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Raiders host Chargers in possible Oakland farewell

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Charles Woodson knows Thursday night will be his chance to say goodbye to the Oakland Raiders fans who have cheered him on for almost two decades.

He hopes it won't be goodbye to football in Oakland as well.

The game Thursday night against the San Diego Chargers (4-10) will be the home finale for the Raiders (6-8), who could be moving to the Los Angeles area after the season if the league grants approval.

''It's going to be sad just for myself. It will be sad for the fans,'' Woodson said. ''They love this team. They love the Raiders. They identify with the Oakland Raiders. It's happened to them before. It would be tough to actually have that happen a second time around.''

The Raiders and Chargers are seeking to partner on building a stadium in Carson, while the St. Louis Rams are looking to build their stadium in Inglewood and are willing to take on a partner if needed.

The three teams are expected to apply to relocate in early January with a possible vote to be held on which teams will be allowed to move during meetings in Houston on Jan. 12-13.

While the Raiders future home remains uncertain, Woodson's future is settled. He announced Monday that he is retiring after an 18-season career that was one of the best of any defensive back in NFL history.

''The fact that it could be the last game in Oakland and his last home game I'm sure will even add to the energy there,'' Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said.

''He's always a guy that I have had respect for and I played in a lot of games against. As I think he said, he's still doing it. It's amazing that he can still really run and in watching the tape, every time the ball is turned over, he is the one ends up with the fumble or an interception it seems like.''

Woodson is still performing at a high level at age 39, ranking second in the NFL with eight takeaways and being picked for another Pro Bowl.

Here are some other things to watch when the Chargers visit the Raiders:

MORE WOODSON: Woodson has a chance to set some records the next two weeks. He can become the oldest player ever to return a punt and also can break a tie with Rod Woodson and Darren Sharper by scoring his 14th career defensive touchdown. There's also talk about getting Woodson involved in the offense as he was when he won the Heisman Trophy at Michigan in 1997. Woodson has two career catches, but none since 2000.

''That's been in discussions ever since we started this season,'' offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said. ''We may have something up our sleeve. It might be the right time to do it.''

COLISEUM MEMORIES: The Oakland Coliseum will always be a special place for Rivers, who made his first career start there in 2006. Rivers only threw 11 passes that game as San Diego won 27-0. But one of those eight completions - a 38-yarder to Eric Parker - stands out.

''I remember the pass to Eric Parker up the sideline. Warren Sapp was the guy that hit me and it that was kind of like my `I'm in the NFL moment,''' Rivers said. ''He was laying on me and I had thrown a completion and it was kind of like, `man, I watched him and Brett Favre and I'm actually playing with these guys.'''

MILESTONE WATCH: Raiders running back Latavius Murray is closing in on a 1,000-yard season in his first full year as the starter. Murray has 956 yards and needs just 44 to be the first Oakland player to hit that milestone since Darren McFadden in 2010.

DIVISION DOWNERS: The Chargers are 0-4 in the AFC West this season and 2-8 over two seasons. The Raiders jumped to a 37-6 third-quarter lead at San Diego on Oct. 25 before settling for a 37-29 win. The Chargers failed to score a touchdown in a home loss to Kansas City and a road loss to Denver.

''Every game you lose is tough,'' coach Mike McCoy said. ''Obviously your first goal is to win the division. It has been disappointing, and each game is different. Win or lose a game for different reasons, and it hasn't been good enough.''

RECORD CHASE: A couple of Oakland players are closing in on some franchise records that could be hit in the final two weeks. Derek Carr needs four TD passes to tie Daryle Lamonica's record of 34 set in 1969. Pass rusher Khalil Mack needs just one sack to tie Derrick Burgess' mark of 16 set in 2005.


AP Sports Writer Bernie Wilson in San Diego contributed to this report.



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