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Wednesday, October 30, 2013
QB Watch: Raiders’ Terrelle Pryor

By Paul Gutierrez

A weekly examination of the Raiders’ quarterback play:

Pryor
Rewind: Terrelle Pryor was able to couch those fan-boy feelings right away, thank you very much. Or did you blink and miss his record-setting 93-yard run on the first play from scrimmage against his childhood favorite team in the Pittsburgh Steelers? Guard Mike Brisiel called him a "dadgum gazelle" on the play that was the longest touchdown run by a quarterback in league history, the longest run from scrimmage in Raiders franchise history, bettering Bo Jackson’s sprint in 1989 by a yard. Sure, Pryor’s 25.7 passer rating was a career low, but one of his two interceptions bounded off receiver Brice Butler’s chest. And the second-half play calling, with the Raiders trying to milk the clock with a 21-3 lead, left much to be desired.

Fast-forward: The Western Pennsylvania kid now gets to take on the Philadelphia Eagles, who have the No. 31-ranked defense in the NFL, 31st against the pass but ninth against the run. The Eagles know all about running quarterbacks: they face one in practice every day in Michael Vick. At least, when he’s not injured, as he is again this week with a left hamstring strain.

Passer rating, schmasser rating: Sure, Pryor’s 25.7 passer rating was an eyesore. But that only tells part of the story. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Pryor had a Total Quarterback Rating of 96.2, the fourth-highest in the NFL Sunday behind Colin Kaepernick (99.8), Andy Dalton (98.9) and Aaron Rodgers (98.6), on the strength of 29 action plays.

Prediction: Quick starts have not been an issue for the Raiders' offense -- going stagnant in the second half has been. Pryor seemed frustrated with the ineffectiveness of the ground game after halftime against the Steelers. Expect a more wide-open look against the Eagles.