The Raiders' season ended Sunday just as it began, with a loss to division rival San Diego, this time by a 24-21 count. The Raiders finished the season 4-12, missed the playoffs for the 10th straight year and secured the No. 3 overall pick in April's NFL draft.
For Raiders fans, Sunday's game will be remembered most for quarterback Terrelle Pryor's impressive performance in his first NFL start.
Pryor was far from perfect, but he largely exceeded expectations. He took firm command of the offense and avoided the typical mistakes of inexperienced QBs such as false starts and delay of game penalties. Pryor completed only 13 of 28 passes for 150 yards and threw some wobblers, but he also had two TD passes and ran for 49 yards and a touchdown. He did some of his best work on third downs, where the Raiders converted 8 of 15 chances, and in the red zone, where they went 3-for-3. Running back Darren McFadden had another rough day, gaining just 57 yards on 19 carries, 3.0 per carry. Rookie WR Rod Streater had four catches for a team-high 77 yards, including a 38-yarder. Previous game’s grade: F
The Raiders' defense capped its strong stretch run with another solid performance, holding San Diego to 210 yards and 14 first downs. The defense allowed just 17 points -- the other 7 came via a kick return. Defensive end Lamarr Houston had a big game with 13 tackles and 1.5 sacks -- both team highs. Rookie OLB Mile Burris added seven tackles and a tackle for loss. The Raiders allowed just 70 yards rushing and came up big on third down. San Diego converted just 2 of 11 third-down tries. Previous game’s grade: B+
Special teams: F
On the game-opening kickoff, San Diego's Micheal Spurlock burned the Raiders on a 99-yard return for a touchdown. Just like that, the Raiders were in a hole and playing catch-up. Later in the game, San Diego burned the Raiders on a fake punt. The special teams did produce a blocked punt --cornerback Coye Franciesbroke free up the middle -- that set up a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. But one shining moment doesn't erase a litany of mistakes.
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Previous game’s grade: C+
Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, who was fired Monday, had Pryor ready to play, and came up with a solid game plan for the young QB. Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver came up with a plan that helped shut down San Diego's running game yet limited Chargers QB Philip Rivers to just 151 passing yards. Despite winning just four games this season, the Raiders played hard for coach Dennis Allen until the end. Previous game’s grade: C-
Follow Raiders reporter Eric Gilmore on Twitter @CBSRaiders.