In what is widely expected to be head coach Norv Turner’s final game in San Diego, the Chargers concluded their disappointing 2012 season by beating the even more disappointing Raiders.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had an efficient and effective game, completing 13 of 17 passes for 151 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions, and the Chargers jumped out to an early lead and held off a late comeback attempt by the Raiders.
That comeback attempt was led by Terrelle Pryor, the Raiders quarterback who got his first career start and showed that he has a long way to go, but also that he has potential: Pryor missed on more passes than he hit (13 of 28), but he showed off a knack for throwing on the run, for making plays with his feet, and for improvising. Pryor gained 49 yards rushing and threw two touchdown passes, the second of which pulled the Raiders to within 24-21 with just under two minutes to play.
But the Raiders failed to cover their ensuing onside kick, and the Chargers ran out the clock. For both teams, big questions will need to be answered during a long offseason. For the Chargers, the biggest question right now is, Who will be their coach and general manager in 2013? For the Raiders, the big question is at the quarterback, where Pryor may have done enough to show he deserves a chance to compete for the starting job next year.