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The San Diego Chargers will lose to the Oakland Raiders

Each week, John Gennaro gives San Diego Chargers fans three reasons to be pessimistic about the team's chances of winning their upcoming game. This week, San Diego is coming off a bye and welcoming the 0-9 Oakland Raiders to town.

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Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Different Team

Here are some differences between the early 5-1 San Diego Chargers and the 0-3 Chargers team that we have seen since:


The 5-1 Chargers won the turnover battle in five of their six games, and only failed to win it when they defeated the Buffalo Bills in a game with zero turnovers by either team.

The 0-3 Chargers have lost the turnover battle in all three games. They have turned the ball over seven times without forcing a single turnover on defense.

Offensive Yards

During their first six games, the Chargers averaged 378 offensive yards per game.

During their last three games, the Chargers averaged 245 offensive yards per game.

Defensive Yards

During their first six games, the Chargers averaged 308 yards per game allowed.

During their last three games, the Chargers averaged 410 yards per game allowed.

You can point at the team's 5-1 start all you want, but this is a different Chargers team. They're worse on offense, they're worse on defense, and they're more prone to mistakes. Which team will show up on Sunday?

Different Team (Part Deux)

There's really only one big difference between the early 0-4 Oakland Raiders under Dennis Allen and the 0-5 Raiders team that we have seen since.

Tony Sparano's team plays well. They have a good game plan and they follow it. Their issue is a complete and total lack of (talented) depth. They've played five potential playoff teams and have held their own in the first half of all of them. Check out these halftime scores:

I don't think being down 10 to maybe the best offense I have ever seen (Broncos) is condemning, and when you look at the score after the third quarter of the Seahawks game (Raiders 17, Seahawks 24), the halftime score is less damning.

Simply put, this team is playing good football but not a complete game. They have the horses for a sprint, but not a marathon. Teams like that are dangerous, because they can put together a complete game when they win the turnover battle and the time of possession. The Chargers, in their current state, should be afraid of this team.

Philip Rivers

Another comparison? Okay, another comparison.

First six games Philip Rivers: 138/199 (69.35%), 293 yards/game, 15 TD, 2 INT, 8.82 yards/attempt

Last three games Philip Rivers: 59/95 (62.11%), 198 yards/game, 5 TD, 6 INT, 6.26 yards/attempt

Look, I like Philip Rivers as much as anyone. I have a Philip Rivers jersey and I never buy jerseys. I want the man to succeed. However, sometimes, he needs to be saved from himself. "Bad Philip" shows up when the rest of the team gets worse and that's where we're at now.

Plain and simple, Rivers is not going to save this team or lead them to victory. He'll just be the catalyst if/when the rest of the team begins playing better, and I don't know how that is going to happen.

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