K Sebastian Janikowski (11) booted the game-winning field goal against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
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2012 SEASON IN REVIEW:
• The Raiders fell to the San Diego Chargers in the season finale, 24-21.
• OL Tony Bergstrom, QB Terrelle Pryor and DB Brandian Ross made their first-career starts in the season finale. In total, seven players made their first NFL starts for the Raiders during the 2012 season.
• DB Cory Nelms and OL Lucas Nix made their NFL debuts in the season finale, bring- ing the total number of Raiders that made their debut to 14 during the 2012 campaign.
• WR Rod Streater, who joined the Raiders as a non-drafted rookie free agent out of Temple, finished the season with 39 catches, marking the fourth-most for a rookie in franchise history and tied for the third-most by an undrafted player in the NFL since the 2000 season.
• DT Tommy Kelly started his 80th consecu- tive game in the season finale, marking the longest active streak by a defensive tackle in the NFL. Kelly has not missed a game since sitting out nine contests due to a knee injury in 2007, and has started every game since Sept. 8, 2008, vs. Denver.
• QB Carson Palmer became just the second quarterback in Raider history to pass for 4,000 yards in a single season with 4,018. Rich Gannon holds the Silver and Black's all- time single-season record with 4,689 passing yards in 2002.
• As a team, the Raiders attempted 629 passes in 2012, breaking the 2002 team record of 619 attempts.
• TE Brandon Myers led the team with 79 receptions for 806 yards, marking the most catches by a Raider tight end since Todd Christensen had 95 receptions in 1986.
• Myers' 79 catches were the most by a Raider since WR Jerry Rice had 92 receptions in 2002.
• Myers tied for the NFL lead with 36 receptions in the fourth quarter in 2012.
• The Raiders were the NFL's late-score leader, scoring 89 points at the end of the half. Oak- land scored in final two minutes of the first half in 11 games this season.
• The Raiders did not have a player selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time since 2003.
•The Raiders are tentatively slated to select third in the 2013 NFL Draft.
RAIDERS CLOSE OUT SEASON AT SAN DIEGO:The Oakland Raid- ers wrapped up the 2012 season at San Diego, falling to the Chargers, 24- 21. The Raiders closed out the campaign with a 4-12 overall record and a third-place finish in the AFC West.
FIRST-TIME STARTERS:OL Tony Bergstrom, QB Terrelle Pryor and DB Brandian Ross all started in the season finale, meaning that seven Raiders made their first NFL starts in 2012. Six of the seven did so against San Di- ego in either the Sept. 10 opener or the Dec. 30 finale.
• Phillip Adams, Dec. 16 vs. KC
• Tony Bergstrom, Dec. 30 at SD
• Miles Burris, Sept. 10 vs. SD
• Alex Parsons, Sept. 10 vs. SD
• Terrelle Pryor, Dec. 30 at SD
• Brandian Ross, Dec. 30 at SD
• Rod Streater, Sept. 10 vs. SD
NFL DEBUTS:Both DB Cory Nelms and OL Lucas Nix made their respective NFL debuts in the season finale at San Diego. In total, 14 players made their NFL debuts for the Raiders this season: OL Tony Bergstrom, DT Christo Bilukidi, LB Kaelin Burnett, LB Miles Burris, DE Jack Craw- ford, WR Juron Criner, LB Carl Ihenacho, DB Cory Nelms, OL Lucas Nix, FB/RB Jamize Olawale, C/G Alex Parsons, RB Jeremy Stewart, WR Rod Streater and CB Brandian Ross.
RESHAPING THE ROSTER:The Raiders played last season's finale vs. San Diego with 53 players on their roster and four on injured reserve. Of those 57, only 26 were active in the 2012 season finale. Only 29 are still in the organization, and of those 29, just 21 are currently under contract for next season.
HISTORY PROVIDES HOPE:The Raiders were 8-8 in 2010 and 8-8 in 2011 (one win from the playoffs), then finished a disappointing season in 2012. However, since the NFL expanded to a 16-game season in 1978, on 23 occasions, franchises have rebounded with a successful Year 4 (by reaching the playoffs and/or finishing with 10 or more wins). One of those teams, the 1998-2001 New England Patriots, took their lumps after changing head coaches like the Raiders in Year 3, then won the Super Bowl in Year 4.
BUILDING A FOUNDATION:Of the team's 352 combined starts this year, 49.7 percent (or 175) were made by players with four or fewer years of NFL experience. Going younger, 27.9 percent of those 352 starts (or 97) were made by players with three or fewer years of NFL experience.
FIRST-ROUND PRO BOWLERS:The Raiders are the only team in the NFL without a Pro Bowler drafted in the first round from 2004-12, since drafting in 2003 their last first-round Pro Bowler, Nnamdi Asomugha. On defense, the team ended the year with one active first-round selection in its starting lineup, Michael Huff, who made the unconventional move from safety to cornerback early in the season.
A NEED FOR CONTINUITY:Bringing back a head coach for a second year is significant for the Raiders, whose football personnel, including equipment managers, trainers and operations staff, have had to adjust to different philosophies, expectations and preferences each time the team has changed its on-field leader. And over the past 10 seasons, no team has undergone more change at the head-coach position over the past four decades. Since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, the Raiders are the league's only team with as many as seven individuals to hold the permanent title of head coach over a 10-year period. Two other franchises, the 1972-81 Saints and the 2003-12 Dolphins, also have had seven head coaches in a 10-year span, but each of those teams had two interim head coaches never given the permanent title. On 22 occasions since 1970, a club has had six head coaches over a 10-year period.
STREAKING STREATER:Rookie WR Rod Streater, who totaled just 19 catches as a senior at Temple, was among the most productive non-drafted rookie players in recent NFL history. Streater's 35 catches this season is tied for fifth most among non-drafted rookies since 2000.
ROD AMONG ROOKIE BESTS:WR Rod Streater's season receiving to- tal ranked among the top rookie performances in Raiders franchise his- tory. Streater's 39 catches were the fourth most by a Raider rookie.
GAMES STARTS LOST DUE TO INJURY:The Raiders were hit hard by injuries this season, losing 95 games and 49 starts due to various ailments on the roster.
KELLY'S CONSISTENCY:DT Tommy Kelly has made 80 straight starts since 2008, marking the most consecutive starts for a defensive tackle in the NFL. San Francisco 49ers DT Justin Smith was inactive for a Week 16 contest due to an injury, snapping a streak of 185 straight starts that dated back to the 2001 season. Kelly has not missed a game since the 2007 sea- son, when he sat out nine contests due to a knee injury. His streak ranks fifth among active defensive players in the NFL. He has started every game for Oakland since the season-opener against Denver on Sept. 8, 2008.
AIR YARDS vs. YAC:The Raiders ranked second in the NFL with 2,141 yards after the catch (YAC).
GOLDEN BOOT:K Sebastian Janikowski hit 31-of-34 field-goal attempts this season, hitting 91.2 percent of his tries. Only 11 kickers in league his- tory have hit at least 90.6 percent of their attempts during a season while perfect from 49 yards or less. In that group, Janikowski hit the most from long distance.
LATE-SCORE LEADERS:QB Terrelle Pryor and WR Denarius Moore connected on a 5-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute remaining in regulation in the season finale at San Diego, giving the Raiders an NFL- high 89 points at the end of a half.
MYERS CLUTCH IN THE FOURTH:TE Brandon Myers tied for the NFL lead with 36 receptions in the final period this season.
PUTTING IT UP:Three Oakland passers (Carson Palmer - 565, Matt Leinart - 33, Terrelle Pryor - 30, Shane Lechler - 1) combined to attempt 629 passes, surpassing the franchise record of 619 attempts set during the 2002.