As fans filed into Arrowhead Stadium attempting to break the noise record set earlier this season by fans in Seattle, Terrelle Pryor and his Raider teammates looked to quiet their cheers.
Though he scrambled, skirmished, and fought tooth and nail, it wasn’t enough in the end as the Oakland Raiders, despite a great start, lost to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday 24-7.
Far from his last Sunday self hosting the Chargers, Pryor was totally shut down by one of the league’s best defenses, and threw a pick-six with the game on the line.
Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson told Bay Area News Group’s Steve Corkran:
“We’re close. But when you play a good football team, they capitalize on the mistakes that you make. That’s the reason why they’re 6-0.”
Despite the crunch-time collapse, Pryor ran the ball six times for 60 yards and went 18-for-34 and 216 yards passing. He also threw three interceptions, but the costliest came during the fourth quarter.
Fighting a 10-point deficit, Pryor scrambled away from pressure and tossed the ball up into the middle of the field. Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah plucked the ball from the air, taking it 44 yards into the Raiders end zone.
Quentin Demps and former 49ers draft pick Marcus Cooper had the other two interceptions.
Nick Roach was in his normal, dominant form, with eight tackles and a sack. Vance Walker was a factor in stopping Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs run-game, with five tackles, also adding a sack.
The Raiders can take a few things away from Sunday’s game, but what they actually do will remain to be seen.
The makeshift offensive line didn’t hold well. Nose tackle Dontari Poe was effortlessly able to collapse the pocket while linebacker Tamba Hali came off the edge, sacking Pryor three and a half times.
“It’s something (offensive line issues) we’ve been battling, but it’s the name of the game. You’ve got to keep moving on. You’ve got to find a way. We can’t use that as an excuse. We’ve got to keep moving forward somehow.”
“As good as they are on defense, you want to have all of your weapons, all of your guys up front to protect. But that’s the NFL, and we have to be able to go out and function and play. We weren’t able to do that.”
Without a healthy offensive line, the Raiders should continue to struggle against tough defenses. While the interceptions may not be totally knocks against Pryor, he made some very questionable decisions: Taking sacks that should have never been, and throwing passes that were next to lifeless.
Considering the depth at quarterback in the 2014 draft, the Raiders might take this game into serious consideration when April comes around. The team should be able to draft a serviceable quarterback without sacrificing a first or second round pick.
One of the finer moments for Pryor came in the second quarter. A short inside slant by Denarius Moore turned into a 39-yard catch-and-run for a score. Electric as the play was, it would be the Raiders’ only touchdown.
The Raiders will fly back to the Bay Area and resume practice in Napa on Tuesday.