Chargers vs. Raiders: Score, Grades and Analysis
The Oakland Raiders fought the San Diego Chargers into the wee hours of Sunday night, holding off their division rivals for the 27-17 win.
Terrelle Pryor threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns and Charles Woodson had two of Oakland's five takeaways, as the Raiders improved to 2-3.
Philip Rivers threw for 411 yards and two scores, but a couple of late interceptions thwarted a late San Diego comeback attempt. The Chargers fell to 2-3.
Despite winning the toss and deferring the opening kickoff, it took the Raiders less than two minutes to crack the scoreboard.
Rivers threw an interception to safety Usama Young on the third play from scrimmage, and on the very next snap, Pryor went 44 yards to Rod Streater, who made a terrific catch for the score.
Pryor would add an eight-minute, 88-yard drive capped by a Denarius Moore receiving touchdown, and an Eddie Royal fumbled punt would turn into a Sebastian Janikowski field goal, giving the Silver and Black a 17-0 halftime lead.
The Chargers would cut into that lead with a little bit of luck.
After a long drive, a Nick Novak attempted field goal was blocked only to land in the hands of Ladarius Green, who rumbled forward to convert the bizarre first down:
San Diego was only able to get three out of the drive, though, as an apparent Keenan Allen touchdown was overturned after the receiver wasn't able to get both feet in bounds.
On the Chargers' next series, dynamic running back Danny Woodhead coughed up the ball trying to fight for extra yardage, allowing Charles Woodson to pick it up and go 22 yards for his 13th career touchdown.
SportsCenter's Twitter feed noted his new spot in the record books:
Charles Woodson TOUCHDOWN! Woodson's 13th career defensive TD ties Rod Woodson and Darren Sharper for most in NFL history.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 7, 2013
Woodhead would bounce back, though, capping off the Chargers' ensuing 80-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown catch to cut Oakland's lead back to two touchdowns.
San Diego would add another quick touchdown drive minutes later, but Pryor, who had to struggled to move the ball after a dominant first half, put together a clutch drive to set up a 50-yard Janikowski field goal.
Two interceptions from Philip Rivers would seal the victory for the Raiders.
Philip Rivers, Chargers: B
It was a slow first half for Rivers. He threw an interception on the opening drive and dinked-and-dunked his way to poor results.
But things opened up for him the second half, as he started taking more shots down the field and absolutely carved up the Raiders secondary. His second interception in the end zone was the game-clincher, but he led three big drives in the fourth quarter and did just about everything possible with his team's back against the wall.
In the end, he finished with an 86.4 QB rating despite having zero run game to help take the pressure off.
Terrelle Pryor, Raiders: A-
Pryor was almost the opposite of Rivers, as he was essentially unstoppable in the first half but was unable to string together much of anything as his protection broke down in the second.
Overall, though, he made a variety of impressive throws, created plays with his legs and had a critical third-down conversion with an unbelievable scramble-and-throw late in the fourth quarter.
Raiders fans have to be excited about what this youngster is showing on a weekly basis.
Vincent Brown, Chargers: A
The Raiders had no answer for Vincent Brown.
Rivers spread the ball out a lot—five different players received at least seven targets, and none got more than 10—but no one made the same impact as Brown, who pulled in eight catches for 117 yards.
He had a tremendous grab on a 51-yard catch during San Diego's first touchdown drive, had seven of his eight catches go for first downs and had a long touchdown taken away on an illegal formation penalty.
Kevin Burnett, Raiders: A
There wasn't really much that Kevin Burnett didn't do on Monday night.
He recorded 12 solo tackles and 14 total tackles. He had a sack. He had the forced fumble on Charles Woodson's critical defensive touchdown. He even leaped over Danny Woodhead at one point in pursuit of Rivers.
The veteran linebacker made plays all over the field in what was a strong, gritty performance.
The Raiders get a tough road matchup against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs next week, while the Chargers host the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football.
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