Oakland Raiders: Grades and Accolades, Preseason Week 1

With the Oakland Raiders finally back in action, I debut my new, weekly postgame feature: Grades and Accolades.

Every game this season will have its share of notable performances and emerging or continuing team trends, and I aim to break them down for fans both casual and hardcore. I invite readers to give me their input over the coming weeks so I can make this feature as appealing and as useful as possible. 

Here's my assessment after Friday's 19-16 Oakland win over the Dallas Cowboys at O.Co Coliseum.



Matt Flynn (QB): B-

With all of the media focus this offseason on who, if anyone, will step up as a potential franchise quarterback, it's fitting that I start with (and stress) the quarterback position and address each candidate in turn. 

Fortunately, head coach Dennis Allen opted to play all four contenders on Friday, and their progress (or lack thereof) was apparent. 

The presumptive starter for Week 1 of the regular season, Flynn showed that, at the least, he'll be able to lead the team on scoring drives. 

With the team visibly dedicated to running the ball, Flynn's propensity to show short, accurate passes was enough to keep the chains moving. On the team's first scoring drive—a nice, 12-play, seven-minute jaunt—he hit top receivers Denarius Moore and Rod Streater for third-down conversions. 

Flynn's grade is still somewhat low based on (1) limited playing time and (2) a ghastly fumble on his first drive, which gave the Cowboys excellent field position. 


Terrelle Pryor (QB): B+

Most recently, I've been down on Pryor's future with Oakland's new regime, based in part on his seemingly incompatible skill set in the team's West Coast offense. 

I hereby withdraw my hater ways; I'm back on the "Hire Pryor" bandwagon.


About the Author