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Rapid Reaction: Chargers 34, Raiders 7

12/4/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

A prescription for the San Diego Chargers' woes?

A date with the Oakland Raiders. It's a proven remedy for the Chargers.

The Chargers' lopsided victory over visiting Oakland on Thursday night was their 11th straight win over Oakland dating to 2003. It is currently the longest winning streak any team has against another team in the NFL. It was as easy as any win for the Chargers this season.

San Diego played its best football of the season Thursday night. It was explosive and productive on offense and aggressive and timely on defense. But is it too late?

San Diego is now 5-8 and still trails Denver (7-5) in the AFC West. The Broncos, who host 2-10 Kansas City on Sunday, have a magic number of two to win the division.

Whether it's too late for San Diego remains to be seen, but it entered the final quarter of the season Thursday night knowing it can play good football on both sides of the ball.

While San Diego played well, Oakland was awful. After a big win at Denver 11 days ago, the Raiders have been terrible, especially on offense, in losses to the Chiefs and the Chargers. Oakland's only points Thursday night came on special teams.

The loss officially eliminates the 3-10 Raiders from contention in the AFC West. Oakland now has to try to avoid history. If the Raiders, who host New England on Dec. 14, lose one more game this season, they will become the first team in NFL history to lose at least 11 games in six straight seasons.

The way the Raiders looked Thursday, there is little chance they will avoid that unwanted distinction.