Terrelle Pryor Makes a Run at the Oakland Raiders’ Starting Quarterback Job

The Oakland Raiders are not a very good football team, and that was perfectly clear in the first half of a 34-26 loss to the Chicago Bears at home on Friday night. The first-team defense was routinely gouged, but the bigger issue was the first-team offense.

Starting quarterback Matt Flynn couldn’t get anything going for the Raiders, completing just 3-of-6 passes for 19 yards and two interceptions. When Terrelle Pryor came in, he provided a spark, leading the Raiders to 20 unanswered points after the team fell behind 27-0.

The Raiders now have no choice but to make Pryor the starting quarterback in Week 1. While it’s rather unusual to make such a switch after the third preseason game, Oakland isn't exactly dealing with a normal situation.

Flynn was brought in to be the starter, but his lack of arm strength left the door cracked for Pryor to get playing time in certain packages. Flynn’s poor performance on Friday swung the door wide open, and all Pryor had to do was walk through it.

Instead, Pryor sprinted through the open door by completing 7-of-9 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 37 yards and a touchdown on four carries. Pryor’s performance came primarily against the Bears’ second-string defense, but he still played significantly better than Flynn.

The offense was much more productive with Pryor at quarterback because he could escape the constant pressure that Flynn could not. Pryor’s strong arm also enabled him to find receivers open down the field, something Flynn has been unable to do. Whether the defense rallied behind Pryor or simply fed off the energy of the fans isn’t clear, but it also played better with Pryor at quarterback.

For Flynn to make sense for the talent-deprived roster in Oakland, he needed to be better than advertised. Flynn was billed as the quarterback who made good decisions and was accurate on shor...

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