An examination of four hot issues from the Raiders’ 27-17 win over the San Diego Chargers:
Pryor matures: If you think the Chargers were surprised by the Raiders throwing deep on their first offensive play of the game -- a 44-yard scoring bomb from Terrelle Pryor to Rod Streater -- imagine Pryor’s reaction when he received the call from offensive coordinator Greg Olson. After all, accuracy has been an issue for Pryor, and things did not work out so well the previous two times the call came in -- interceptions in the preseason finale at Seattle and in the regular-season opener at Indianapolis. “I thought we started fast and then we slowed down,” Pryor said. “And that’s not going to work in the NFL.” It’s all part of Pryor’s evolution as an NFL quarterback.
C-Wood makes like Rickey: It was on this same field, granted, 22 years earlier, that former Oakland A’s outfielder Rickey Henderson proclaimed himself the “greatest” upon breaking Lou Brock’s career stolen-base record. But about a football field away, in the Raiders' locker room, Charles Woodson was feeling it when he was asked about tying Rod Woodson and Darren Sharper for the all-time NFL mark for defensive touchdowns (13) with his 25-yard fumble recovery and run. “It just means I’ve been around a long time,” Woodson said. “I’ve made a bunch of plays, and I’m one of the greatest to ever play this game.” He’s also been better than the Raiders could have hoped this season.
A D.J. Hayden sighting: Observers had started to come down a bit on the Raiders’ first-round draft pick. After all, isn’t a No. 12 overall draft pick (the Raiders, who had the No. 3 pick, said they liked Hayden enough that they would have taken him at No. 3 if they hadn't been able to trade down) supposed to be an immediate impact player? But after having a rough game against fellow rookie Keenan Allen, Hayden distinguished himself by picking off Philip Rivers in the back of the end zone late in the fourth quarter. “I saw Allen kind of do a little dig, and I just followed him,” Hayden said. In fact, he made the kind of impact play the Raiders expected when they selected the cornerback. “Sometimes,” Rivers said, “they make good plays.”
Of explosive plays V: And now for our weekly tracking of “explosive” plays. As deemed by coach Dennis Allen, such a play is one that gains at least 16 yards through the air or 12 yards on the ground. The Raiders had six such plays against San Diego, one run and five passes, while the Chargers had seven explosive plays, all by air and four on one fourth-quarter drive. In five games, the Raiders have 40 explosive plays (13 runs, 27 passes), with four passes for touchdowns. Oakland’s opponents, meanwhile, have 38 explosive plays combined, eight runs and 30 passes with a touchdown each way.