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Rookies showed up and showed out as Silver and Black claim victory over Chargers

As the Raiders dominated in all phases in the 63-21 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, so did the rookies.

Quarterback Aidan O'Connell, wide receiver Tre Tucker and tight end Michael Mayer all had a night of their own.

Despite a lackluster offensive performance against the Vikings, O'Connell and Co. bounced back quickly on the short week.

"When I was a rookie and I played, I made mistakes. I had ugly games," Interim Head Coach Antonio Pierce said postgame. "It's hard to play the position he plays. He's going to have rough days and he had a rough day on offense last week. But you know what he did on Monday? He was the first one in the building. You know what he did yesterday? He was the last one in the building. ... He has a great opportunity, no different than me. He's taking advantage of it and tonight, he's on the winning side."

O'Connell finished the night completing 20 of his 34 pass attempts for 248 passing yards. He also threw four touchdown passes in the first half, which matches his total amount of career touchdown passes entering today and ties the Raiders' single-game record for a rookie quarterback.

O'Connell had no problem sharing the love with his fellow rookie teammates as he connected with wide receiver Tre Tucker for a 30-yard touchdown on the team's second drive of the night, which is now stamped as the receiver's first NFL touchdown. Not only did Tucker notch his first career touchdown but he took a second trip to the end zone right before the half, finishing the night with three receptions, 59 receiving yards and the two touchdowns.

"Aidan is my guy man," Tucker said of his connection with O'Connell. "We were actually just reminiscing about about some of the rookie things we had to do earlier in the year. Sometimes when you have a special connection off the field, it just boosts your connection on the field. I trust him and I know he trusts me."

Another notable performance was that of tight end Michael Mayer with his four receptions, 39 receiving yards and an 11-yard receiving touchdown to give the Raiders a 28-point lead in the second quarter. This was Mayer's second career touchdown, as his first came from Week 10 against the New York Jets.

It's clear the relationship between a quarterback and their receivers is something special, but to build that bond as rookies adds something extra to that connection on and off the field.

"I came in with those guys and we were talking today and yesterday about how far we've come and how different it is now compared to what it was when we first got here in training camp and stuff," O'Connell said of Tucker and Mayer. "The NFL is really hard. It's hard in your first year. To be able to go through it with those guys and share similar experiences has been awesome."

"They both work super hard, they stay late. I throw to Tre after practice all the time. Mike's always in the facility getting work, watching film. It's really fun to see both those guys succeed."

View photos from the Raiders' Week 15 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers at Allegiant Stadium.

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