There is some debate about who exactly the AFC West division rival is to the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers played between the three AFC West teams equally as they were the backbone of the AFL Western Division in the 1960s, so some say it’s the Denver Broncos based on their current standing within the division. Some will also say it’s the Kansas City Chiefs solely based on being within the same division, but most will say it’s the Oakland Raiders because well…no one likes the Raiders.
Yet, there a few Chargers-Raider moments that are notable in NFL history:
– 1980 AFC Championship Game. Turnovers in that game kept it close, but at the end the Raiders went to New Orleans for Super Bowl XV. That game was the first of two chances Hall of Famer Dan Fouts had at reaching the Super Bowl.
– 1978 The “Holy Roller”. A sack-fumble recovery led to an Oakland victory in the final seconds.
– Super Bowl XXXII. The Raiders play in a de facto home game at Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego.
If historic football moments aren’t enough, factor in the regional rivalry between Los Angeles and San Diego. Due to the Raiders’ Los Angeles tenure from 1982-1994, Los Angeles will always be a Raider town and never a Charger town.
There should be no question that it is the Raiders as the Chargers’ rival and this week is Raider Week. In a contest that over 53 years favors the Raiders, the Chargers have won the last three of four matches. The only blemish so far is Mike McCoy’s first trip into the Black Hole as head coach of the Chargers.