SAN DIEGO (AP) -The Oakland Raiders are coming to town, which is one of the only things that can put any kind of spark in the San Diego Chargers' otherwise lost season.
The Chargers (4-8) were all but eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday, when they lost 22-16 at home to the Atlanta Falcons while the Denver Broncos (7-5) were winning their third straight road game, 34-17 against the New York Jets.
That gave the Broncos a three-game lead in the AFC West, with four games to play. The Broncos beat the Chargers 39-38 at Denver in the second game of the season. The teams meet again in the season-finale in San Diego on Dec. 28.
Mathematically, the Chargers are still alive. Realistically, though, it's all but over for a team that many projected to make it to the Super Bowl.
and just see what happens. That's why we've just got to go play and worry about the Chargers and try to get better. We're obviously not doing things very well.''
If the Chargers and Broncos were to finish tied at 8-8, San Diego would be AFC West champ based on a better division record.
Of course, it'll officially be over with one more Broncos win and another Chargers loss.
Up next is a home game Thursday night against the Raiders, who have lost 10 straight to the Chargers but won at Denver on Nov. 23.
The Raiders, only a game behind San Diego, blew a 15-0 halftime lead at Oakland on Sept. 28 before the Chargers rallied to win 28-18.
``They don't call the season off when you're going bad or when the odds are stacked against you that you won't be playing in January,'' Rivers said. ``So we've got to go play a game. If you've got any pride or anything about you, you'll prepare and go play. Again, we're playing a division game, an NFL game at home. If you can't do that, we don't have the guys we've always said we've had and I think we do.''
Rivers, a star at North Carolina State before he joined the Chargers on draft day 2004 in a trade with the New York Giants, said he can't recall having a losing season.
``I know not in college, not in high school. JV I played, we never had a losing record, I don't think.''
Rivers said it's tough mentally to be 4-8.
not playing very good, which I'm stating all the obvious facts. I think it is a positive we play on Thursday. We don't have long to sulk over the loss yesterday. we've got to get ready and go play a game Thursday night.''

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