Oct 6, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson (24) celebrates with linebacker Nick Roach (43) after intercepting a pass in the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: The Good and the Bad from the Win Over the Chargers

Raider Nation, hold your sleep-deprived heads high. Once again the Boys in Black have defeated their rivals the San Diego Chargers. The late start at O.co Coliseum proved to be an entertaining and interesting game to watch. There were plenty of positives, and some negatives which had people biting their fingernails towards the end of the contest.

Positive: Terrelle Pryor played like a man possessed

If anyone had any doubt, let me clear it up for you: Terrelle Pryor is clearly the man in Oakland. After taking the field for the first time since his concussion against the Denver Broncos, Pryor made quick work of getting on the board.

After the interception by Usama Young, Pryor stepped up to the line of scrimmage and heaved a 44-yard strike to Rod Streater to get Oakland on the board immediately. Following that play, He decided that he was going to complete 10 passes in a row, score 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions before having a pass hit the ground and falling incomplete. During the rest of the game, Pryor did what he does best by extending plays and making a gain out of an extremely broken situation. Upon further review of the quarterback’s stat sheet, he ended up grading out at a 97.6 QB rating, improving from an 86.7. So obviously having their starting quarterback back in the mix has put Oakland in a position to win games and progress through the season.

Negative: Having Andre Gurode at Center seemed to be giving Pryor some problems.

Andre Gurode had to step it up this week and play Center for the injured Stefen Wisniewski. Unfortunately for Pryor, there were a couple instances of Gurode shifting left to shore up that side of the line and tripping the quarterback in the process. Now, this may just be a case of unfamiliarity or a break-down in mechanics, but there were a couple plays that were broken before they even had the opportunity to develop.

On two separate instances, Pryor took the snap and was tripped up at the line before he even had the opportunity to turn and make a play. This forced him to have to scramble, run, and try to adjust the entire play on the fly. Getting Wisniewski back in the next couple of weeks could provide some relief in this department, but as for last night, Gurode and Pryor were just slightly off and it made things a little more difficult for the quarterback.

Positive: The Defense really stepped it up when it mattered most.

The defense knew they had to come out and produce last night. They had to come out and be physical at the point of attack, and limit how much run offense the Chargers could manufacture. Everyone has been commenting on how the defense isn’t producing any turnovers up until last night.

Well, last night they brought in 3 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries, one of which being Charles Woodson‘s 13th career defensive touchdown. Yes, Mr. Woodson reeled in 1 of the 3 interceptions last night and ran in a recovered fumble for a touchdown, looking like the player that Oakland drafted in the first round all those years ago. The other two interceptions came from Usama Young and DJ Hayden. Hayden recording his first NFL interception, and looking much better than he had in the past couple games. The run-stuffing duo of Vance Walker and Pat Sims made sure that there was very little motion up the middle of the line for a gain. The goal line stand in the second quarter was a testament to how tough this defense can really be.

Negative: The sloppy defensive play in the beginning of the second half, and the frivolous penalties to accompany it.

Even though the defense had a strong showing in the first half and part of the second half, they had some moments that had the Raider Nation biting their fingernails toward the end of the game. The pass coverage was far too soft and they were allowing 20-30 yard chunk passes, easily getting the Chargers into a scoring position. There were times where Philip Rivers had all day in the pocket to throw the ball, and then found his receiver wide open down the field for a nice little gain.

Not only was that not enough, but there were also silly penalties to back them up as well. The one that really stood out was the unnecessary roughness call on Mike Jenkins after he was burned for a touchdown. He let his emotions get the better of him and shoved the receiver to the ground after he was out of bounds. These types of penalties are unacceptable. The Raiders are creating a culture of hard playing, emotionally invested, football players. They do not need to start reverting back to the old days of smashing up a player just because they got burned. Times are a changing in Oakland, and penalties are supposed to be becoming a thing of the past.


Coming out on top with a win always feels great. Coming out on top over a division rival is always better. Getting your defense going and making game changing plays that can translate into future games is priceless. This was a nice win for Oakland, and a definite confidence booster. The positives far outweighed the negatives here, but lets be honest with ourselves, there is always room for improvement.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Bay Area Charles Woodson NFL Oakland Raiders San Diego Chargers Sports Terrelle Pryor Victory

  • Anthony Williams

    Good deal. I love to hear positive things about the team when they deserve it

    • Duston Downum

      Well Anthony, they definitely deserved it. They played hard last night and got the W because of it. I can’t wait to see if they can carry the momentum into Arrowhead for the Kansas City game. Could you imagine if they handed KC their first loss??

      • Chris Schroeder

        Imagine it? I would be disappointed if it didn’t happen. The teams the Chiefs have played this year have a combined record of 5-17. If the Chiefs were anymore overrated there would be a book out about the great 2-14 Andy Reid remarkably turning his season around. Please!! The backup quarterback for the Titans almost beat the Chiefs on Sunday if it weren’t for a botched penalty call that ultimately sealed the deal for the Kansas City Chiefs. Yeah, let’s call a late hit on the quarterback (Alex Smith) out of bounds when he was clearly inbounds so that the Chiefs can win again since it seems to be the trend these days of the refs dictating another Chiefs win. Here’s the way I look at it, the 49ers got rid of Alex Smith in favor of Kaepernick, because let’s face it… without a good defense there is really nothing Alex Smith does great. Meanwhile over in Oakland there is a guy name Terrel Pryor, that I guarantee you Kaepernick was watching on the TV last night thinking to himself “someday… I aspired to be just like that guy”, but the Niners want me to be a pocket passer waaaaa, why does pryor get to do whatever he wants and I can’t run around the edge anymore because my team is afraid I’ll get hurt waaaaa”. YEAH!!! We got Pryor. Alex Smith and his overrated Chiefs will surely be scratching their heads on Sunday wondering who this black and silver team was that just came to town and kick their asses

        • Duston Downum

          I like your fire Mr. Schroeder! You have a lot of good points about the Chiefs, although I do have to concede the fact that they have a pair of decent CBs, and they’re line really isn’t all that bad. If the Raiders can play with the same tenacity, cut down on the chunk passes, and reign in the penalties, they should give them a good run for their money and hopefully hand them their first loss and improve themselves to 3-3, 2-1 in the AFC West.

        • chiefsfan86

          There were more than enough calls in favor of theTitans. The Chiefs have an amazing defense and a very reliable offense. Not saying the Chiefs will make it to the AFC champion but the Raiders will not give them their first loss, just silly to even think let alone write. When the Chiefs play terrible I admit and press on. The amount of interceptions, sacks and fumbles created by the Kc D will leave the Raiders second guessing themselvesabout letting go Flynn. Chiefs will be 6-0 come Sunday. GO CHIEFS!!