A few things to be happy about today.
Pryor was bloody fantastic. He made a few bad throws but EVERY young QB makes bad throws early in there career. He also made some fantastic throws proving his off season workouts are paying off and that he definitely CAN become the complete package.
It was the first game I can remember for well over a decade that I wasn't constantly saying, "Here we go again". Absent were virtually all of the typical Raider mistakes. This shows competency form the coaching staff and the GM's office....I have been very on the fence about DA and RM but they had a pretty good day yesterday.
The O-line played adequate football especially given the lack of continuity and practice time with the unit. I was shocked not see more missed assignments, illegal procedures, false starts, illegal man down field, Center QB exchange issues, on and on and on.
You will find no bigger critic of Khalif Barnes on the planet than myself. He proved his worth yesterday.
Laron Landry hit TP hard early on and starting talking smack.... should have been a taunting penalty. This did not rattle TP one iota and resulted in TP putting a wicked stiff arm on Landry and talking a little smack himself...a little. I was most impressed with this because TP showed his toughness and his poise by not getting carried away with S**T talking. This is leadership!
Olson did pretty damn well yesterday.... not perfect but pretty damn well.
DA said something on the radio today that leads me to believe he may be learning from his mistakes. He was asked about TP earning the job in pre-season. DA responded by saying that what it really boiled down to was that he was moving the chains and scoring points (I am paraphrasing).
He then went on to say, "I don't really care about how we go about moving the ball and scoring.... I just want to move the ball and score points".
That is a sharp 180 degree turn from where DA was last year. Given his steadfast commitment to Knapp and the ZBS last year I find that soundbite a very encouraging sign for DA's development as a head coach.
TP made plays that killed the Raiders in the end.... Just like Elway, Aikman, Peyton Manning, and myriad numbers of very good NFL Qb's did in their 2nd NFL start. The mistakes were predictable and they are correctable with EXPERIENCE. They are the types of plays you can't simulate in practice due to intensity, the speed of the game, and red practice jersey's.
The bloody defense was was vanilla, with hot fudge, crushed oreo's, whipped cream, and all sorts of other stuff. I was not expecting this as I am used to DA's staff talking about what they will do and not coming close. Another good sign for DA and Tarver.
For the first time in a long time I saw a Raider team with potential. A Raider team with more things to be excited about than obvious flaws.... A team that put's you on the seat of your chair because they are about to do something great, not something boneheaded and utterly predictable. Not once when TP dropped back to pass did I expect a sack/fumble.... Not once! I haven't felt that way since pre-Jay Schroeder.... seriously. Even the Gannon era was fraught with suspense on passing plays. This is a new team. I like it!
Lot's to be encouraged about. Better put a thumping on J-Ville.