The Oakland Raiders may have played their last game at their home field, but this Sunday, they’ll be playing in their home away from home when they face off against the Los Angeles Chargers. The two teams have one of the fiercest rivalries in sports and it’s only gotten worse and worse since Philip Rivers has been around. As an infamous trash talker, the Chargers quarterback has a knack for getting under the skin of opposing players. Raiders’ head coach Jon Gruden had a hilarious description of Rivers’ trash talk.
“He’s one of the premier quarterbacks in the league and one of the great gameday competitors,” said Gruden on Wednesday. “One of the all-time trash talkers ever. PG trash talk too. It’s a credit to him. But I think he’s great for football. I think he’s great for the game and we know we’re going to get a great, great performance from him as the season is winding down. And he remembers… a lot about this rivalry, too.”
By “PG,” Gruden is alluding to the fact that Rivers doesn’t cuss when he’s trash talking. Despite the fact that Rivers is 38 years old, he hasn’t slowed down with the consistent digs at opponents. The Raiders will probably be getting the worst of Rivers on Sunday as he definitely doesn’t like the team.
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Gruden Enjoy Raiders-Chargers Rivalry
Though both the Raiders and the Chargers will be playing in new stadiums next season, there’s no doubt the rivalry will live on. Unfortunately for the Chargers, when the Raiders come to town, it’s usually a home game for the silver and black. Thanks to the team’s Southern California ties, it’s hard for any team to gain more popularity than them. Jon Gruden is a big fan of the rivalry.
“It’s a little different than it used to be playing at the old San Deigo Chargers stadium, you’re playing at a venue that really is a temporary venue for them,” said Gruden when asked if playing in Los Angeles is effectively an extra home game. “I’ve got a lot of respect for this rivalry where we play it. California football right now is in limbo. 49ers moved, we’re moving, Chargers moved, Rams moved so there’s a lot moving parts, but I enjoy playing this matchup, always have.”
Even when the Chargers played in San Diego, there would be mostly Raiders fans. The Raiders moving out of state to play in Las Vegas, Nevada next season, but that might even strengthen their Southern California fan base considering it’s an easier drive from Los Angeles than Oakland is.
The Raiders are in a massive slump currently and the Chargers been disappointing all season. There’s nothing like a win versus a rival to make a team feel a lot better. The Raiders won the first matchup this season with the Chargers, but it didn’t come easy. Now they won’t have Josh Jacobs or Trent Brown. If the Raiders can pull it off, there will be much more optimism heading into the offseason.