Oakland Raiders 2013 Review: The Quarterbacks

Now that the season is over and my weekly stats reviews are on hold, I thought it was time to take a look back at the entire season from a statistical standpoint. I'm going to try to be objective here, as I've spent enough time venting my opinions here and elsewhere.

The first installment of my 2013 review series looks at the Raiders quarterbacks.


This was obviously a transitional year for the Raiders at the QB position. Three different players started at least one game under center for Oakland (Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin, and Matt Flynn), which last happened in 2011. That was a different scenario, however, as an injury to Jason Campbell just before the trade deadline led to the infamous Carson Palmer deal with the Bengals.

Including those two years, then, the Raiders have had three different starting QBs in a season six times since the AFC Championship year of 2002. Or to put it another way, since 2002 only five Raiders quarterbacks (Carson Palmer, Jason Campbell, JaMarcus Russell, and Kerry Collins twice) have started at least 10 games in a season.

So with that in mind, let's look at how this year's Raiders QBs did from an historical and statistical standpoint.

Matt Flynn

Flynn got his lone start in week 4 against the Redskins when Terrelle Pryor suffered a concussion in the previous game. It would be his last game action of the year.

Season stats: 22 for 34, 246 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 83.7 rating.

Analysis: Obviously, Flynn was a huge bust for the team. One game simply isn't enough of a sample to extract anything meaningful. That said, statistically speaking he achieved similar results as some other one-game starters like Todd Marinovich (243 yards in 1991), Ken Stabler (268 yards in 1971), and Marques Tuiasosopo (324 yards in 2003).

His brief Raiders career ended with him ranked 40th in passing yards behind Marcus Allen of all people.

Terrelle Pryor

Pryor began the season as the team's #1 quarterback, only to lose his job to Matt McGloin after week 10. He ended up appearing in 11 games this year and starting nine.

Season stats: 156 for 272, 1,798 yards, 7 TDs, 11 INTs, 69.1 rating.

Analysis: It would be unfair to compare TP to QBs who started a full slate of games, so let's instead compare him to some other quarterbacks who also started nine games in a year over the last decade: Palmer, Russell, and Josh McCown.

Year Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int
Terrelle Pryor 2013 156 272 57.4 1,798 7 11
Carson Palmer 2011 199 328 60.7 2,753 13 16
JaMarcus Russell 2009 120 246 48.8 1,287 3 11
Josh McCown 2007 111 190 58.4 1,151 10 11

Not really a whole lot to write home about, but I think Carson Palmer does deserve some slack as he came to Oakland right from his couch. I'm not going to editorialize any further, and let you draw your own conclusions from this.

As far as Pryor's whole Raider career, his passing yardage total of 1,953 puts him squarely between Bruce Gradkowski and Andrew Walter. It's interesting to note that those other two QBs appeared in almost exactly the same number of games as Pryor.

Matt McGloin

McGloin came from nowhere (actually, Penn State) to take over Oakland's starting QB job in week 11 against the Houston Texans. That was Oakland's fourth and last win of the season. McGloin sat for the season's final game in favor of Pryor, and ended up starting six games in 2013.

Season stats: 118 for 211, 1,547 yards, 8 TD, 8 INT, 76.1 rating.

Analysis: As with Pryor, it's not an easy task to figure where McGloin's season fits historically in the Raiders narrative. He did throw for more scores and fewer interceptions, while Pryor had a higher completion percentage.

I'll first perform a similar historical comparison for McGloin as I did with Pryor, and compare him to two other QBs who also started six games in a season recently: Jason Campbell and Daunte Culpepper. Just to make it even I'll throw in Donald Hollas's 1998 season.

Year Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int
Matt McGloin 2013 118 211 55.9 1547 8 8
Jason Campbell 2011 100 165 60.6 1170 6 4
Daunte Culpepper 2007 108 186 58.1 1331 5 5
Donald Hollas 1998 135 260 51.9 1754 10 16

That's all well and good, of course, but what we all want to know is how McGloin and Pryor compared to each other, right?

Well there's no way to know for certain, but what I can do is take both QB's stats and project them over a full 16 starts. I removed the stats both of them accrued in their few non-start appearances just to be fair.

Projected 16-start 2013 season

Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int
Terrelle Pryor 272 466 58.4% 3,140 12 18
Matt McGloin 296 523 56.6% 3,893 21 21

If we can take this just one step further - had that second line been McGloin's stats for the year, it would have ranked as the fourth-highest single-season yardage total in team history. Pryor would have cracked the top 15. Of course that's all hypothetical.


Up next, I look at Oakland's running backs.

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