Raiders’ Pryor stumbles in starting spotlight

The Raiders left Century Link Field on a high note — in harmony with several low ones — following a 22-6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

The highlights came after a much-improved performance from both offensive and defensive lines, who performed much better than they had all preseason.

The low came from appalling overall offensive production.

Terrelle Pryor, who started at quarterback for the Raiders, played the entire first half and completed only three passes in eight tries for 31 yards and a 9.9 passer rating.

The Raiders’ preseason ended with several firsts in recent memory, like exiting preseason with no clear-cut starting quarterback, and having a rookie left tackle, especially with more than one year of total football experience.

Coach Dennis Allen said he’s made up his mind, but won’t share much:

“I’m not telling you. You’ve got to think about competitive reasons. We’ll keep that in house and announce it at the appropriate time.”

Pryor, following up an above-average game last week, seemed less than optimistic:

“It’s going to be coach’s call and whatever he feels is best for the team. Regardless, at the end of the day, it’s all about the team and if it’s me leading, I’ll lead to the best of my abilities. And we will get things done. If it’s Matt leading, he’ll get things done too.”

One non-first for the Raiders is masses of people predicting the team will be first – in the 2014 NFL draft.

All pessimism aside, the Raiders know they need to improve. Following every preseason game, head coach Dennis Allen has repeated himself, telling media that “we need to get better.”

This game showed that they might have done just that.

Rashad Jennings had a few nice runs, finishing with 53 yards on six carries. Defensive tackle Pat Sims returned to action, wreaking havoc in between the tackles.

Lamarr Houston was able to sack Tavaris Jackson, who was still being protected by a mostly first-string offensive line. Jackson was also pressured numerous times, as was Russell Wilson, before he escaped the pocket and scrambled for 11 yards and a first down and later dropped the ball into the hands of Seattle’s Robert Turbin for a touchdown.

Pryor had three runs of his own, totaling 48 yards, which dampened how terrible he was from within the pocket. He is not entirely to blame however as several of his passes were either dropped or mishandled and the sub-par Oakland receivers didn’t seem to be running very precise routes.

The Raiders are sure to comb the waiver wire as other more fortunate teams cut good players that they just can’t fit, but it seems that it may just be a formality.

McKenzie was very liberal when deciding who should be cut from the Raiders roster before training camp, letting go of Rolando McClain, Darius Heyward-Bey and others, so the team would have whopping $70 million to sign free agents next March.

A quick turnaround is even more likely with another draft pick in the top three, which would give the team the ability to draft a bonafide stud or trade back to amass picks.

It’s a year where many Raiders fans acknowledge a losing record is a very real possibility, and few have let that deter them from still rooting on their team.

However outsiders may label Raiders fans, disloyal is one thing the Black Hole is not.

Notes

Seattle played only one drive with Russell Wilson as their lead signal caller. Wilson went 3-for-3 for 68 yards and a 118.8 passer rating. … The Raiders have closed out the preseason against Seattle seven straight seasons, with five matchups in Seattle. Oakland has never won a preseason game in Seattle.


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