Raiders repeating QB conundrum of last season

Christian Petersen

They say in most cases if a team has two options at quarterback, they really have none. The Raiders find themselves in that situation now with the injury to Carson Palmer and Dennis Allen wavering on who gets the start between Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor.

Last season, the Raiders were in a similar situation when starter Jason Campbell went down with his broken collarbone. Kyle Boller came in and played well but when he was given the start a week later, he looked terrible - throwing three interceptions against the Chiefs in just over one half of football. That performance ushered in the Carson Palmer era about two weeks earlier than Hue Jackson had hoped.

Jackson was part of the reason Boller was not ready. He tried to trick the Chiefs by playing games with who would get reps in practice between Boller, Palmer, and Pryor. The result was none of them were ready. Palmer had come off the couch and wasn't expected to be ready and Pryor had just come off suspension and shouldn't have even factored into the equation.

This situation is somewhat different but in many ways it's the same. Giving equal reps all week without making a decision could backfire with neither quarterback being ready just as last season. The difference here is last season it happened with the Raiders sitting at 7-4. This year, it is the final game of a forgettable season.

Dennis Allen said on Sunday that Terrelle Pryor didn't play more than three snaps because he is still not ready. Last season he was absolutely not ready and had no business taking snaps away from Kyle Boller for the sake of playing head games with the opposition. This season, even if he is not ready to step up as the starter, he should be ready to take the field and show his wares.

Also unlike last season's decision, I don't think there is wrong answer here.

If Allen goes with Leinart because he thinks he is the best option, you can't fault him for making a decision to try and get the win. Teams don't play out games for the sake of higher draft picks. They play to win, no matter what. It would also allow them to get more looks at Leinart to see if they want to bring him back next season.

If he goes with Pryor, it would give the Raiders a good idea of who they have in him. If he looks good, he could either earn himself a promotion next season -- either with the Raiders or a team who could offer something in a trade for him. If he plays poorly, that would also be telling and help with their decision making with regard to his place on this team.

It could also lead to an ugly turnover fest as we saw last time the team was in this situation. But since the theme of late has been "What do we have to lose?", even that wouldn't be disastrous. Just move on to looking forward to the possibilities of that number 3 overall pick.

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