Wednesday, October 9, 2013
QB Watch: Raiders' Terrelle Pryor
By Paul Gutierrez
A weekly analysis of the Raiders' quarterback play.
Rewind: To say it was a triumphant return after a week off recovering from concussion symptoms would be an understatement. Terrelle Pryor's popularity among Raiders fans cannot be questioned at the moment. Not when he leads Oakland to a 17-0 lead over San Diego en route to a 27-17 victory on Sunday late-night football by compiling a passer rating of 135.7, the highest by a Raiders QB since Rich Gannon's 138.9 in his 2002 MVP season. Pryor kept the Chargers off balance by rolling to his right and buying himself time all night, completing 18 of 23 passes for 221 yards and two TDs without an interception. He threw a 44-yard touchdown to Rod Streater on Oakland's first offensive play of the game.
Fast-forward: Pryor does not have to look over his shoulder any longer, not with the Raiders cutting Matt Flynn on Monday and Josh Freeman signing with Minnesota. "I'm glad we have him," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said of Pryor on Monday. "I'm glad he's our quarterback, and he'll continue to be our quarterback." Sure, the Raiders need a veteran backup presence, which is why they were expected to have David Carr and Pat White in for workouts Tuesday. But the Raiders are going all-in on the ever-improving Pryor now.
The evolution? Teams may want to reconsider a strategy of falling back into coverage and daring Pryor to beat them with his arm. Per Pro Football Focus, Pryor was 12 for 14 for 160 yards and two TDs on 16 non-pressured dropbacks.
Prediction: Undefeated Kansas City, which boasts the league's No. 7 total defense, No. 4 against the pass, has surely seen the tape and will try to keep Pryor from rolling to his right ... right?