Will the Raiders ground game help the offense against Giants?

Raiders Report

by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA– I don’t think you could look at the Raiders and say they’re going to win any particular game I know that the Giants have had a tough season so far they’re only 2-6.The Raiders are just 2-5 this is a long road trip, it’s a cross country game at the Meadowlands for this Sunday it’ll be a tough one.

While New York is not having a good season the Raiders are not in a position to take anyone for granted the Giants might not be the best team in the league but they still have quarterback Eli Manning whose a two time Super Bowl winner. They still have some very good skilled position players most notably Victor Cruz. This is not a team the Raiders can take lightly no matter what their record is.

The Raiders are going to especially feel a little embarrassed by what happened last week by the Eagles at the Oakland Coliseum losing 49-20 you have to feel bad about it. You got to forget about it, you can’t let that carry over to the following week. The Raiders have to take this one as it comes and take their opponents that is in front of them and play those guys.

The Raiders go into this game and try to regroup, they’re perfectly capable of hanging with this Giants team and New York doesn’t have a great offensive line right now. The Raiders on defense have been pretty solid last week not withstanding. So the Raiders can take advantage of the Giants offensive line they could make some headway in this game this coming Sunday.

What got the Giants into trouble all year is Manning was forced into throwing bad passes and giving up interceptions. Last time I looked Manning had ten touchdown passes on the year but 15 interceptions which is just awful especially for a guy of his pedigree. So the Raiders can go into the Meadowlands and make some noise but a win is not guaranteed by any stretch.

The other problem the Raiders have is their offense is sputtering a bit Raider quarterback Terrelle Pryor had that great 93 yard run against the Steelers on October 27th at the Coliseum but the offense is struggling right now they have injuries up and down the offensive line. Running back Darren McFadden is injured, the receiving core has really not come together.

So it’s really Pryor, Running back Rod Streater and occasionally Denarius Moore shows up, that’s about it there’s really been no kind of offense and Rashad Jennings had a decent game last week but that was mostly garbage time. So a running game without McFadden is a question mark as to if Pryor continues to go to the playbook.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Foles ties NFL record in blowout win

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By Jeremy Kahn

OAKLAND – Terrelle Pryor set a record on the opening play from scrimmage in his last game, but Nick Foles ties a longstanding record at the end of the game.

Foles threw seven touchdowns, while 22-for-28 with 406 yards passing and seven touchdowns, as the Philadelphia Eagles simply destroyed the Oakland Raiders 49-20 before a crowd of 51,751 at the Coliseum.

“Really, listen, there’s not a whole lot you can tell them. At the end of the day, that was an old-fashioned butt-whopping. We have to move from it. We have to learn from it. We have to be better next week,” said Raiders head coach Dennis Allen.

The seven touchdowns thrown by Foles tied the record that was set by Sid Luckman, former Eagles quarterback Adrian Burk, who threw his seven touchdowns for the Eagles against the Washington Redskins in Washington on October 17, 1954, George Blanda, Joe Kapp, Y.A. Tittle and Peyton Manning, who turned the trick against the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens on September 5, 2013 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Foles found Riley Cooper three times on the afternoon, DeSean Jackson, former Stanford tight end Zach Ertz, LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek each caught one in the 29-point victory for the Eagles.

“He (Nick Foles) had an unreal game. I’m extremely proud of him. He’s a great friend of mine; a great teammate and I’m proud of him,” said Cooper.

Despite the loss, the Raiders gained a whopping 560 yards in offense, their most in a game since 1968, two years before joining the NFL and the third-most in a game since the Raiders were founded in 1960.

“It was big. It was big, and you get back on the winning side of things and everybody’s confidence is high right now. It’s a good feeling going into Green Bay next week,” said Eagles Strong Safety Nate Allen.

Pryor threw for 288 yards and gained 94 more on the ground, but they were unable to overcome the vaunted Eagles defense that was coming off a tough loss to the previously winless New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on October 27.

The third-year quarterback was forced to leave the game in the fourth quarter due to a knee injury.

“I really don’t know. We were going to go with (Matt) McGloin anyway there in the 4th quarter. I was really unaware that there was even an injury so I don’t know exactly the extent of it. Obviously we’ll take a look at it in more detail tomorrow,” said Allen.

Pryor was not the only Raiders player to be hit by injury in the game, as Darren McFadden left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury, linebacker Kaluka Maiava left the game with rib injuries and Rod Streater suffered a hip injury.

McFadden’s replacement Rashad Jennings carried the ball 15 times and gained 102 yards with a touchdown.

Oakland host Philadelphia Sunday looking to reach .500

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By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — After gutting out a 21-18  home victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday, the Raiders can reach the .500 mark with a win over another team from the Keystone State, when they host the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday at O.co Coliseum. This will mark the fifth straight sellout for the Silver and Black this season.

The game will be seen locally on Fox KTVU Channel 2 in the Bay Area.

Terrelle Pryor took the first snap of the game and blazed past a slow and old Steelers defense for a 93-yard touchdown. Pryor’s touchdown run was the longest in NFL history by a quarterback, and broke running back Bo Jackson’s franchise record 92-yard touchdown run set in 1989.

Running back Darren McFadden played a key role in the running, racking up 73 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.

But the strength of the team was the play of Oakland’s (3-4) 10th ranked defense. Oakland’s defense limited Pittsburgh (2-5) to 276 yards of total offense and intercepted Ben Roethlisberger twice and sacking the Steeler’s quarterback five times.

Philadelphia (3-5) is coming off a 15-7 home loss against NFC East rival, the New York Giants. The Eagles looked inept on offense, and was nearly shutout by the Giants if it weren’t for an Eagles’ touchdown on special teams late in the fourth quarter.

Nick Foles, who has been cleared after suffering a concussion against the Dallas Cowboys two weeks ago, is expected to start for Philadelphia in place of Michael Vick. Vick left last weekend’s game  with a pulled hamstring after passing for 158 yards. Third-string rookie quarterback Matt Barkley finished the game for Philadelphia.

Let’s face it, the Eagles are a bad football team that has been playing musical chairs at the quarterback position. Oakland should feed off from a strong defensive effort and raucously loud crowd against Pittsburgh, and continue that intensity against Philadelphia.

.500 mark for Oakland? Could be in the cards.

Pryor further proving himself with 93 yard keeper

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by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA–Every win is kind of kind of unexpected the way the Raiders started this season nobody thought the Raiders were going to be any good in fact a lot of us including myself thought the Raiders were going to be among the worst teams in the league and while their not amongst the best teams in the league they are not among the worst either.

We were wrong on that this is actually a pretty feisty squad it’s actually the Pittsburgh Steelers who are among the worst teams in the NFL their not the worst that honor goes to the Jacksonville Jaguars. This game between the Raiders and the Steelers was not a battle of titans, it certainly has a lot of history locked up in it the Raiders and the Steelers were among the two best teams in the 1970s and battled each other on a regular basis in the some of the most famous games in NFL history.

This game last Sunday was not necessarily one those all time memorable games although it did have a historic play involved the Steelers are just in a down cycle it’s pretty rare for Pittsburgh to be in such a rare situation but they have had a couple of lousy drafts and suffered through some bad injuries and had some misfires and now their sitting with a lousy team record at 2-5.

The Steelers have had some misfires and it all means their all bottoming out right now, the Raiders already bottomed out that was already that kind of last season with the Carson Palmer deal and just everything going on in the off season when they cleaned house and they got rid of everybody the Raiders while their not a great team they have a lot of young feisty players and their in that rebuild process.

So what ends up happening is you get all these young players who are really fighting and clawing and scratching and trying to get themselves into the league and try to get themselves on the roster and get a job and it makes for desperate play and sometimes these guys are playing some desperate football end up playing decent football and that’s what the Raiders have done they have found a decent mix of players who really want to be there who are really receptive to coaching and learning.

Then the Raiders have found a quarterback who knew that former owner Al Davis’ last draft pick quarterback Terrelle Pryor would end up being such a solid player. He has a deficiency and you don’t look on this guy the same way you look at 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he broke on the scene last year and Pryor can play.

That 93 yard touchdown run by Pryor last Sunday shows why you want this guy on the field that threat of a guy who can make that kind of a play is something defenses have to respect and it makes you play the game differently if your a defensive coordinator you just have to prepare differently. You see it now with the 49ers now that Colin Kaepernick is 100 percent healthy.

It’s the same thing when you have a quarterback who can run in such a way that he can break a long run just as easily as any running back you have to devote extra resources to cover that guy. You have to have a spy on him and simply having that one guy on him and follow the quarterback around can open things up elsewhere.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Pryor goes for record run

By Jeremy Kahn

OAKLAND-Terrelle Pryor grew up rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers as a child growing up in Jeanette,PA and on his first play from scrimmage against his boyhood team, Pryor put himself in the record books.

Pryor went weaving and scampering through the Steelers all the way to the end zone for a 93-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and the Oakland Raiders hung on to defeat the Steelers 21-18 before 52,950 at the Coliseum.

The 93-yard touchdown run by Pryor was not only the longest run play in Raiders’ history, but it was the longest run by a quarterback in NFL history.

Despite a big day on the ground, as he carried the ball nine times for 106 yards, Pryor went just 10-for-19 for 88 yards in the air with two interceptions.

“Like coach said, we started fast, the defense was playing good, It’s a team win. Our defense had a phenomenal second half. At the end of the day it’s a team win, very proud, we got a ‘w’ and that’s really it,” said Pryor.

Darren McFadden carried the ball a whopping 24 for just 73 yards, but scored two touchdowns on the afternoon.

McFadden gave the Raiders a 14-0 lead halfway gone in the first quarter, as he ran through the Steelers defense for a seven-yard touchdown tun.

Shawn Suisham finally got the Steelers on the board with just 46 seconds off the clock in the second quarter, as he nailed a 47-yarder thru the uprights that cut the Raiders lead down to 14-3.

It was McFadden scoring on a four-yard run with 1:55 remaining in the first half, as he scored his second touchdown of the afternoon and gave the Raiders a 21-3 lead.

After the Steelers went three-and-out on the next series, Pryor and the Raiders got the ball back; however Pryor a huge mistake and Cortez Allen picked off the Pryor pass.

Ben Roethlisberger drove the Steelers all the way down to the Raiders 16-yard line, but Suisham missed a 34-yard field goal wide to the right.

The Steelers got the ball to open the second half, and with the help of a 15-yard facemask penalty on Mike Jenkins, the Steelers were in business.

Unfortunately, the 16 play 66 yard drive that took nine minutes and six seconds off the clock was all for naught, as Suisham missed a 32-yard field goal wide to the right.

“Look, it’s no secret, the impact my missed field goals had on the game. We’d have won the game if I made those field goals. It’s a tough one to swallow. No choice but to do it. I should have been better today and we lost because of it,” said Suisham.

Following a Jenkins interception in the beginning in the fourth quarter, Pryor threw a pass that Jacoby Ford caught, but on the play, the wide receiver fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Brett Keisel at the Raiders 11-yard line.

After a Roethlisberger touchdown pass to Heath Miller was overturned, the quarterback regrouped and two plays later, he found Emmanuel Sanders for a nine-yard touchdown pass to get the Steelers within 11 points.

Unfortunately, the Raiders were unable to put the game away, as they went three and out on their next three possessions, giving the Steelers a glitter of hope.

With just under two minutes remaining in the game, rookie Le’Veon Bell scored on a two-yard run and Sanders added the two-point conversion that got the Steelers within three.

Rashad Jennings was able to recover the onside kick, but like all their drives in the fourth quarter, the Raiders went three and out and the Steelers got the ball back with 18 seconds remaining on their own three-yard line and no timeouts.

Roethlisberger found Sanders down the middle for 33 yards, but the clock ran out before the Steelers could get lined up and the Raiders escaped with a three-point victory.

 

Raiders, Steelers set to battle in Oakland Sunday

By. Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — Fresh off their bye week, the Oakland Raiders will look to get back on the winning track when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at O.co Coliseum.  The game is sold out and will be seen locally on CBS affiliate, KPIX Ch. 5. Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m.

Oakland (2-4), leads the all-time series, 11-9, and hold an 8-5 edge in home games over the Steelers. The Silver and Black have not lost to the Steelers at O.co Coliseum since 1995.

In last year’s meeting in Oakland, the Raiders dropped the Steelers 34-31 behind a 43-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski in the final seconds of a tough battle. Running back Darren McFadden had a great day, carrying the ball 18 times for 113 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown run.  Oakland will need a healthy McFadden against the sixth ranked Steelers defense.

Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor spent the bye week working with quarterbacks coach, Tom House refining his mechanics. Pryor worked with House during this past offseason, and House has worked with quarterbacks such as Tom Brady and Drew Brees.

Pittsburgh (2-4), started the season 0-4, but are coming along after winning their last two games, including a 19-16 victory over their AFC North foe, the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

It’s no secret that the Steelers will only go as far as the right arm of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can take them.

Roethlisberger is coming into Sunday’s game completing 66-percent of his passes for 1,655 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Owner of two Super Bowl rings, Roethlisberger is a top-five quarterback in the NFL and the Raiders are going to have their hands full with him, but if Oakland is going to have any success, it will be on the defensive front.

Defensive ends Lamarr Houston (team leader with three sacks) and Jason Hunter (two sacks), will have their chances to get their hands on Roethlisberger, especially with the anchor of the offensive line, center Maurkice Pouncy, on injured reserve with a torn ACL.

Roethlisberger has been sacked 21 times this season (third behind New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (25 times), and Miami Dolphins quarterback  Ryan Tannehill (26 times)). Oakland has been getting after the quarterback this season, sacking the opposing quarterback 16 times through six games.

In order for Oakland to have a chance at moving to 3-4, they will need to apply pressure on Roethlisberger and make him uncomfortable in the pocket. Defensive Coordinator Jason Tarver will need to be creative in concocting blitzes if Oakland is going to have chances at throwing Roethlisberger’s timing off to his wide receivers, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.

Sprinkle in a few timely plays by Pryor and the offense, Oakland has a legitimate shot at winning Sunday.

 

 

Pryor needs to avoid the blitz and a collapsing pocket

by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA–The Raiders have had some problems with the offensive line with injuries and that really came to bear in this game against the Chiefs and let’s not give credit to Kansas City their one of the top defenses in the league this season they’ve done a great job pressuring the quarterback. The Raiders probably should have been a little bit more diligent in their blocking.

For Kansas City to do this and have the game they did against the Raiders is not a big surprise. They’ve been one of the best teams in the league at pressuring the quarterback all season long. So the Raiders knew it was going to be a tough day going into Arrowhead. It’s a bit of a surprise because Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor is mobile.

He’s typically at least to this point in the season been able to escape serious pressure by his legs and his running ability to get outside the pocket. However Kansas City made a very specific point of collapsing the pocket around Pryor and he didn’t have anywhere to escape. That’s a lesson that he’s going to have to learn because teams are going to have to take that to heart in the coming weeks and follow the Chiefs example.

Pryor is going to have to face a lot more defensive fronts and face the exact same thing, the good thing is most teams don’t have a good front seven they can do what KC did and they’re going to have a lot more trouble doing it than the Chiefs. Nevertheless their going to have to worry about that. One of the things with any quarterback is growing developing and adjusting to the different things that defenses throw at you.

This is a league where if your successful people are going to keep book on you and they figure out what your weaknesses are. If they look at Pryor’s stats his weakness once he’s trapped in the pocket he can’t make a throw their going to do their best to trap him in the pocket each and every play. So he’s got to adjust and the Raiders know that and part of the problem is the blocking.

If the Raiders blocked a little bit better than giving up sacks it wouldn’t be an issue. The Raiders need to get a little bit healthy fortunately for the Raiders they have a bye week so they have a chance to rest up to heal, to get those injuries off the books and to get the players back on the field. If the Raiders do their job and watch tape and find out what went wrong and if they get their players healthy the can recover.

The Raiders can be competitive again but obviously when you get sacked ten times your not going to win, they’re playing well and they were in this game until fairly late when the Chiefs pulled away but their not going to be playing the Chiefs every week their only going to be playing them one more time. The Raiders have shown some improvement, so as long as they can keep Pryor from getting sacked that many times each week they’ll have a better chance at winning some of these games.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk radio

Just as predicted Puig solves Dodgers ills

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary

LOS ANGELES–Yasiel Puig the Dodgers young slugger and outfielder saved the Dodgers season he’s the Cuban kid 22 years old and that energy is contagious to everybody on the Dodgers that it even rubbed off on Hanley Ramirez who wasn’t having fun in Miami with the Marlins and here he is.
Ramirez was a miserable human being, he didn’t want to talk to anybody, he never gave his teammates even a smile, never gave an interview with the press, Ramirez went to the Dodgers and when the Dodgers brought up Puig and now Ramirez is the happiest man in the world he’s producing and said after game three that he would do anything for the organization.
That’s what’s happens in baseball, baseball is not as physical as football, basketball or hockey, it’s a mental game and the Dodgers are a happy bunch and their producing. Magic Johnson is part owner of the team, the Dodgers are getting all the money in the world. Of all the parks in the world the largest attendance, the largest capacity is Dodgers stadium.
There are over 53,000 people that fit into the park at Chavez Ravine and their coming back and I wouldn’t be surprised after losing the first two games in St.Louis they won Monday night and they came back and they have done it three times in 1955 they were done the Yankees had a big lead and they came back and they were the Brooklyn Dodgers at that time.
In 1965 they lost the first two games of the World Series to the Minnesota Twins turned it around and won four in a row and won the World Championship. In 1981 they were down to the Yankees and they came back to win. This is not new territory for the Dodgers they’ve been down in the series before and their going to win the National League the Dodgers are the most likely to go all the way and win the World Series.
Raiders can’t get it together: Nobody expected the Raiders to do too much this year. I haven’t heard anybody saying that the Raiders are going to win five or six games. Most predictions were three wins or four wins at most. Then last Sunday they faced the Kansas Chiefs who are perfect at 6-0 and facing former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith where people around the Bay Area are saying “oh the 49ers should have kept him he should be their starting quarterback now.”
Smith has had a terrific start and he’s throwing games that’s almost like “in your face 49ers here I’m” with one of the best starts in Kansas City Chiefs history at 6-0. Everything is clicking for Smith over in KC. Smith was a good quarterback he got in the mud with all the quarterback controversies with the franchise of the 49ers.
This is good to see and I’m glad for Smith and the Chiefs and I can not say the same for the Raiders, their very inconsistent with their quarterback in Terrelle Pryor and they have a lot of problems on that team and since the first day of the year Pryor should have run a little bit more and Pryor was throwing the ball and had problems and Pryor and that offense needs a lot of adjustments.
Edward Lake II second 49ers construction worker to be killed at new stadium: Edward Lake II a delivery truck driver was killed on Monday as he was crushed to death by a steel rebar at the 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara. Lake was 60 and became the second casualty in four months at the Niners new digs which is set to open August 2014.
The job site was shut down all day on Monday due to state investigations but reopened on Tuesday, it’s sad, it’s a tragedy, it happens. I have seen the production of the construction crew and the results of the new Niners stadium and I’ve seen it when you fly over the stadium out of San Jose Airport  and the cost of the stadium is over one billion dollars.  
With all the safety, and all the helmets they wear and this happens it’s not a bad rap for the 49ers or anybody but construction is a tough job and when your building a new stadium with so much going on on the property there’s something that could happen and I’m very sad by this death at the 49ers new stadium and I hope it doesn’t dampen the move for the 49ers in 2014.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Museum and does News and Commentary for Sportstalk Radio

Raiders unplug the Chargers in late-night contest, win 27-17

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by Kahlil Najar

OAKLAND –

In the latest West Coast game in NFL history the Oakland Raiders (2-3) beat the San Diego Chargers (2-3) 27-17 in what was one of the most dominating performances of the defense in years. The Raiders defense forced the Chargers into five turnovers including three interceptions, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and a loose ball recovery on a muffed punt. On offense, Terrelle Pryor threw for 221 yards on 18 for 23 passing including two touchdowns – a 44 yard bomb to Rod Streater to start the game and a two yard pass to Denarius Moore.

On his deep pass on the first play from scrimmage, Terrelle Pryor said, “We practiced that play a lot in practice this week. In week one against the Colts I was picked off but me and Coach Olson talked about it last night and he said if I saw him (Streater) get open I should try and get him the ball.”

Pryor’s confidence was obvious to other teammates before but now it was on display for everyone to see. “You can just see his swag back there, he’s playing with a lot of confidence” said Rod Streater who ended the night with three catches for 56 yards including the 44-yard pass to start the game. Pryor completed ten straight passes and said that it “builds (my) confidence and my tempo is right. I’m excited when we start fast.” In face, that touchdown was the first time the Raiders have scored in the first two minutes of a game since week 3 of 2011 against the Jets.

“It’s exciting to see Pryor out there,” said Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen, “He can create those plays and it gives the team confidence.”

The Raiders defense got the game started for the Raiders when on the third play of the game for San Diego, Philip Rivers threw a high floating pass that looked like a punt and landed in the hands of Usama Young for his first interception of the year. On the Raiders very first play from scrimmage, Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson dialed up the 44-yard deep pass to Rod Streater that got the Raiders on the board 7-0. The Raiders next drive saw them go 88 yards in 8 minutes on a nifty play from Pryor who rolled out to the right after his initial check downs were covered and found Denarious Moore in back of the end zone after he stopped on a dime and Chargers Corner Richard Marshall fell out of bounds to give the Raiders a 14-0 lead with a little over a minute left in the first quarter.

The Chargers started the second quarter with the ball on their side of the field and matriculated the ball all the way down to the Raiders ten yard line. After a a run and a passing play, the Chargers decided to go for it on a fourth and one on the goal line and linebacker Kevin Burnett stuffed Danny Woodhead to turn the ball over to the Raiders in their own zone. After a couple first downs the Raiders were forced to punt to the usually reliable Eddie Royal but he muffed the punt and the Raiders special team recovered the ball and gave the Raiders a first down on the Chargers 37-yard line where Sebastian Janikowski was able to convert on a 47-yard field goal attempt to give the Raiders a 17-0 lead into the half.

The third quarter saw Charles Woodson join the ranks of the elite safeties in the NFL.

After a lengthy drive by the Chargers and a field goal by Nick Novak to put them on the board and a quick three-and-out by the Raiders, the Chargers handed history to Woodson in a bag. On second-and-five from the San Diego 35 yard line, Kevin Burnett caused Danny Woodhead to fumble to ball and it landed in Charles Woodson’s hands. With the ball in hand and only Rivers to beat, Woodson leaped into the end zone to give the Raiders a 24-3 lead but also gave him a career total of 13 defensive touchdowns to tie him for the most defensive touchdowns in a career in the history of the NFL with the great Darren Sharper and former Oakland Raider Rod Woodson.

When learning of him tying Rod’s record, Woodson said, “Cousin Rod, I’m coming for you! Nah, it just means that I’m on e of the greatest to ever play the game but the win was what’s most important.”

Philip Rivers, who ended the night with 411 yards passing and two touchdowns, got hot late in the game with touchdown passes to Woodhead and Cal alum Keenan Allen was then stifled again when D.J. Hayden had his first pick of his career in the end zone which looked to seal the deal for the Raiders. However after another quick three-and-out from the Raiders, the Chargers got the ball back with 1:16 left in the game losing by only 10.  After a deep pass to Allen for 30 yards, Rivers threw deep again this time in the middle of the field looking for Eddie Royal but Charles Woodson was able to get in front of the ball and get his first interception of the game to lock it up and put the Raiders into Victory formation.

“It was a great team win. All three phases contributed,” said Allen. “It was outstanding the way we started, and we kept competing all the way to the end. The goal line stand was a critical point in the game.”

The love for Pyror could be heard in the stands as well in the locker room. On his roll out capabilities and extending broken plays, Allen said, “That’s what that kid brings to us. When things aren’t right, he has the ability to make plays.” Charles Woodson echoed the Coaches sentiments saying that, “He’s showing his progress and he can lead this team.”

Terrelle Pryor and Raiders head to Kansas City next week to take on the undefeated Chiefs at Arrowhead stadium. It’ll be a tough game for the Raiders however if they are able to bring this momentum from the game into Arrowhead, the Raiders can prove that they shouldn’t be a forgotten team in the AFC West.

Game Notes:

  • The Chargers, who ranked No. 2 in the NFL in third down efficiency (50%), were 4-for-11 tonight. San Diego also came into the game averaging 27.0 points per game, seventh in the league, and was held to 17.
  • The Raiders continue to not have allowed a first half rushing touchdown, stopping the Chargers on fourth-and-1 in the second quarter. With 27 rushing yards in the first half, the defense is equally stringent, allowing (204) rushing yards in the first half this season, an average of 40.8 (No. 11 in the NFL prior to tonight)
  • It was the second-straight week that the Raiders have not allowed a first-half touchdown.
  • QB Terrelle Pryor is still No. 2 in rushing among quarterbacks behind Michael Vick following 31 yards tonight. He now has 228 on the season.

Chargers invade Oakland under the lights Sunday night

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by Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — For the second time in three weeks, the Oakland Raiders will play under the lights, when they host their AFC West divisional foe, the San Diego Chargers, Sunday at O.co Coliseum at the special time of 8:35 p.m. PT, instead of the previously scheduled 1:25 p.m. PT, due to the MLB playoff game Saturday night between the Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics.

Oakland (1-3), will have starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor back under center. Pryor sat out Oakland’s 24-14 home loss to the Washington Redskins after suffering a concussion against the Denver Broncos in Week 3.

Backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who was demoted to the third string quarterback behind rookie Matt McGloin this week by head coach Dennis Allen, started in place for the injured Pryor and didn’t look like the quarterback that Oakland sent two draft picks to the Seattle Seahawks this past offseason.

Flynn did finish 21-of-32 for 227 yards passing, one touchdown and one interception that was returned for a touchdown. Washington’s defense feasted on Flynn, sacking him seven times. Its no secret that Oakland’s offensive line has more holes than Swiss cheese, but there were times in the game that Flynn had guys wide open and decided to take the sack, even when the offensive line gave him time to throw.

The fact that Flynn’s starting backfield of running back Darren McFadden (hamstring) and full back Marcel Reece (knee), were knocked out the game made the task of leading Oakland to victory that much tougher. McFadden hasn’t practice this week and his status for Sunday remains in the air. Reece has been limited in practice this week, as well as starting center Stefan Wisniewski, who emerged from the Washington game with a knee strain.

Backup running back Rashad Jennings filled in admirably, finishing with 116 yards of total offense (45 rushing, 71 receiving), and rookie tight end Mychal Rivera scored his first touchdown, an 18-yard reception.

San Diego (2-2) is coming off a big win at home over the Dallas Cowboys, 30-21 and will pose a mighty challenge for Oakland.

Quarterback Philip Rivers has been playing lights out this season. Rivers has thrown for 1,199 yards, 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Rivers 11 touchdowns ranks second in the NFL behind Denver Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning.

Against Dallas, Rivers was 35-of-42 for 401 yards passing, three touchdowns and one interception finishing with a 120.3 quarterback rating.

After nagging injuries have crippled his performance the last couple of years, perennial All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates appears to be healthier than ever this season. Gates continues to be Rivers’ most trusted target, racking up 25 catches for 364 yards receiving and two touchdowns in four games this season.

Gates finished with 10 catches for 136 yards, including the go-ahead 56-yard touchdown catch over the middle of the field against the Cowboys in San Diego last week.

Oakland ranks 17th in the NFL in defense and will have its hands full against San Diego’s eighth-ranked offense, who are averaging 27 points per game.

San Diego swept the season series against Oakland last year and hold a 57-47-2 edge all-time against the Silver and Black.

Players to Watch for San Diego:

  • No. 17) Philip Rivers (QB) — Rivers is enjoying a renaissance of a season under new head coach Mike McCoy. McCoy is an offensive mind and has given Rivers a renewed sense of confidence and Rivers is off to the best start of his career.
  • No. 39) Danny Woodhead (RB) — Woodhead isn’t a household name (or the Chargers starting running back), but is a proven chain mover and another trusted option for Rivers. Woodhead had five catches for 54 yards and two touchdowns against Dallas.
  • No. 85) Antonio Gates (TE) — With no legitimate No. 1 wide receiver, Gates is clearly Rivers’ first option on first, second, third and even fourth downs. Gates lost 25 pounds in the offseason and is faster and harder to bring down in the open field. Raiders’ defense has to make sure that they know where Gates is lined up at all times.

Players to Watch for Oakland:

  • No. 2) Terrelle Pryor (QB) — Pryor’s return to the line up gives Oakland’s 20th ranked offense an instant jolt. Pryor is completing 65% of his passes this season, and leads all quarterbacks with 198 rushing yards.
  • No. 17) Denarius Moore (WR) — Moore is Oakland’s leading wide receiver and gives Oakland the opportunity to stretch the field on San Diego. Moore has 15 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns, Moore is averaging 15.5 yards per catch this season.
  • No. 99) Lamarr Houston (DE) — Houston is Oakland’s best pass rusher and it’s most active. Houston along with fellow defensive end Jason Hunter, leads the team with two sacks. Oakland will need to create a serious pass rush against Rivers and Co. Sunday.