The Jaguars have arguably the worst secondary in the NFL. Pryor should have been able to pass on them all day. He didn't. The Raiders got a touchdown in this game but it wasn't Pryor who moved them down the field or put it in the endzone. He had 4 yards on a QB keeper on the drive. The rest was thanks to a 30-yard kick return, a Jaguars' unnecessary roughness penalty, a 7-yard run by McFadden on a direct snap out of the wildcat (Pryor wasn't on the field for that), and an 11-yard run by Reece for the score. All other drives ended off the foot of the punter or the kicker.
The second drive was a three and out with two incompletions, third drive lasted four plays and ended with Pryor fumbling the snap, picking it up, and throwing incomplete. Fourth drive featured Pryor's 27-yard run but ended a few plays later after he didn't follow his blockers and was tackled for a loss, then on third down threw to McFadden short of the first down. The drive ended with a missed field goal.
The Next drive began with two dangerous high throws across the middle by Pryor to Streater and Brice Butler -- the first got Streater hit hard in the back. Then on the next play he fumbled the ball on a sack and luckily Jeron Mastrud made a heads up play to recover it for the Raiders. The drive ended when he threw behind a wide open Brice Butler on a post pattern for what would have been a sure touchdown. Butler attempted to slide to go back and get the ball but it was tipped by the defender trailing the play and fell incomplete. The Raiders would settle for a field goal to head into halftime.
The third quarter began with Pryor throwing off-target and incomplete intended for Mastrud. On that same drive, he kept the ball on a read option and was tackled for a loss, took too long to get out of the huddle causing Dennis Allen to burn a timeout, and had an apparent pass attempt go straight into the turf. Thanks to a 30-yard McFadden run, the Raiders were able to get another field goal out of the drive.
The next series was another three and out. The series after that began with another long McFadden run and ended with a field goal just as before thanks in part to another dropped snap by Pryor followed by a pass short of first down marker. The next drive saw another time out burnt because Pryor couldn't get to the line fast enough. But thanks to another big run - this time by Rashad Jennings - another field goal. The final drive ended with Pryor running out of bounds for one yard on third and nine. Pryor finished the day completing 15 of 24 passes for 126 yards. His longest completion went for 17 yards and that was a pass into the flat to McFadden who got the 17 yards after the catch. Cue the excuse patrol.
No catches on two targets for the Raiders' supposed number on receiver. One of those passes thrown his way was a drop. It was a bit behind him but still a very catchable ball. The only time he showed up in the stat column was when he lined up wrong and the Raiders were called for illegal formation that negated a 27-yard Streater catch. So, not only isn't he catching passes and putting up numbers, he's taking catches and numbers away from others.
Nix hurt his ankle in this game and was replaced by Andre Gurode. At that point, the play at left guard improved tremendously. He had a brutal few plays midway through the third quarter. On three of four consecutive plays he missed a block to give up a tackle for a short gain on third down to end the drive. On second down of the next drive, the Raiders went to the jumbo package and Nix STILL managed to givee up a run stuff tackle for one yard. The next play, he finished it off by giving up a sack on third down. That's when he was replaced.
It was discussed during training camp and preseason that the punter position was more than just about how far the ball travels off the punter's foot. One of the other aspects of being the punter - at least for the Raiders - is being the holder on field goals. Sebastian Janikowski lined up for a 36-yard field goal attempt early in the game and kicked it wide left. Extremely unusual. Then when you watch the replay, you see not only are the threads of the ball facing left, but the ball is still spinning when Janikowski kicks it.
Though we don't have the same definitive proof of Janikowski's miss last week, one must now wonder, if not outright assume, it had something to do with the hold. That missed field goal was huge to the outcome of the game. I named Janikowski a Buster because of it and now I'm thinking it may not have been his fault. Back to this game; King also shanked a punt that luckily bounced and dribbled for some extra yards to end up being not a terrible punt after all was said and done. He led out with a 43-yard punt, had a punt for a touchback, had the shanked 47-yarder, and helped his average with a 58-yarder. King also began working feverishly on his holding on the sideline after his bad hold and Janikowski hit four field goals over the remainder of the day.