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The San Diego Chargers could not sustain the opening drive of the quarter and were forced to punt.
Down 24-7 with time running out, the Raiders looked to move the ball downfield as quickly as possible. Two first down receptions by wide receiver Ron Streater put the Raiders in Chargers’ territory. On third-and-seven at the San Diego 41, quarterback Terrelle Pryor connected with Streater again for a 38-yard gain down to the Chargers’ three-yard line.
On the very next play, Pryor ran it in himself for a three-yard touchdown to make it 24-14 in favor of the Chargers.
The Chargers could not manufacture anything on their next drive and was once again forced to punt. The punt was initially fumbled, but recovered by the Raiders on their own 23-yard line. With just over four minutes left in the game and the Raiders down by double-digits, Pryor and the Oakland offense looked to score quickly to give themselves a chance at another possession.
After Pryor fumbled near the sideline and illegally batted the ball out of bounds, the Raiders were pushed back to their own 18-yard line. Unable to overcome the penalty, the Raiders punted, giving the Chargers the ball with three minutes left in the game.
Hoping to run out the clock, the Chargers continued to feed running backs Jackie Battle and Curtis Brinkley. The Chargers, however, were unable to get a first down or take much time off the game clock.
On the ensuing play, Mike Scifres’ punt was blocked and recovered by the Raiders at the San Diego 12-yard line. The Raiders would make the game interesting, as Pryor connected with wide receiver Denarius Moore for a five-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 24-21.
The Raiders attempted an onside kick, but the Chargers recovered the kick. The Chargers held on for the 24-21 victory to finish 7-9 on the season.
Quarterback Philip Rivers finished 13-of-17 passing for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Eddie Royal led all Charger receivers with four receptions for 61 yards.
The Raiders began the third quarter with the ball on their own 20-yard line after a touchback by Nick Novak.
A roughing the passer penalty by the Chargers on third-and-14 gave the Raiders an automatic first down on their own 31. The Raiders were able to extend the drive on third-and-10 when quarterback Terrelle Pryor hit tight end Brandon Myers for a 22-yard gain. The play put Oakland in Chargers territory. Again facing third down, Pryor scrambled for an 18-yard gain to bring up first down on the Chargers’ 33-yard line. But the San Diego defense shut the door when cornerback Quentin Jammer intercepted a pass in the end zone to give the ball back to Chargers.
The Chargers were unable to do anything with their possession, resulting in a Mike Scifres punt.
Oakland, starting at their own 12-yard line, looked as if it would convert on third-and-eight, but the pass over the middle was broken up by strong safety Corey Lynch. The punt would only travel 33 yards, giving the Chargers the ball on Oakland’s 47-yard line. The Chargers would take advantage of the great field position, as quarterback Philip Rivers connected with wide receiver Danario Alexander for a 34-yard touchdown to make it 24-7 in favor of San Diego. The touchdown is Alexander’s seventh of the season.
The Raiders would go three-and-out on the ensuing drive, but a running into the kicker penalty by the Chargers gave Oakland new life. Pryor and the Raiders offense were unable to take advantage of their extra life, instead punting.
With just over two minutes left in the third quarter, the Chargers took over inside their own 10-yard line. A first down by running back Jackie Battle gave the Chargers some breathing room heading into the fourth quarter.
After three first-down passes by quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the Oakland Raiders offense sat at the Chargers’ 20-yard line facing a third-and-two. Pryor converted the third down with a six-yard run around the left side to extend the drive.
Later in the drive, cornerback Antoine Cason was called for pass interference in the end zone. Following the play, a scuffle between Chargers inside linebacker Takeo Spikes and Raiders running back Mike Goodson broke out. As a result, both were ejected from the game.
Two plays later on third down, Pryor connected with wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey for a nine-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 10-7.
On their next drive, the Chargers faced fourth-and-one. Hoping to regain momentum, free safety Eric Weddle ran for six-yards on the fake punt to get the first down. The play put the Chargers near midfield with a fresh set of downs.
Using a heavy dose of running back Jackie Battle, the Chargers drove deep into Oakland territory, where quarterback Philip Rivers threw an 11-yard touchdown to tight end Antonio Gates to give the Bolts a 17-7 lead with just under three minutes left in the half. The touchdown was the 83rd of Gates’ career and 56th between him and Rivers. The touchdown also ties Gates with former wide receiver Lance Alworth for second-most total TDs in franchise history.
The Raiders were forced to punt of their next possession after failing to convert third-and-seven.
Hoping to add to their lead before halftime, Rivers could not get the offense going and the Chargers punted.
With less than a minute left in the half, the Raiders took over, but without any timeouts left, time expired. The Chargers led 17-7 at halftime.
Rivers finished the half 10-of-13 passing for 96 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown was Rivers’ 25th of the season. He is only one of six quarterbacks in NFL history with five straight seasons with 25 touchdown passes. He also passed the 3,500-yard plateau in the first half. It’s his fifth straight reaching the mark, the most in franchise history.
The San Diego Chargers could not ask for a better start to the final game of the season.
Micheal Spurlock returned the opening kickoff 99-yards for a touchdown to give the Chargers a 7-0 lead just 12 seconds into the game. He is the first player in franchise history with a punt return and kick off return for a touchdown in consecutive weeks.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, making his first career NFL start, and the Oakland Raiders offense were unable to do anything with their first possession, going three-and-out and punting.
Facing a third-and-six, quarterback Philip Rivers was sacked and the Chargers were forced to punt it away on their first possession.
Unable to get into a rhythm with his receivers, Pryor again was unable to get a first down, throwing an incompletion on third-and-three to force a punt.
Taking over on their own 29-yard line, the Chargers offense got on a roll. After wide receiver Eddie Royal hauled in an 11-yard pass for San Diego’s first first down of the game, Rivers found Royal again, this time for 31-yards to put the Chargers deep into Oakland territory. The drive stalled in the red zone, but the Bolts would come away with three points, thanks to a 30-yard field goal by Nick Novak. The field goal gave the Chargers a 10-0 lead.
Pryor finally got into a groove on the Raiders’ third possession on the game, hooking up with wide receiver Rod Streater and tight end Brandon Myers for two consecutive first downs. At the end of the first quarter, the Raiders sat inside San Diego’s 30-yard line with a first down.
The San Diego Chargers (6-9) return to Qualcomm Stadium to conclude the 2012 season against their division-rivals, the Oakland Raiders (4-11).
Oakland is coming off a 17-6 loss to the Carolina Panthers and have lost seven of their last eight games. For the second straight week, the Chargers will be facing a quarterback who is making his first career start. Terrelle Pryor, the second-year signal-caller out of Ohio State, is taking over for injured starter Carson Palmer, who suffered cracked ribs and a bruised lung last week against Carolina. Pryor has not started a football game since the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas on Jan. 4, 2011. He was inactive for Oakland’s first 11 games of the season and has only attempted two career passes, completing one for five yards. Oakland is paced by tight end Brandon Myers, who has 753 yards and four touchdowns on 75 receptions, and wide receiver Denarius Moore, who has totaled 50 receptions for 736 yards and six touchdowns. The Raiders defense has allowed an average of just 15.75 points per game over its last four games after allowing an average of 32.4 points over the first 11 games of the season.
The Chargers are coming off a 27-17 victory over the New York Jets last week and have won two of their last three games. San Diego defeated Oakland 22-14 in Week 1 of the season. Special teams played a large factor in the Week 1 victory, as the Chargers blocked a punt, recovered a fumble and converted five field goals. Against the Raiders in Week 1, quarterback Philip Rivers was 24-for-33 for 231 yards and one touchdown. The Chargers are 3-2 against AFC West opponents this season.
Injuries have ravaged the Chargers this season. Despite the absences to key players, the defense has continued to shine in recent weeks, most notably last week against the Jets when the Chargers totaled 11 sacks, which tied a team-record. Rookie defensive end Kendall Reyes led the Bolts with 3.5 sacks, a career-high.
Inactives for the Bolts will be running back Edwin Baker, cornerback Greg Gatson, linebacker Donald Butler, linebacker Gary Guyton, tackle Steve Schilling, wide receiver Mike Willie and tight end Ladarius Green.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1:25 p.m. and will be broadcasted on CBS.