Wednesday, September 25, 2013
QB Watch: Raiders' Terrelle Pryor
By Paul Gutierrez
A weekly analysis of the Oakland Raiders' quarterback play.
Rewind: With the Raiders falling behind early in Denver and the Broncos stuffing Oakland’s running game, Terrelle Pryor took it upon himself to get the Raiders’ offense kick-started. He did not disappoint. Sure, there were some uneven moments, and he still hangs the occasional receiver out to dry for an oncoming defensive back with bad intentions, but Pryor kept his team’s spirit in it, or as much as you can in an eventual 37-21 loss. And until he suffered a concussion running directly into a blitzing Wesley Woodyard in the fourth quarter, and was replaced for a series by Matt Flynn, Pryor built a career-best QB rating of 112.4 in throwing for 281 yards on 19-of-28 passing, including a 73-yard touchdown to Denarius Moore.
Fast-forward: Not only does Pryor have to go through the concussion protocol to be cleared to play Sunday -- on a short workweek -- he has to be cleared just to practice. Washington, though, has allowed opposing quarterbacks a league-worst passer rating of 120.1. Pryor has to be champing at the bit to keep flinging it after his relative passing success in Denver, no?
Where’s the pressure? A week after getting pressured 12 times in 31 drop-backs by Jacksonville, Pryor was blitzed just five times in 32 drop-backs by Denver, per Pro Football Focus. The thinking being that teams want Pryor in the pocket, rather than running wild. Pryor responded with his most accurate passing day as a pro.
Prediction: If Pryor is cleared medically, the challenge will be to keep him from trying to lock horns and go play for play with Washington’s zone-read specialist under center, Robert Griffin III, even if RG III has lost some shine this season. If it’s Flynn at quarterback for the Raiders, expect a more traditional, albeit, West Coast offense-style playbook.