The Oakland Raiders are scuffling a bit. After inserting Carson Palmer in as their starting QB, the Raiders immediately went 3-1 (losing only to Tim Tebow and the Broncos). Since then, they've gone 1-3 and it seems like they miss Darren McFadden more each week.
Danarius Moore missed some time during that losing streak, as did Jacoby Ford, taking weapons away from an Oakland offense that didn't have a ton of them to begin with. Moore is back and it looks like Ford is going to play on Sunday (but not return kicks or punts), but McFadden is still out (once again living to to his reputation as a great player that cannot stay healthy).
Still, the Raiders beat the Chiefs last week and have a good chance to be in the playoffs next week. They can win the division with a victory against the Chargers and a Chiefs win against the Broncos. If the Broncos don't lose, the Raiders can still win the Wild Card with a win, a Bengals loss and either a Titans loss or a Jets win. It seems complicated, but these scenarios are not far-fetched at all. The Raiders have a good chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002, giving them tons to play for against San Diego.
My (R-Rated) thoughts on the Chargers are after the jump.
Entire books and movies have been written around the concept of breakup sex. For those that don't know, breakup sex is when a couple decides to have one more romp in the sack after breaking up.
Breakup sex is incredibly rare, but when it happens it is usually an improvement over the sex that was had when the couple was still together. Why? Because neither party is holding anything back. They're trying all of the things they were always too afraid to try before. They're getting a little rougher than they usually would, this sex being about pleasure rather than love. They're using every trick in the book, both for personal pleasure and to leave their partner with a good final impression.
I am preparing to have breakup sex with Norv Turner on Sunday. Everything the fans have always criticized him for not doing (RB Pass, anyone?) he'll do and vice versa. Draw plays will be thrown out the window. He'll be hugging players after good plays and getting in their face after bad ones. Play-action, screen passes, short passes, deep routes, long runs, every play type will be called in a beautiful concert of fulfilled potential.
Essentially, I'm looking for the Ravens game all over again. In keeping with this horrible analogy, the Ravens game was Norv saying "Look, I can be the person you want me to be!" in hopes that we'd stay in this charade of a relationship for another year. Then as soon as we were sitting there thinking "You know what, maybe he has changed", he goes right back to the old Norv against the Lions and we're kicking ourselves for buying the lie.
Sunday will be that great breakup sex, where you're forcing yourself to leave afterwards and thinking (over and over) "That was a mirage. Just remember how bad it was and that's how bad it would be again." Except that half of the fanbase will be saying that, while the other half will be saying "He's a good coach, see? We need to support him!"
All relationships share emotional similarities, whether it be between partners, coworkers, or a team and a fan. They have their ups and their downs, and there comes a point where you have to admit that it's become toxic and no performance (no matter how great) should sway that.
I hope that wasn't too uncomfortable.
Oh, there's an alternative here too. The team could just quit on Norv and play like they did against the Lions again. But, seeing as how I'm rooting for that to happen (for the betterment of the long-term future), that definitely won't happen.
Thanks for sticking around all season, guys. It's been an interesting and entertaining one, for sure, and this community proved once again that there's no better place on the internet for the informed (and bemused) Chargers fan. Please stick around throughout the offseason as we cover the massive overhaul that looks to be taking place at Chargers Park.