I was going to write a quarterly review of how the Raiders have fared 4 games into the season, but after watching the abysmal Matt Flynn lead our beloved Raiders to 1-3 on the season I have changed my initial topic.
Matt Flynn is not starting QB material and, today, showed that he is not backup QB material. Our offensive line is in shambles and has been pieced together by band-aids. Terrelle Pryor is the Neosporin. He heals us quickly and fights of the infection and weaknesses of our team. I don't fault our OL for their performance today. I feel like they played almost up to par with the rest of the season. The difference? Matt Flynn. He is a statue in the pocket. It's not his fault. That is the QB that he is and if he had a line like, let's say, a healthy Denver Broncos line, and hell, let's throw in their receivers, he probably would have had an exceptional game, like his previous two starts in the NFL. This is not the case. He is playing behind a shotty Raiders OL and a young, inexperienced, inconsistent WR corps.
Alas, this is the 2013 Raiders. Have we cared? Maybe a little. Have we given up? Never! We are the 2013 Raiders! Have we had a reality check? Most definitely! These improving, always fighting, never give up Raiders have shown us glimmers of hope. These glimmers of hope have come mostly from the defense, in my opinion. Also these glimmers of hope have come greatly from one position, offensively. The QB position. We have had 16 different starting QBs since, I believe, the 2003 season! 16 QBs... that's almost as many coaches as we've had!!! We all know that's ridiculous. Terrelle Pryor has shown us a glimmer of hope on the offense. His WRs may not catch balls that are placed in their hands by the football Gods, but damnit, it's in their hands, after that it's on them. His OL may only be able to block a HS defensive line, but that's ok, because not only can Pryor escape pressure, but he makes defenses play honest and contain, making it a hell of a lot easier for our OL. We have been blessed by a QB that has all the schools, and dare I say, the work ethic to be a starting QB. Is Terrelle Pryor our QB of the future? I will emphatically say YES! I don't coach, manage, or own the team though, so my opinion means nothing to the organization. If he can continue to improve and as he had the 3 weeks that he started, then I see no reason why he isn't our QB of the future.
I am extremely disappointed with our offense today and especially with our QB. Matt Flynn is a joke! He is nothing more than a couple plays QB. "Oh, I banged my knee and have to come out for one play, so hand it off." kind of QB. I think Matt McGloin should be promoted to the 2nd string QB. Our team is young and we are building for the future, so let our future lead the team, whether that be starting or backup positions. I don't blame DA for not putting in Mcgloin. The game was within reach and you go with the Flynn. By the time this game was out of control it was too late to switch QBs.
I also applaud the Raiders and DA for keeping Pryor out of the game. We need our starting QB healthy and at his best. I know if Pryor was starting we would have won this game. I KNOW it. We would not have given up 7 sacks. Many of the plays that were sacks or poultry runs for a yard are two would have been big gains if it was Pryor. We need to keep Pryor healthy though.
I hope this lights a fire under Pryor. I think he watched this game and knew that he would have won this. I think he, now understands, that he has to carry this offense. He is a team player and believes in his team, but he knows that he has to make the plays now, he knows that he has to carry this team on his back.
We aren't where I thought we should be at this point in the season. Before the season I though we would beat the Colts, which we should have (we lost that game, they didn't win it,) we beat the Jags, as I expected, we lost to the Broncos, as I expected, and we lost to the Redskins, which I did not expect before the season, or even after Pryor was concussed. That puts us at 1-3. This IS where we are though and I know that Pryor is going to do his best to carry this team. I thought we would go into the bye week at .500 and I still believe we can, and will. We need to beat the Chargers, which we will, and the Chiefs. I didn't think we would beat the Chiefs before the season and now it's more of a matter of hope.
We need Pryor to step up and he can. I hope that he believes in himself as much as I do. He can be our QB of the future. He can lead this team to victory and now it is his time to show it. This is his time to shine and he can! Will he? I think he will. He has shown progression through all of his games and I think he is determined to carry this team. Terrelle Pryor, I hope you're reading this and I hope you take this to heart. Raider Nation believes in you and places our faith in you.
In Pryor we trust!