OAKLAND – Free safety Charles Woodson scooped up a Danny Woodhead fumble late in the third quarter Sunday night and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown.
That marked the 13th defensive touchdown for Woodson during his 16-year NFL career. It also moved Woodson into a tie with former Raiders safety Rod Woodson and former safety Darren Sharper for the NFL record.
The play helped the Raiders defeat the San Diego Chargers, and it further validated general manager Reggie McKenzie’s decision to sign Woodson during the offseason.
“He’s made a habit out of doing that his whole career … ,: Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “That’s what we expect out of him.”
Woodson said it just means that “I’ve been around the game a long time.”
Woodson added an interception on the Chargers final offensive play of the game.
— Outside linebacker Kevin Burnett recorded a game-high 14 tackles, including one of the Raiders two sacks.
Burnett might get overlooked by the casual fan, but the Raiders are quite aware of Burnett’s value to their defense, Allen said.
“Kevin is like a lot of the guys that we have on our defense that not very many people talk about,” Allen said, “but they’re good football players.”
The Raiders made Burnett their team captain against a Chargers team that he once played for.
— Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said he wasn’t concerned about his troops going four games without an interception. It was only a matter of time, he promised.
Sure enough the Raiders intercepted Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers on his second pass, with safety Usama Young snaring an errant deep pass by Rivers.
It took the Raiders 131 passes before they notched their first interception of the season.
Defensive tackle Vance Walker said forcing turnovers is a constant theme on the field and in meeting rooms.
“That’s something we emphasized at the (offseason workouts), when we came together as a group,” Walker said. “To be a playoff team, a Super Bowl team, you got to get turnovers. That’s the difference.”
Rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden added an interception late in the game for the first of his NFL career.
“It felt good,” Hayden said. “We needed a play … and I came through.”
— The Raiders blocked a kick for the second straight game. However, the results couldn’t have been much more disparate.
The Raiders turned a blocked punt into a touchdown against the Redskins on Sept. 29. Against the Chargers, an alert Ladarius Green picked up a blocked field-goal attempt and turned it into a first down by advancing the ball the necessary yardage.
San Diego kicker Nick Novak got a second chance a four plays later and converted.
— Sebastian Janikowski connected on both his field-goal attempts, including one from 50 yards late in the game and the Chargers mounting a comeback.
Janikowski missed three field-goal attempts in Oakland’s first four games. Allen said part of that owed to first-year punter Marquette King taking over for long-time holder Shane Lechler.
— The Raiders played without five starters Sunday – running back Darren McFadden, center Stefen Wisniewski, left offensive tackle Jared Veldheer, right offensive tackle Tony Pashos and strong safety Tyvon Branch.
For McFadden (hamstring), this marked the first game he missed this season but the 24th of his six-year Raiders career.
— NFL Network reported that the Raiders intend to work out veteran quarterback David Carr on Monday.
Carr, 34, played for five teams since he joined the league in 2002. He started two of the eight games he played for the New York Giants last season.
It’s likely that the Raiders view Carr as a veteran backup and not someone that will challenge Pryor for the starting job.
— Former Cal standout receiver Keenan Allen caught six passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. Officials overturned another touchdown.
— Running back Rashad Jennings suffered a hamstring injury in the first half, and he wasn’t able to finish the game.
Jennings started in place of McFadden. Marcel Reece rushed seven times for 32 yards once Jennings departed the game.
— The hectic conversion from baseball to football following the A’s 1-0 win in the American League Division Series which started Saturday night turned out to be not hectic at all.
Cranes were on the field before A’s players even left the park, crews worked through the night and the conversion was complete by 3:30 p.m., more than five hours before kickoff.