Heading into the Oakland Raiders' Week 16 clash with the San Diego Chargers, Raiders.com highlighted three matchups that would be crucial in how the game played out.
Operating on a short week, the Raiders beat the Chargers 23-20 in an overtime thriller on Thursday Night Football, improving their record to 7-8 on the year. Now let's look back and see how those three matchups played out.
Head Coach Jack Del Rio vs. Head Coach Mike McCoy
After beating the Bolts 23-20, the Raiders have now swept the season series over San Diego for the first time since 2010.
At times, the Raiders offense struggled to get rolling Thursday night, but when it came down to crunch time, quarterback Derek Carr engineered a sustained drive in overtime which resulted in a 31-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski that proved to be the difference in the ball game.
After trailing for most of the game, Head Coach Del Rio's squad remained vigilant, relying on its defense and special teams, and a few well-timed offensive plays, to lift them over Mike McCoy's team.
"We have a gritty team," Head Coach Del Rio said postgame. "That's something that we're wanting to build, wanting to have, keep fighting, find a way to make a play, believe that you can, stay in the fight, keep working, stay together with one another. I thought we did all of those things tonight."
Running Back Latavius Murray vs. Chargers Defensive Line
For the first time since 2010, the Oakland Raiders have a 1,000-yard rusher.
Murray finished the game with 79 rushing yards and one touchdown, and once again provided a quality option on the ground for the Raiders defense.
"It's very special," Murray said about hitting the 1,000-yard mark. "Obviously it means a lot. It shows how we've been able to move the ball, especially this year. I'm pretty excited."
Murray's 1,035 rushing yards leads the AFC, and his nine runs of 20-yards-or-more also ranks top in the conference.
"Anytime you can have a 1,000 rusher is big," added center Rodney Hudson. "A lot of that goes to him as well. He's been running real well all year and he ran hard today. We're happy for him."
Safety Charles Woodson vs. Quarterback Philip Rivers
It was surely a night to remember for Charles Woodson, as the Raiders topped the Chargers in his last game at O.co Coliseum.
From the pregame pageantry to his postgame remarks to Raider Nation at midfield, the future Hall of Famer definitely soaked in every moment of his last home game a Raider.
"I just wanted to suck it all in, man," Woodson said. "Take my time with it. It's like you know how when you have something really good to eat? It's really good to you and you don't want to eat it really quick so you take your time and you just nibble on it a little bit. That's kind of how I felt. It's going to be my last time running out here in the Coliseum, getting a chance to run out there in that smoke and so I just wanted to take my time and hear all the cheering and all the fans yelling. Man that was pretty special."
Although Woodson wasn't able to pick off Rivers, he finished the day with two total tackles, a win in his final home game as a Raider more than made up for it.
"It's good for it to be this night, a night where it's my last game in the Coliseum to have the dramatics but come out with the win," Woodson added.