COSTA MESA — The last time the Chargers saw the Oakland Raiders, it resulted in a 26-10 victory at Rockit Field at StubHub Center.
That was Oct. 7.
A month and a day ago.
And it will be 41 days before the Chargers return to Carson, when they host the Denver Broncos Sunday, Nov. 18.
In between have been a trip to Cleveland, a trip to London, a trip to Seattle, 14,528 air miles traveled and 22 nights spent in hotels.
And, oh yes — a four-game winning streak that is the Lightning Bolts’ longest in four years.
“The atmosphere in our locker room right now is awesome,” said Chargers defensive back Desmond King, the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Week whose 42-yard pick-six sealed the victory at Seattle. “It just feels like big family among us now.
“Everybody is doing things together, on and off the field.”
Since the first meeting with the Raiders, the Chargers spent a week in Cleveland, another four days in London, and two more days in Seattle.
“This schedule worked out unbelievably well for our football team,” said Mike Pouncey, the club’s first-year Pro Bowl center. “Usually when a team is home, guys go home to their families, or their business portfolios. There are lots of centripetal things to send guys off in different directions.
“But when you spend all this time in the hotel or on the plane, all we have is ourselves. We go to practice, we go to dinner, we go to the movies, we do everything together. The whole thing did a great job of team-building.”
Making the plays necessary to win late in close games, as vs. the Tennessee Titans in London and the Seahawks last Sunday in Seattle, also does wonders for group dynamics.
“We had a strong finish to last year, so we brought a lot of momentum into this season,” said Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, whose personal momentum vs. the Raiders adds up to a 17-8 record and a 95.1 quarterback rating. “The only two games we lost this year were to K.C. and the Rams, probably the two best teams in the NFL right now.
“You can feel the confidence building in our locker room.”