Quarterback controversy is no more, at least at the top

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

After just one preseason game, Matt Flynn has established himself as the clear starter. The question remains, however, whether Terrelle Pryor can hold off Matt McGloin for the backup job.

For months and months, the Terrelle Pryor fan club wanted us to believe that the dynamic youngster had what it took to win the starting job over Matt Flynn.

It was going to be Russell Wlison 2.0 — except better!

Well, I suppose the fan club will have to wait at least a few more months before getting their wish, because Friday's preseason opener confirmed what we've all known for a while: the only competition amongst quarterbacks is for the backup jobs.

In two possessions as the starter, Flynn showed good command of the offense and created some movement down field despite just a few months in the Oakland system.

Of course, a sack and a fumble will be the blemish on his record, but it's hard to blame the quarterback when he takes a blindside hit like the one Flynn did on his first possession.

On his second possession, however, things were much better.

After taking over at their own 18, Flynn completed his first three passes of the drive and even added four yards rushing to a handful of runs from Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings to move Oakland into Dallas territory.

After short gains on first and second down, however, Flynn threw his only incompletion of the night in the direction of Rod Streater, forcing Oakland to kick the field goal.

The key for Oakland, however, was Flynn's ability to limit mistakes and stay under control in the pocket.

With a mismatched offensive line in front of him, the Raiders need Flynn to remain calm and make quick decisions — two things he appeared more than capable of doing on Friday.

In the second quarter, Oakland turned the keys over to Pryor — the assumed backup this season.

While Pryor flashed his incredible athleticism on a few runs, the improvement everyone is looking for remains in his ability to throw the football and make good decisions.

Unfortunately, the most memorable play of Pryor's night will be the interception he threw in the end zone — a cardinal sin among quarterbacks.

Behind Pryor were the two rookies — Tyler Wilson and Matt McGloin.

While Wilson's night was extremely forgettable, McGloin is the one who grabbed the headlines with some perfectly thrown balls — including the highlight of the night when he hit Brice Butler for a 30-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.

For Wilson, the news might be the worst.

With many expecting him to easily hang on to the third quarterback spot — some even talking about what a steal he was in the fourth round — the undrafted McGloin has appeared to out-play him severely thus far.

That's not to say that Wilson can't turn it around in the next three weeks, but both guys must understand that no team will hang on to four quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, so one of them could be headed for free agency or (more likely) the practice squad.

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