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Chargers look for strong finish

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SAN DIEGO (AP) The Chargers know just what kind of environment awaits them in Oakland on Thursday night.

The Raiders, like the Chargers in their previous game, could be playing for the last time in their home city.

When the Chargers beat the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, it was before an emotionally charged crowd possibly saying good bye.

''It certainly won't be the same for me,'' said quarterback Philip Rivers, whose voice cracked Sunday when talking after the game. ''And I'm sure (Oakland) will be pretty riled up.''

The Chargers and Raiders joined forces to potentially build a complex in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, citing the lack of stadium options in San Diego and Oakland.

The Chargers (4-10) will play an AFC West team and that's not a positive for them.

San Diego has gone a year without beating a division foe. They've lost all four of their games against AFC West rivals this season, after going 2-4 against them last season.

''Our division as a whole is more respectable than it was a handful of years ago,'' Rivers said.

''From the outside a lot of people said the AFC West wasn't very good; shoot, we won it at 8-8 (in 2008).

''But I think you look at it now and it's a respectable division. We haven't held up our end of it from a record standpoint, but you see the games we've played and we've been in every game.''

The Chargers lost to the Raiders earlier this season, 37-29. Although the Raiders raced to a 30-6 halftime lead. That rout is among the reasons Rivers speculated that the Raiders (6-8) will get the Chargers' best effort.

''We haven't won in the division and this team beat us pretty bad last time,'' Rivers said. ''I think that certainly helps.''

Against Oakland, and the following week at Denver, Rivers promised a full effort. Despite the last-place Chargers missing the playoffs for the fifth time in six years.

''The makeup of this team has always been that we will never quit and we will fight to the end,'' said Rivers, who is 14-5 against Oakland as a starter.

''We signed up to play 16 games and we're going to play all of them. Winning, losing, whatever is happening. We've stuck to that and then I think the fact it is Oakland and then Denver, helps.''

Despite the Chargers losing eight of their past 10 against AFC West teams, Rivers still has impressive stats. He's 36-22 against division foes and since 2006, has the most passing yards (14,198) of any player in the AFC against his own division.

The Chargers, who've dropped eight of their past 10 overall this season, are staggering to the end.

''I thought I would never say this,'' Rivers said. ''But shoot, to fight to get to 6-10 sounds decent after the year we've had. So we'll see if we can finish it off the right way.''


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