This will be a short week for both the Chargers and Raiders. They will meet on Thursday night for the 122nd time, but it will be the first time they play in Las Vegas. The raiders have scored 2678 points in the series, while the Chargers have scored 2649.
Thursday presents a unique opportunity for a 4-9 team. They are traveling to their rival's new stadium for the first time. Their opposition is 7-6 and on the bubble of the playoffs. The Raiders need to win out to have a chance to make it in with some help.
Chargers could spoil it all for them on Thursday.
"We haven't really thought about it that way, to be honest with you," said head coach Anthony Lynn. "It's just the next opponent, and now we're going to prepare to go win."
The Bolts remember what happened to them the last time these teams faced. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert drove them up the field. In the game's final play, Herbert threw a fade route to Donald Parham, and they called it a touchdown. It was reviewed, and the touchdown was reserved. The Raiders won.
Lynn put it in a better way.
"That last play of the game, when we thought we won the game and New York they took it away from us," said Lynn.
That could have changed their season, but why dwell on that.
This is a big game because of the rivalry. The black and silver have always clashed with the lightning bolt. Fans always get rowdy before games when these two teams meet.
"It does tend to get a little chippy out there with the Raiders, obviously the rivalry and everything," said defensive end Joey Bosa.
Could the fact that the Chargers could spoil the Raiders playoff hopes give them a little extra motivation?
"It could give a little juice to guys, I'm sure," said Bosa. "Especially being the Raiders and obviously the rivalry and all that. I think just to be able to get to win and in such a short period of time would be great, especially with how the season has been gone."
The Chargers are coming off a late game-winner against the Atlanta Falcons. They did a lot right at the end of the game. They got turnovers on defense, the offense led them down the field, and special teams won it for them. Team effort all around.
They haven't been able to put together a winning streak this season. The team believes they need one. Raiders week has been huge for years, so a two for one deal might be the way to go.
"It's going to be a big one," said tight end Hunter Henry. "Anytime we go against the Raiders, it's big. Obviously, it's going to be huge for us to go in there and play a good game, play a clean game, and come out with a win."
This has only been a sample size for the Bolts rookie quarterback. Hopefully, next season there will be fans in the stands, so Herbert can experience how loud it gets for this matchup.
For now, the rookie quarterback is focused on getting a victory and making sure his team is physically ready for another formidable opponent.
"These couple of days are very important in terms of watching film, getting your bodies back, ice tubs, hot tubs, whatever it may be stretching, so that come Thursday, we're ready to play," said Herbert.
The players won't come out and say it, but with the history between these teams, you can bet it would be nice for the Chargers to ruin the Raiders playoff hopes.