Raiders open the game by kicking off. The defense stuffed the Chargers for two straight plays and then Usama Young intercepted a punt like overthrow on third down and returned it to inside San Diego territory. Then immediately after on Oakland's first play from scrimmage Pryor threw a 44 yard bomb perfectly thrown into double coverage to Rod Streater who went up for the ball beautifully. Al Davis would have loved it!
It looked like the Raiders were going to get another 3 and out on the next drive but the Chargers converted on 3rd down. They then drove into Raiders territory but the defense held strong to avoid giving up any points. At this point it's only 5 minutes and 24 seconds into the game and the Raiders have a 7-0 lead and the ball.
The Raiders had already shown that they could go deep after their first drive was a 1 play TD, this drive they showed they could be clock killing efficient. They were unstoppable as they put on a display for the rowdy home crowd fans. There was not one play for negative yards nor an incompletion on a 13 play, 88 yard drive that took up 8:08 of clock.
The awesome drive was capped off by a 4 yard TD pass to Denarius Moore and just like that it was 14-0 Oakland. That ended up being the score at the end of the first quarter which surely left many of Raider Nation thinking about last week's similar start against Washington. The Redskin game's 14-0 start turned ugly far too quickly and the memory has the Raiders begging the fates not to be so mean as to have them repeat that performance.
Unfortunately it looked like a repeat performance was all too possible after the Chargers moved right down the field on the Oakland defense. They put together a 14 play drive of their own, only problem is they forgot to score on it! San Diego decided to go for it on 4th down from inside the 5 and the Raiders defense came up with an enormous stop to keep them from putting points on the board.
The unfortunate thing about a goalline stop like that is the offense has to start deep in their own territory. In this case it was about as on the goalline as an offense can start. The Raiders did manage a couple of first downs but the offense stalled and had to punt. Sometimes a punt is a great offensive play though, only if the returner happens to fumble it which is exactly what happened.
Chimdi Checkwa recovered the muffed punt for the Raiders so their drive would continue, though a personal foul penalty on Kaelin Burnett had them not as far up as they should've been. Oakland had a couple of strong runs by Rashad Jennings but failed to get a first down. Luckily they were already in field goal range and Sebastian Janikowski booted the 47 yarder through the uprights to make the score 17-0, Raiders. This was the score going into halftime after both teams traded their final possessions before the half with no points scored.
Oakland then opened up the 2nd half with the football and started things off with a bang once again with a bomb, this one a 35 yarder to Denarius Moore. It wasn't a touchdown but it was still a beautiful play that got the Raiders right into Charger territory. Unfortunately they could not cash in on the big play after a penalty (which took away a TD) and a sack forced them to punt the ball to the Chargers.
A well placed punt from Marquette King had San Diego starting inside their own 10 yard line but right off the bat the Chargers got a couple decent plays to get them up near midfield. Kevin Burnett sacked Rivers for an 11 yard loss on first down after that but it didn't stop the Chargers drive. They completed several passes as they drove down into the Raiders red zone.
The Chargers drive stalled there though and the Chargers had to settle for the field goal. That attempt ended up being blocked by Tracy Porter but unfortunately it went straight to a Charger who advanced it for the first down. It was a cruel twist of fate for a great defensive play like a blocked field goal to turn out to be a bad thing.
The Chargers were able to continue their drive because of the blocked kick but at least DJ Hayden came up with solid coverage on two straight incomplete passes to the back corner of the endzone. San Diego did manage to get points on the drive anyway as they converted a field goal to make the score 17-3, but it was solid play from the Raiders 1st rounder Hayden to hold the damage to just 3 points.
Things started to get dicey for the Raiders now after they did nothing with the ball when they got it back. It was a quick 3 and out that had the San Diego defense consistently get pressure on Pryor. They had to punt it right back to the Chargers who suddenly quieted the crowd and seemed to have all the momentum.
Don't tell that to the Raiders defense though! The second play of the Chargers drive featured Danny Woodhead getting annihalated by Nick Roach and Kevin Burnett. The ball popped out and Charles Woodson returned it for a TD to make the score 24-3. The return tied the NFL record currently held by the great Rod Woodson and Darren Sharper for most career defensive TD's (13) for the future hall of famer Charles Woodson.
San Diego rookie DJ Fluker showed his frustration when they got the ball back by illegally body slamming Raiders rookie Sio Moore. Sio was down after the play and had to be taken out of the line up for a bit but he did return. The play seemed to spark the Chargers offense as they completed a 50+ yard bomb shortly after to go deep into Oakland territory just before the end of the 3rd quarter.
The 3rd quarter ended with a score of 24-3, but one play into the 4th quarter and it was 24-10. The Chargers score came on a TD pass to Danny Woodhead who was determined to make up for his fumble that the Raiders had just scored on. The drive was a 80+ yard drive that seemed to go by in just a flash. The TD pass tied Phillip Rivers for 2nd place on the Chargers all-time list.
The Oakland offense was still having trouble once they got the ball back. It was another 3 and out for the team but it could have been much worse. Terrelle Pryor was sacked but still attempting to make a play when he fumbled the ball right into a Charger's arms. Thankfully the player had trouble picking up the ball though and Raiders back up center Andre Gurode came in with authority to recover the fumble and allow Oakland to punt the ball away.
The Chargers offense started off just like they had never left the field when they got the ball back. A stupid personal foul by Michael Jenkins didn't help things out on this drive as San Diego punched the ball into the endzone again just minutes after their previous score. The 4th quarter started 24-3 Raiders but just 5 minutes into it and the score was already 24-17 with a nasty case of deja vu seemingly in full effect for Raider Nation.
The difference between last week and this week? Terrelle Pryor. The mobile athletic freak did just enough with his legs to keep the Raiders next drive alive. He was being severely pressured on a 3rd down play but made a nifty move to get away and hit Brice Butler for the first down. The drive stalled after that but the offense got the ball far enough for Sebastian Janikowski it hit a 50 yard field goal to give the Raiders a 10 point lead at 27-17 with just 4:24 left to play.
The Chargers would not go down though. They started their next drive at their own 20 yard line and just 3 plays later were already at the Raiders 20. Oakland was playing the prevent defense of giving up underneath to not give up the deep play though which helped San Diego move the ball as far as they did that quickly. Once in the Raiders redzone the defense started playing a lot tighter which left the Chargers with a 2nd and Goal coming out of the 2 minute warning.
This is the point we have all been waiting for, its down to the goalline with less than 2 minutes to go with a 2 score lead when the Raiders 1st round pick made the play of his young career. DJ Hayden saved the game for the Raiders with a diving interception in the endzone giving the world a glimpse of why he was at the top of Reggie McKenzie's draft board. It was his first career interception and it could not have been bigger.
It would have been nice if the Raiders offense could have gotten a couple of first downs to close out the game but its never that easy for Oakland. They had to punt the ball back to the Chargers but it didn't matter, the defense would not let this game get away. Phillip Rivers tried to go deep but found Charles Woodson instead who put a bow on this game with his 54th interception of his career. Raiders win 27-17!