SAN DIEGO — Terrelle Pryor found out what it’s like to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Pryor made his first career start, in place of injured Carson Palmer, in Oakland’s 24-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. He threw his first two career touchdown passes and scored on a 3-yard run.
He also made some mistakes.
With Sebastian Janikowski warming up on the sideline for a possible field goal attempt in the final seconds of the first half, Pryor scrambled but didn’t get out of bounds and the clock ran out.
Early in the third quarter, Pryor got too much air under a pass and was picked off in the end zone by Quentin Jammer.
“There were some throws that I missed today that I didn’t miss in practice,” said Pryor, who completed 13 of 28 passes for 150 yards, with one interception.
“Some of the throwing lanes you have to throw with a stiff wrist to get the ball out there and I missed one for (Darrius Heyward-Bey). He had a chance but it was a bad throw and I missed one when I threw the pick with the same exact problem.
“That’s one thing I know I can critique myself and work on and have some bigger guys stand there and work on that in the offseason. There were two throws that could have been touchdowns. And I’m upset about that.”
San Diego’s Micheal Spurlock returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.
San Diego linebacker Takeo Spikes and Oakland running back Mike Goodson were ejected following a skirmish in the second quarter.
San Diego coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith are expected to be fired Monday because the Chargers (7-9) missed the playoffs for the third straight season. The Raiders finished 4-12.
If Turner does get fired, he’ll finish 56-40 in six seasons with San Diego, but just 24-24 the past three seasons.
Turner’s overall regular-season record as an NFL head coach is 114-122-1. He was 49-59-1 in Washington from 1994 until being fired with three games left in the 2000 season and 9-23 with Oakland, where he coached from 2004 until being fired after the 2005 season.
He was hired by the Chargers in February 2007 after Smith won a power struggle with Marty Schottenheimer.
Spurlock took the opening kickoff and ran up the middle of the field before cutting over to the right sideline to give the Chargers a lead they wouldn’t give up.
He became the first Chargers player to have a kickoff and punt return for touchdowns in consecutive weeks. He returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown a week earlier in a victory against the New York Jets.
Pryor threw his first career touchdown pass, a 9-yarder to Heyward-Bey early in the second quarter, and scored on a 3-yard run midway through the fourth quarter to pull the Raiders to 24-14. He threw a 5-yard TD pass to Denarius Moore late in the game.
“I thought he did some good things,” coach Dennis Allen said. “Obviously there is still some work to be done there. He obviously provided a little spark and so I think that is something to build on.”
Pryor’s first TD pass came two plays after Spikes and Goodson were ejected.
Goodson was blocking Spikes when the two locked up on a pass play in the second quarter. They remained locked up after the play ended and a larger scrum broke out.
Spikes and Goodson were flagged for personal fouls and ejected. Spikes had to be restrained by field judge Scott Edwards from going after referee John Parry.
As he was leaving the field, Spikes took off his helmet and flung it. Teammate Melvin Ingram caught it.
Backup tight end Randy McMichael walked Spikes off the field and the two hugged before Spikes disappeared up the tunnel.
After Oakland scored, San Diego took the ensuing kickoff and went on a long drive that resulted in Philip Rivers’ 11-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates for a 17-7 lead with 2:48 left before halftime.
Rivers also threw a 34-yard scoring pass to Danario Alexander.
Rivers completed 13 of 17 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns.