It took the Bolts all of 12 seconds to score. On the opening kickoff, WR Micheal Spurlock broke through several tackles in the middle of the field before he found a clearing in front of the Raiders' bench. A line of blockers were set up to escort Spurlock for a 99-yard TD return.
The quick strike heightened tensions for the rivalry game. Emotions boiled over at the start of the second quarter when Chargers ILB Takeo Spikes engaged in an extended pushing match with RB Mike Goodson. Both players were ejected for ignoring the referees attempt to break them apart as they grabbed at each other's face masks.
Spikes was named the team's most inspirational player on Friday. He had never been ejected and this was likely the last game of his 15-year career.
“I just thought it was a horse---- call,” Spikes told Annie Heilbrunn of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor is on the other side of his career and made his first start. Two plays later, Pryor threw a 9-yard TD pass to WR Darrius Heyward-Bey . “I went up there and made a play for him,” Heyward-Bey said. “It was good to get his first touchdown out of the way so we could move on.”
The Chargers appeared to have gone three-and-out on their next possession before they ran a fake punt deep in their territory. FS Eric Weddle took a direct snap and ran it six yards for a first down on San Diego's 34-yard line. It was a gutsy call, but QB Philip Rivers capitalized on the extra opportunity. He found TE Antonio Gates for an 11-yard TD to cap off the drive.
The play proved historic. It was the 56th TD hookup for Rivers and Gates, the most-ever in NFL history between a QB and TE. Gates has 83 career TDs and is tied with WR Lance Alworth for the second most TDs in franchise history.
It also marked the fifth season in a row Rivers has thrown 25 touchdown passes or more. Only five other QBs have reached that milestone. They include Peyton Manning (1998-2012), Brett Favre (1994-98), Dan Marino (1984-88), Drew Brees (2006-12) and Aaron Rodgers (2008-12).
The Bolts took a 17-7 lead into halftime. Then early in the third quarter, Rivers found WR Danario Alexander for a 34-yard strike to extend the lead to 24-7.
Pryor, however, stayed composed and showed a degree of maturity while playing from behind. He had two TDs in the fourth quarter. Pryor scored on a 3-yard run and a 5-yard pass to Denarius Moore that was set up by a blocked punt.
“I did feel like a leader on the field,” Pryor said.
The comeback fell short when Spurlock recovered an onside-kick that allowed San Diego to run out the clock.
When the game turned: Weddle called for the fake punt. It was a gamble he was willing to take to swing the emotional momentum. “It was huge," Weddle said. “Then they went down and scored. When a big play happens like that and then they capitalize on it the game is over in our eyes.”
Highlight moments: CB Quentin Jammer made one of the finest interceptions of his career by jumping up and deflecting a pass intended for Heward-Bey. Jammer fell to the turf flat on his back and then caught the ball as it came down in the end zone. It was the 21st career pick for Jammer who has played his entire career in San Diego. “It may be my last season with the team,” Jammer said while holding back emotions. “Interception or not, we got the win. It's a great way to end the year.”
- Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor -- Pryor didn't put up huge numbers, but he did pass his audition and could be the QB of the future for the silver and black. Pryor completed 13 of 28 passes for 150 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT for a 72.0 passer rating. He also carried the ball nine times for 49 yards and a TD, for a total of three touchdowns.
- Chargers QB Philip Rivers -- Rivers had a 142.0 passer rating. He completed 13 of 17 throws. They only went for 151 yards, but he threw two TDs and avoided being picked. Rivers finished the season with 15 INTs, down five from his career-high of 20 picks last year.
- Raiders WR Rod Streater -- Streater led all receivers with four receptions for 77 yards. He had a long of 38 yards that set up a Pryor's 3-yard TD run on the next play.
What they said:
- Chargers coach Norv Turner on his future -- “We are going to meet tomorrow with the team and I am sure they will start looking for a new coach.”
- Raiders coach Dennis Allen on Pryor -- “There is still a lot of room for improvement, but there were some positive things that he did in the game.”
- Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor -- “There were a lot of throws I would like to have back, but I am going to walk out with my chin up.”
Numbers you should know: Spurlock's 99-yard return for a TD was the longest return of his career. Spurlock also had a 63-yard punt return for a TD against the Jets last Sunday. He became the first player in Chargers history to return a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in consecutive games.
Injury update: No injuries were reported during the game.
Going forward: Chargers -- Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith and coach Norv Turner are both widely rumored to be on the chopping blocks. The Raiders will also face a number of offseason changes as they look to improve.
Follow the Chargers and Dan McLellan on Twitter @CBSChargers and @sandiegosports.