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Playoffs or not, Chargers must beat Oakland

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San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will try to lead the Bolts over the Oakland Raiders at home on Sunday. Photo by Steve Nehf/The Denver Post via Getty Images
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will try to lead the Bolts over the Oakland Raiders at home on Sunday. Photo by Steve Nehf/The Denver Post via Getty Images

They’re not out of it yet, but it’s almost a virtual certainty that the San Diego Chargers will not make the playoffs this year.

Regardless of whether San Diego wins out, all that needs to happen is for either the Miami Dolphins or the Baltimore Ravens to win one of their remaining two games. 

But even with their fate resting in the hands of other teams' outcomes, the Chargers say there's only one thing they can control and that’s beating the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

“I think what is most important for our team is to just focus on trying to win another division game and see if we can get to 8-7,” Philip Rivers said. “I think worrying about anything more than that doesn't help you at all. Worrying about anything more than that would be silly, because we can only control our end.”

No doubt the Chargers are in a bind because of their own doing. Losses to the Houston Texans, Raiders and Washington Redskins (teams with a combined 9-33 record) have ultimately come back to haunt this 7-7 team.

“We put ourselves in this position,” Eric Weddle said. We can lament and kick ourselves for those losses or we can worry about what we can control and that’s two games left in the season.

On Sunday, the Chargers welcome long-time rival Oakland and are set on showing up this time. In October, the Raiders handed the Chargers their biggest loss of the season, 27-17.

“We probably played our worst game of the year in Oakland early in the year,” Rivers said. “Give Oakland credit. They had a lot to do with that, but we didn't play very well and they beat us. We know what a big game this is. It's a division game and it's the Raiders.”

Playoffs or not, it’s Raider week, and a must-win.