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Bolts Need Best Fan Support of Season on Sunday
After a pair of rousing wins, with the last one coming on the road against their fierce division rival Denver Broncos, the San Diego Chargers return home for the final two games of the regular season to play their other two AFC West foes, the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs.
Starting this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, the Bolts from the front office to the coaching staff to the players all agree on one thing – they are looking for the best fan support of the season to date when they take on their interstate rivals.
“Well I think it’s a great rivalry,” said Head Coach Mike McCoy. “It’s been that way for years. We need to have our best fan support of the year this week in our stadium. You talk about how the players try to improve every week and play your best game the next week, well that’s the same thing we need from our fans. We know what the game means to this division and the rivalry, Chargers and Raiders, twice a year. It’s something our fans should be excited for, so it’s a big game for us.”
D.J. Fluker is only a rookie, but it didn’t take long for him to appreciate just how strong the rivalry between San Diego and Oakland is.
“I learned quickly how big it is,” he said. “I appreciate how important the game is between us. It’s high enthusiasm. High impact. Nasty. It’s a big game. Everybody on our team is going to give everything we’ve got to beat them. It just makes you appreciate the game even that much more to get to play a team like that. Everyone is playing trying to get this ‘W’. We’re all playing to stay alive. We are going to have the attitude that we won’t be denied these last two games and we’ll try to win out.”
The last time the Chargers were home was against the New York Giants, and the crowd played a big role in getting that win, especially on the defensive side.
“The fans, the energy they provide in that stadium has a lot to do with the success we have on that field,” said Manti Te'o. “I’m really looking forward to seeing that support on Sunday.”
Philip Rivers has been thinking about the fan support from the moments after last Thursday’s big win over the Denver Broncos. Based on the way the last game between the Bolts and Raiders went down, he too preached the importance of a strong home field advantage.
"It's funny, going into Denver I said if we win I imagine Qualcomm will be rocking pretty well for these last two,” he said. “Hopefully we will have an awesome atmosphere on Sunday. I thought it was pretty good for the Giants game. It was loud and they were into it. We probably played our worst game of the year in Oakland early in the year. 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. We have to have a heck of a week of practice and get ready to go. We've played them late in the year, whether it be the last game or close to it now and for a bunch of years in a row. It's always a tough and physically hard fought game. We are going to have to be ready for their best shot. They are going to get our best shot."