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The Morning After: Raiders vs Bears Preseason Week 3

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Thearon W. Henderson
It is pretty astounding the difference that just one game can make to a person's perspective. Sure, there have been plenty of people supporting QB Terrelle Pryor all along but there was no tangible proof from the field to back that up until yesterday. There was a hope and a belief from a passionate portion of fans all along but there needed to be more than that for their fire to spread throughout the rest of the Raider Nation.

There is little doubt after last night that the fire is now spreading. It is too late, too much has burned to turn back now. The one true Nation is ablaze for Pryor and that heat will follow throughout the season if the coaching staff still decides to start Matt Flynn. It is now going to be very tough on the staff if they still feel like Flynn gives them the best chance to win. It will be tough on Matt too with the boos and Pryor chants bound to ring upon his ears if he still sees the field as a starter on Week 1.

It is now hard for anybody to really defend against the call for Pryor to start. The offensive line for the Raiders has been non existent since Jared Veldheer went down and Flynn has shown zero ability to see the pressure and perform well despite of it. The team has been flat and boring with Matt at the helm, even the biggest Flynn fan has to admit that. How much of that will follow him into the regular season if he squeaks out of this as the starter?

There are now a few problems for the coaching staff in moving forward. They have worked all off-season with the assumption that Matt was going to be the starter, and throughout the practices and previous games it has been the way it has worked out. They have a ton of data to go off of and most of it has Flynn as the starter. If they change that now because of this one game it goes against everything that they had been planning, and that means a lot of time wasted in figuring out how this team really is going to look in the regular season.

Besides the conundrum at QB that the Bears game has left us with there also is a bitter taste left about the first team in general. This game was suppose to be the rehearsal for the regular season and there is no way that anybody is comfortable with the way they looked last night. The defense could not get at the QB at all again and the running backs decimated the defense every chance they had again. The first team did nothing right in this game and only accomplished verifying every bad word that the world had to say about them.

One positive thing to speak of besides Terrelle Pryor playing great was finally getting to see DJ Hayden on the field. It was really exciting to finally get to see him play after he nearly died in a freak football injury at Houston University last year. Now he had some mistakes of course such as being man handled by the receivers blocking him in the running game, but he also had a great pass break up on one of the best receivers in the league in Brandon Marshall. He wasn't afraid of the contact and he will only grow from here on out now that he got out there and got to actually play again. Good for him and hopefully we will see a lot more out of the determined young man set on proving Reggie McKenzie right for using his first round pick on him in this year's draft.

We now have the first cuts to look forward to and just maybe the Raiders will be able to add a few more new faces to the roster. There are a lot of things that need to be improved in a really short amount of time if the Raiders want to avoid looking exactly like what they did last night against the Bears. There has been an absurd amount of terrible things said about this team and I refused to believe most of it until last night. Now it all seems entirely too real to avoid and it is just around the corner when we will find out for sure in the regular season.

Maybe something as simple as starting Terrelle Pryor will change everything around but right now there is a whole lot more wrong with this team than just the quarterback. Something has to give if the Raiders are going to be successful this year, because if they really are the team that they showed to be last night with their starters then success is not something that we should expect to experience much of. Then again we might not have really seen our true starters in this game if it turns out that Dennis Allen decides to make the switch at the QB position that Raider Nation is now almost fully calling for.