It was the second game in Oakland for Charles Woodson since his return to the Raiders. His homecoming game started well and ended well. It started with his being announced to a crowd of roaring fans and ended with a roaring crowd following a win. This week was a different experience.
This week, the boos were far more prevalent than the cheers and they only got louder as the game went on. Heck, he didn't even get the rousing introduction as the offense was featured instead of the defense. That's also when the boos began.
As the offense was announced, the second to last player given an introduction was Matt Flynn who was starting over Terrelle Pryor due to residual symptoms from the concussion he suffered Monday in Denver. Flynn came ran onto the field to mostly cheers but with a smattering of boos. It was a precursor for the rest of Flynn's day.
"It's hard not to hear it," said Flynn. "You just try to focus on your job and do what you can, but it's definitely hard not to hear."
The moment Flynn made his first mistake, the boos rained down on him from the crowd. He took a sack on third and four and the crowd yearned for the mobile Pryor and let the Raiders know it. That sack he took was also a precursor for the rest of the day as Flynn was sacked seven times.
"We let ‘em down," said Woodson. "You heard the boos. For any team in any league, to hear your home fans boo, that's hard. That's hard. So we've got to regroup, we've got to get our minds right and prepare ourselves to come out next week and play good football."
But amidst the mistakes, there was a time when things looked like the Raiders would win this game. They went up 14-0 on a touchdown pass from Flynn to Mychal Rivera which quelled the boos for a while. That good spirit was fleeting, however, because the following drive would end with him throwing a pick six to let the Redskins back in the game, down just 14-10.
Every mistake after that was like more of the same to the fans who saw no reason to be excited and plenty of reason to let the Raiders have it with a monotone assault. Even with the lead, Woodson said the boos were warranted.
"The fans, they're in tune with the game and they want to win as badly as we do," said Woodson. "If they see things on the field they don't like, they boo. You might be up, but that's one thing we've got to fight through. Because if we continue to do what we did today at points in the game we're going to hear those boos. It ain't going to stop."
The fans were not happy about a lot of things. Many think Terrelle Pryor could have played even though every account says he indeed did show more concussion symptoms and wasn't as sharp as he should have been. Many just wanted to send the message that they think Pryor gives the team the best chance to win. And by the end, the boos were simply over the poor performance Flynn and the offense put on the field.
The Raiders have another home game next week against the Chargers and you can bet Terrelle Pryor will be back behind center. That should be cause for many cheers from the home crowd. They will probably be a lot more forgiving with Pryor as well, after seeing how much difficulty Flynn had today. And if the Raiders lose, there will be other goats to be had.