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Tuesday, January 28, 2014
10 plays that shaped Raiders' season: No. 5

By Paul Gutierrez

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- We're doing this list of 10 Plays That Defined The Oakland Raiders' Season in chronological order, and there is no set number of plays that could be viewed as negative or positive. But as we take a look at Play No. 5, which went down in Week 5, it was definitely one the Raiders will look upon fondly.

Oct. 6, vs. San Diego Chargers, Terrelle Pryor throws a 44-yard bomb to Rod Streater for a TD on Oakland's first offensive play from scrimmage.

Pryor's popularity was on the rise after missing the previous week's gut-wrenching loss to Washington with concussion symptoms. Matt Flynn had done nothing to endear himself to the Raiders fanbase in that loss and had actually been demoted to third-string behind Pryor and undrafted rookie Matt McGloin. In fact, Flynn would be released the next day.

But on this Sunday night at the O.co Coliseum, with an unprecedented-in-Oakland 8:35 p.m. kickoff due to a scheduling conflict with Major League Baseball's Athletics, who were playing the Detroit Tigers in a playoff series, the night belonged to the Raiders in general, Pryor in particular.

There's just a different vibe to a nationally-televised night game, especially a Raiders home game and when Usama Young intercepted Philip Rivers at the Oakland 30-yard line and returned it to the Chargers' 47 before fumbling and recovering at the 44, the buzz was palpable.

And then Pryor, who has long claimed he has a big arm, showed it off, along with some accuracy.

The Raiders' first play was a bomb down the right sideline, Pryor taking the snap from under center, dropping back and throwing from the dirt infield at about second base. Pryor's throw was true as Streater slowed a bit to leap and catch the ball at about the 3-yard line and beat Chargers cornerback Derek Cox before rolling into the end zone for the score and the quick 7-0 lead.

The quick-strike play was reminiscent of what Al Davis wanted his offenses to execute and the Raiders, behind the late Davis' final draft pick in Pryor, built a 24-3 lead late in the third quarter before holding on for the 27-17 victory to improve to 2-3 on the season.

On the night, Pryor threw for 221 yards on 18-of-23 passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a career-high passer rating of 135.7. He also carried the ball 11 times for 31 yards.

Pryor seemed to be on the rise and improving by the week.

Check back Thursday for Play No. 6...