Chargers vs. Raiders: Key Matchups for Oakland

The Oakland Raiders face an uphill climb in their efforts to get back into the thick of things in the AFC West. Getting a win against division rival San Diego in Week 5 would be the perfect first step toward achieving this goal for coach Dennis Allen’s team.

The good news is that quarterback Terrelle Pryor is back in the starting lineup after sitting out Week 4 with concussion symptoms. Pryor participated in practice on Wednesday, and he's looking to show no lingering effects from the helmet-to-helmet hit he suffered against Denver on Sept. 23.

Having Pryor back is critical for Oakland. He is one of the team’s top playmakers on offense, and although he’s still raw in terms of his development as a passer, Pryor has a better feel for the Raiders’ receivers than Matt Flynn did a week ago.

Running back Darren McFadden is another story, though. McFadden sat out practice with a sore hamstring, and his status for Sunday’s game against the Chargers is uncertain.

Even if McFadden is held out, it probably won’t change the Raiders game plan much against a Chargers team that has been rejuvenated under first-year coach Mike McCoy.

Here’s a look at some of the key matchups for Sunday’s game, which is slated to begin at 8:35 p.m. PDT.


Oakland QB Terrelle Pryor vs. San Diego OLBs Larry English and Jarret Johnson

Oakland’s offense was completely stagnant while Pryor was on the sidelines against Washington last week, so his mere presence alone should provide a boost to the team this week.

Whether he’s healthy enough to shake the likes of English and Johnson is another matter.

Pryor is at his best when on the move, and the Raiders can best facilitate that by running the read-option. Oakland had a lot of success doing it in the first three games of the year but had to abandon it last week against ...

About the Author