Happy New Year to you and yours from The Silver Lining, everyone! Wishing you all hope, health and happiness in an even better 2013.
Another year has come and gone, Raider Nation – it’s depressing sitting here right now, writing my final game recap for the 2012 season. I’m sure that some of us are happy to see that this season is (finally) over, but unlike those who are fed up, there will never be a time in the other eight months of the year when I won’t miss watching the Silver & Black on Sundays.
I noticed that there were many highs and lows in this division-rivalry game as there always is. Tempers were flaring and the adrenaline kicked in rather early in the first half; if you watched the game, you probably saw a few jabs back and forth after plays. Although, the same happens when Oakland meets with the Denver Broncos or the Kansas City Chiefs as well, no matter whose turf the game is played on. I am convinced that the AFC West truly hates each other.
As close as this game was in the end (the Chargers winning 24-21), the Raiders put on a defensive display and kept the Chargers in their place for the most part. CB Brandian Ross and 2012 fifth-round draft choice, OL Tony Bergstrom, made their debut as NFL starters on Sunday – although Ross was burnt for a TD in the fourth quarter, the two looked very promising otherwise. This game could have easily had a different outcome had the Raiders’ special teams not allowed a kick return for a TD 12 seconds into the game – I blinked and missed it, that’s how fast it happened! However, I did get to see a few sacks on Chargers QB Philip Rivers in the first half (whom I have always loathed), one by DE Lamarr Houston in the first quarter and the other by DT Desmond Bryant accompanied by Houston in the second quarter. You could say that made me a happy fan.
I was particularly impressed with how third-string QB Terrelle Pryor started in his first game since being drafted by the Raiders in 2011 and I’m sure quite a few fans would agree with me. He was in control, if there were nerves it definitely didn’t show, and he was mobile – who would’ve thought?! I am just thrilled that Pryor was finally given his due!
Here are a few fun facts about Pryor in his first outing in Silver & Black:
QB Terrelle Pryor became the first Raider quarterback to make his initial NFL start with the Silver and Black since JaMarcus Russell in the 2007 regular-season finale vs. San Diego on Dec. 30, 2007, exactly five years before Pryor’s first-career start.
Pryor led the Raiders on a first-half scoring drive, taking the Silver and Black 80 yards on 12 plays in seven minutes, culminating in a 9-yard touchdown pass.
Pryor scored his first-career rushing touchdown on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter.