Sunday, September 08, 2013

The Quest For The Imperfect Season Almost Ended Before It Began

Many pundits are predicting the Oakland Raiders will run the table and join the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only NFL team to ever go 0-16. But are they really that bad? Maybe not.

They lost to the Indianapolis Colts, but it wasn’t nearly the mud hole stomping I predicted. I told a number of people not to be surprised if the Colts run up 40+ points on the Raiders. Not only did that not happen, but the Raiders actually had the lead until the middle of the fourth quarter.

The Raiders made a game out of this contest for one reason: Terrelle Pryor.

The former Ohio State quarterback had 217 yards passing, 112 yards rushing, and did something no other Raiders quarterback has been able to do in quite some time – make plays. When all seemed lost on third or even fourth down, Pryor would make a key completion or scramble past outstretched defenders on his way to a first down.

Even though Pryor had two interceptions that killed any chance the Raiders had of pulling off the upset, I’m still very pleased with his performance. Keep in mind this is only his second NFL start. My only concern with Pryor is that he still has a tendency not to check all of his receivers before he starts running. At some point, NFL defenses will catch onto this and be more effective in stopping him.

I hope Pryor makes the adjustment sooner rather than later. I believe he can be a really good NFL quarterback someday, but I’d like it to happen sooner rather than later!

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