Posted October 07, 2013

Terrelle Pryor proves worthy of Raiders’ starting role in definitive win

AFC West, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers
Terrelle Pryor shook away the specter of past failures with a win over the Chargers.

Terrelle Pryor shook away the specter of past failures with a win over the Chargers. (Tony Avelar/AP)

To whatever degree Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor had to worry about losing his job as the team’s starting quarterback in the event of a trade for Josh Freeman, Pryor proved on Sunday night that the Raiders missed nothing when Freeman signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings. NFL.com’s Mike Silver reported on Sunday morning that the Raiders were looking to acquire the recently released ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneers signal-caller, possibly to reunite him with offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who served that same role for the Bucs during Freeman’s best NFL seasons.

Had they done so, and even if Freeman had gotten up to speed by gametime Sunday night, it’s difficult to imagine him doing any better than Pryor did in the Raiders’ 27-17 win over the Chargers. Pryor completed his first 10 passes, throwing for two touchdowns in the first quarter, and finished with 18 completions in 23 attempts for 221 yards, those two scores and no interceptions. That was enough to hold the Raiders in good stead even when the Chargers tried to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter when Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers threw both of his touchdown passes, because Rivers also threw three picks to a Raiders defense that hadn’t had a single interception through its first four games.

Oakland cornerback Charles Woodson returned a Danny Woodhead fumble 25 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to tie Darren Sharper and Rod Woodson for the most defensive touchdowns in NFL history with 13. That play put the Raiders up, 24-3, but the Chargers would not give up.

Rivers, who had been enjoying outstanding performances through his first four games of the 2013 season, struggled early, but threw touchdown passes to Woodhead and Keenan Allen to make it a closer game. But in the end, and though he threw for 411 yards on the night, Rivers could not overcome the picks he threw to Woodson, Usama Young and D.J. Hayden. Both Rivers and Pryor were playing behind offensive lines ravaged by injuries and throwing to less-than-impressive receiver corps, but Pryor was the one who seemed in command throughout the evening. Both quarterbacks were also dealing with injuries to their top running backs — San Diego’s Ryan Mathews left the game in the first half with a concussion, and Oakland’s Darren McFadden missed the game entirely with a hamstring strain.

Pryor made timely throws from the pocket, extended plays by rolling out effectively, ran through San Diego’s defense when required, and avoided any killer mistakes. It was a concise, efficient, definitive performance that belied Pryor’s relative inexperience — though this is his third NFL season, Sunday’s game marked his fifth NFL start.

“That’s what the kid brings to us,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said after the game. “Terrelle brings that ability when things aren’t right, when things break down, he brings that ability to make plays.”

No matter how much they might have been looking elsewhere, Pryor proved once again that the Raiders already have a bright future as the game’s most important position.

22 comments
atalantic
atalantic

"I told you so" -- Al Davis' ghost

atalantic
atalantic

This makes the harebained notion of wasting two toppicks for Palmer even more laughable. Imagine Pryor's progress if they'd just gone with him from the get-go back then. Also you'd have two great players if you don't screw up the drafting.

youngnorth77
youngnorth77

i'm not overly hyped on pryor being the long term solution but my opinion along time ago when they had him on the roster and jason campbell went down and they waisted draft picks on palmer i thought they should have let him have a chance then , we'll see the jury is still out but they can't get much worse maybe in next year draft if they throw a few more weapon's around him he could really emerge

RonHeckert
RonHeckert

Reggie McKenzie needs to stop trying to replace this guy.  He comes out and plays, every game, and hey...we need a guy that can scramble and extend plays.  I WOULD HAVE BEEN FURIOUS IF THEY HAD SIGNED FREEMAN. 

tonybot3
tonybot3

Congrats Terrelle.  Fan since OSU.

JohnMatuszak
JohnMatuszak

i'm a white supremacist and he's growing on me..

luvfoozball
luvfoozball

Its ridiculous how fast Pryor was in escaping Chargers time and again. He is looking much better than I had expected him to look.

Drew92410
Drew92410

Pryor looked like an elite NFL QB in the first half. However, the second half performance has me a little worried. It looked like SD made some adjustments at halftime and Pryor and the offense struggled. That time frame from the 3rd quarter into the 4th quarter when the Raiders had -4 yards of total offense was hard to watch. I'm worried that SD may have exposed a method of containing our offense that other defenses will now use against us. I hope that is not the case and the second half performance was just a result of complacency from our offense because we had such a large lead. Keep your fingers crossed!

RaidLakeDodge
RaidLakeDodge

Love what he is bringing to the Raiders right now. This team hasn't been this exciting to watch in a LONG time!

TheHip1
TheHip1

Every game TP get just a little bit better...and so do the Raiders!

j7apple
j7apple

Ever get that feeling Rivers is dying a slow death at QB?

syndromezed
syndromezed

At least Pryor will be used to not having McFadden in the lineup, since he never seems to be outside of the first game of the season. :/

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

Pryor is redefining the QB position in the NFL ... just like Cam Newton, RG3 and CK7 before him.

Tank
Tank

hehehe thats funny and disturbing at the sametime 

Terry
Terry

@Drew92410 

As a Chiefs fan, I can assure you we saw that as well.

Tank
Tank

@Drew92410 you use the word elite very loosely, sure you know what it means? hehehe

J-Ceezy
J-Ceezy

@Drew92410 I think a lot of the struggling of the offense in the 2nd half was due to the 2nd/3rd string OLine.  Way too many protections breaking down and Pryor running.  With Veldheer, Wiz and Watson back (heck even Pashos), offense looks to be a lot better.

luvfoozball
luvfoozball

@j7apple Yes, I feel bad for him. His prime years were wasted with stupid losses in playoffs. Now he doesn't have skill players that talented and his skills are waning.

80kdot
80kdot

@RobertSmith god, can we please stop with these lame nicknames?  so lazy.