NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Sunday praised the passion of the Raiders fans but admitted something has to be done about getting more of them to attend games at the Coliseum.
Before the game, Goodell mingled with the fans, signed autographs and posed for photos.
"There's no shortage (of) passion here, that's for sure," Goodell said during an interview in the press box at halftime. "We just need to get more fans, and get more fans in the stadium. That's something we're being challenged with throughout the country but, clearly, it's an issue here."
The announced crowd was only 48,279 in a stadium that holds 63,132. A week earlier, the Raiders attracted only 32,218 fans for a game against the Houston Texans, their smallest crowd since 1967.
All three of Oakland's home games this season have been blacked out on local TV, stretching the current streak to the past 10 homes games dating back to 2009. In all, 79 of 143 home games have been blacked out since the Raiders moved back to Oakland from Los Angeles in 1995.
Goodell said the NFL is studying its blackout policy, which requires games to sell out 72 hours in advance of kickoff for them to be televised locally.
"We want to make sure our stadiums are full," Goodell said. Raiders chief executive officer Amy Trask said she has discussed with Goodell the need for the team to get a new stadium built, preferably on the site of its current location.
"We're having ongoing
Trask is pushing for a project that includes more than a new stadium. She said she envisions a facility that serves as "a catalyst for an urban renovation in the manner in which to bring economic stimulus for the whole region. We have been working very cooperatively with the city. (We) understand this region. Right now, fans come to this facility and there's nowhere for them to spend their money in the area."
"I can't wait to see this (video)," Raiders coach Tom Cable said. "The guy really grew a lot (Sunday) as a pro football player. His coverage was so much better than it has been. He tackled well. He adjusted to some things. "... From the second quarter on, he played a fine game."
Mitchell said he felt as if a breakout game was in the offing.
"I told the coaches during the week, this is the game for me because I've had it a little rough this offseason and this preseason and I really want to prove myself to people," Mitchell said. "I really want to prove myself to my teammates. I want to prove myself to my coaches."
He spent all of last season fighting to overcome the effects from a broken shin. He finally was placed on the injured-reserve list after 15 games on the inactive list. He wasn't used in any of Oakland's first four games this year.
Earlier, Brown delivered the first hit on Chargers running back Mike Tolbert on a third-and-goal play from the Raiders 1-yard line on a play that ended with a fumble recovery by Mitchell.
Interestingly, the Raiders activated No. 3 quarterback Kyle Boller for the first time in five games. The move was done as a precautionary measure because of Bruce Gradkowski's tender right shoulder.