Have the Oakland Raiders Found Their Franchise Quarterback in Terrelle Pryor?

A front office working with a shoestring salary cap brought in a group of ragtag veteran castoffs hoping to compete in the AFC West, and that's just what the Oakland Raiders have done through five weeks. In fact, the 2-3 Raiders are about a play and an injury to quarterback Terrelle Pryor away from 4-1. 

On Sunday night, the Raiders mostly dominated the San Diego Chargers in a 27-17 win and had a respectable showing on a national stage. For a team looking to rebound from a bad loss at home last week, that alone could be considered a huge development. However, more important than the win was the continued improvement of Pryor, who returned after missing last week's game with a concussion. 

In the span of about two months Pryor has gone from likely backup to Matt Flynn to starter to unquestioned starter. On Sunday night, Pryor may have gone from unquestioned starter to the long-term answer for the Raiders at quarterback as well.

The Raiders have been desperate for a franchise quarterback since Rich Gannon's career ended in 2004. Before Gannon was another long drought at the position and because he came to the Raiders at age 34 and his career ended abruptly, it never quite felt like the Raiders got the full benefit of having a franchise quarterback.

Pryor completed 18 of 23 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns and added 31 yards on the ground Sunday night and looked like he could be the answer for the Raiders at the most important position in football long term. The Raider Nation can't help but rejoice with the possibility.

Although the Raiders probably won't be competing for a playoff spot in 2013, Pryor gives them a chance to win every week. There are few quarterbacks that can match Pryor's pure athleticism, but his improvement as a passer is what should really excite the Raider Nation. 

Sure, Pryor's best performance as a professional came against a suspect defense...

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