52-28, and the final time before The Raiders departure from LA, The San Diego Chargers edged over the LA Raiders 26-24 September 25th, 1994.
This rivalry started November 27th 1960 since the two have met up 117 times including 1 playoff and combined have been in multiple cities, the Raiders lead the series 63-52-1 however the Chargers hold the longest win streak (2003-2009) along with the current win streak of 2 (2017).
Oakland has a new head coach as you know, John Gruden at the helm, whom finally had his first win in nearly 10 years, even though the Raiders play with passion on the field they have shown an inability to finish games, that is until last Sunday vs. the Browns, where the received their first W in OT in the 2018 season.
Chargers came out with a W vs. the Niners, putting them at 500 but perhaps not as big as what was forecasted however many positives, but a few struggles, third down conversions and the kicking game slightly dimed the positives.
Inside the NFL kicked off their highlights this week with the fantastic NFL Films with Mic’D Up Phillip Rivers, pretty fabulous! If you didn’t get a chance to see it here it is for your viewing and listening pleasure.
Philip Rivers said that it was more balance of an offense, I have seen something else a more of a je ne sais quoi something I can’t put my finger on but, it definitely looks like there’s some cohesiveness
and a bit more of a relaxed demeanor for Phillip on the field and in his pressers.
He seems just more at ease, less strained maybe the last few years mayhem or change surrounding the moving, commute, the new city and a temporary stadium struggles have finally ebbed, but there just seems to be something different with Philip Rivers -something I haven’t seen in the 11 years I have been covering the team.
The cohesiveness with this offense coupled with the duel threat productivity in the run.
The physicality and passion in Melvin Gordon’s running, not by mistake he’s out there doing foot drills daily and has been strengthening his leg throughout the off season, (Great piece by Sam at the Athletic). And then the other half Austin Ekeler with great hands, catch and runs as well as his ability to utilize suggestions from his coaches are visibly seen.
Couple that or triple it with the big presence of Mike Pouncey and add the receivers sharing the catches and the blocking duties for the run.
All seem to be ingredients of a TEAM, no “I”, a strength of unity perhaps by a challenging few years with the move and the double edged sword of living in a place where most any away teams fans would want to come visit and take over the stadium.
Rivers has had a big stretch of success vs the Raiders actually the longest win streak between the two, and then a hiccup since last season and currently with a 2 win streak vs. Oakland.
Gus Bradley was LB coach Under Gruden at Tampa, Anthony Lynn friend of Gruden since NY days ( Presser) but the biggest one in my eyes is NT Brendan Mebane and RB Marshawn Lynch former team mates and vets both at Cal during a very special time and SB Champs with the Seattle Seahawks. There is something to practicing against some one on the daily, plus there is a long history.
At age 32, Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch hasn’t lost his touch. “He’s a lion. He just refuses to ever die. He refuses to ever let anything else beat him. He is the apex predator. Period. He’s a freak show.” https://t.co/MhdiGGBBi1
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 6, 2018
Shift with Special Teams, Chargers announced that they had released Punter Drew Kaiser ( whom was also the holder) brought in retired P and SB Champion Donnie Jones
Coach Lynn spoke on shaking things up a bit with the crucial holding position and brings in a familiarity with former team mates, both having played for the Eagles last year that and the fact that he is an experienced holder and Punter. Donnie Jones had retired after the SB, so prior to his calls, or I should I say missed calls from his agent he had been at Home Depot getting Halloween decorations, that evening he was on a flight to LA and signed the following day.
Hayley Elwood spoke with him on Wednesday on the last 24 hours.
Welcome back to DT Corey Luiget who returns after his 4 week suspension, his presence will be visibly seen and the team announced Saturday he was activated for Sundays Game and to make room, Chargers waived DT T.Y.McGill, whom has not played.
Gruden’s complimentary praises to Rivers, and Derwin James, even on Bosa, whom will not be playing on Sunday.
WR Travis Benjamin (foot), * to miss 2-3 weeks
On how Raiders plan to contain Rivers and company…….
Paul Guenther asked if his DBs are fast enough to limit big plays:
“Well we got what we got. We gotta do the best job with what we’ve got right now.”
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) October 4, 2018
ICYMI: Tuesday Michael Gehlken joined me on the the Desiree Show, he shares a very unique perspective having covered both teams, former UT SD beat reporter for the SD Chargers and currently Raiders beat reporter for the Las Vegas Review.
Take a listen if you missed it!
Chargers find a way to get their 3rd win at Stubhub despite it most likely being a mini sea of the Black Hole, continue their streak at get to 3-2, before hitting a 4 week road tour.
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INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM with Désirée
Join me for this weekly locker room visit at the Chargers HQs
Hoag Performance Center in Costa Mesa.
It’s odds and ends, the third dimension, b-day cheers, games, some stats, high school & college roots and more, Its fun, quick and RAW.
Essentially a little get-to-know some of these LA Chargers players.
Join me weekly for this special on the Desiree Show