A rivalry as old as the American Football League is in action tonight as the National Football League brings to conclusion their Week Four regular season schedule. The Raiders and Chargers, who tangle at SoFi Stadium tonight, have switched home zip codes regularly in the recent past.
In 1960, the Chargers played their first season in Los Angeles as members of the newly established American Football League. The franchise moved to San Diego prior to the start of the 1961 season.
They were there for nearly 60 years, then two seasons ago relocated back to Los Angeles.
The Raiders have taken an even more circuitous route to their current home in Las Vegas. Born the Oakland Raiders in 1960, they played their home games in San Francisco. It wasn’t until 1963, when one time assistant coach with the Los Angeles Chargers, Al Davis, joined the franchise did the Silver and Black turn from losers to the self proclaimed winningest organization in professional sports.
Their dynamic football personality grew a rabid fan base, yet after two decades Davis uprooted his franchise and moved the Raiders to Los Angeles for the 1982 season.
The Raiders spent a dozen years in Southern California before returning home to Oakland for the 1994 season. Then two years ago, the Raiders abandoned Oakland for a second time with their move to Las Vegas.
As one might expect, Vegas knows how to build a stage. Their new Allegiant Stadium offers all the comforts and benefits latest technology has to offer. As does the site of tonight’s game, SoFi Stadium, home for both the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams.
The Chargers lost their first contest of the season in their home stadium. The Dallas Cowboys followed their narrow road loss to Tampa Bay in the NFL season opener with a victory over the home-standing Chargers in second week action.
Tonight, the Chargers are in a perfect spot to avenge that second week loss on their home field. There is a plausible case to be made that the Chargers could come up flat tonight based on their huge win last week at Arrowhead Stadium over the Kansas City Chiefs. But, a dramatic shift down in preparation would more likely fester if last week’s winner was confident in this week’s win.
The Chargers are not.
The Raiders are undefeated and can take charge of the AFC West Division race with a victory at SoFi tonight. They currently have a 3-0 mark, and with a victory would push Los Angeles two back in the standings and keep their one game advantage over the second place Denver Broncos. Denver lost their first game of the season yesterday, 23-7, to the Baltimore Ravens. Denver’s record now stands at 3-1.
In other words.
The Raiders really want this game and think they could be getting the Chargers at just the right time, following their win over Kansas City. But the Chargers can’t be concerned about last week’s win, because without a victory tonight they are two back in their division standings.
Need versus want.
Qoxhi Picks: Los Angeles Chargers (-3) over Las Vegas Raiders