Greg Cote

Greg Cote’s Thursday NFL pick: Raiders over Chargers

Oakland Raiders free safety Charles Woodson (24) grimaces as he walks off the field with an injury during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Oakland, Calif.
Oakland Raiders free safety Charles Woodson (24) grimaces as he walks off the field with an injury during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. AP

CHARGERS (4-10) at RAIDERS (6-8)

Line: OAK by 5.

Cote’s pick: OAK 27-20.

TV: 8:25 p.m. Thursday, NFL (airing in South Florida)

Week 16 begins with 17 teams still actively in the playoff picture — either clinched or at least alive. Alas, Thursday night’s miserable game offers us two of the 15 teams that are mathematically eliminated, or, as my late Granpappy would have said, “Deader than a doornail.” Yes, for Christmas Eve, the NFL is serving you a Raiders squad in its 13th consecutive season out of the playoffs, and a San Diego team experiencing its worst season since 2003. Oddly, these two rival franchises could be sharing a stadium next season, Jets-Giants style, as both are plotting a move to new digs in Carson, California, near Los Angeles. Bolts QB Philip Rivers is 14-5 vs. Oakland, but the improved Raiders are more explosive and will send retiring safety Charles Woodson off a winner in his final home game of an illustrious 18-year Hall of Fame career.

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