4:15 PM ET, October 16, 2005
San Diego (2-3) at Oakland (1-3), Sunday 4:15 pm EDT
OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- In a breakout 2004 campaign, Drew Brees did some of his best work against the Oakland Raiders.
Brees and the San Diego Chargers will try to maintain their success in the series when they visit the Raiders in an AFC West Division matchup on Sunday.
A Pro Bowler for the first time in his career last year, Brees did plenty of damage against his division rivals. In two wins over Oakland, the 26-year-old Brees completed 40-of-59 passes for 507 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions.
Brees also had a rushing TD in the second victory, a 23-17 decision here on November 21. He and the Chargers have won three straight in the series overall after a 2-10 stretch against the Raiders.
The fifth-year pro will be looking for more help from his running game against the AFC's lowest-ranked defense. San Diego managed just 66 yards - 62 from LaDainian Tomlinson - in a 24-22 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night.
The Chargers took a late lead on Tomlinson's two-yard scoring run with 4:45 to go but lost on a field goal in the closing seconds by Jeff Reed. The setback kept San Diego from recording its first three-game winning streak since an eight-game run last season.
That string included both wins over Oakland, which has had a week off after recording its first victory of the season, a 19-13 triumph over Dallas on October 2.
After three straight losses by a total of 19 points, the Raiders found themselves in another close one. Randy Moss hauled in a 79-yard pass on the game's second play, leading to a field goal that opened the scoring and gave Oakland the lead for good.
The running game, behind LaMont Jordan's career-high 126 yards, controlled matters thereafter as Oakland avoided its first 0-4 start since 1992.
The Raiders have lost their last two games coming off a bye, including last year's 23-17 loss to the Chargers in Week 10.
Matchup to watch: Chargers Pro Bowl nose tackle Jamal Williams against Raiders center Adam Treu, who is returning to the starting lineup for the first time since last season in place of the injured Jake Grove.
Series: The Raiders lead, 55-34-2. Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer is 23-7 against Oakland.
Next week: San Diego visits Philadelphia, October 23 Oakland hosts Buffalo, October 23.
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Raiders must stop Tomlinson
Two high-powered teams with different offensive philosophies look to avoid falling into an insurmountable hole in the AFC West. The common denominator is the teams' two explosive running backs -- LaDainian Tomlinson and LaMont Jordan. Thanks to a win over the Cowboys and the bye week, the Raiders should be playing with a lot of confidence heading into a must-win game. Head coach Norv Turner must be patient with the running game to set-up the pass against critical mismatches in the Chargers' secondary.
The Chargers know they let one slip away on Monday Night, but they will stick to their gameplan of pounding the ball to set up the play-action pass against a team that must come up with creative ways to slow down the Chargers passing attack, led by TE Antonio Gates. QB Drew Brees must be patient against a Raiders' secondary that has given up a lot of explosive plays in the passing game. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will need to come up with creative ways to offset the explosive playmakers on the perimeter by the Raiders.
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|Avg Points Allowed||21.0||23.2|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||SD|
|Rush Yds Allowed||SD|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|San Diego leads 6-4|
|Nov 21, 2004||SD 23, @OAK 17|
|Oct 31, 2004||SD 42, OAK 14|
|Dec 28, 2003||SD 21, OAK 14|
|Sep 28, 2003||SD 31, @OAK 34|
|Dec 8, 2002||SD 7, OAK 27|
|Oct 20, 2002||SD 27, @OAK 21|
|Dec 15, 2001||SD 6, OAK 13|
|Nov 18, 2001||SD 24, @OAK 34|