A weekly analysis of the Raiders’ quarterback play.
Rewind: The Raiders’ worst fears about Matt Flynn were realized in Oakland’s 24-14 loss to Washington. Oakland found that Flynn is not a playmaker behind a leaky offensive line, he cannot carry the team without two of the team’s most explosive playmakers in running back Darren McFadden and fullback Marcel Reece, and he has little pocket awareness. So yeah, Flynn had a rough go of it in throwing for 227 yards and a touchdown on 21-of-32 passing. But there was that unfathomable pick-six that let Washington back into the game. And the seven sacks. And the $6.5 million he is making this year. Making his debut in place of the popular and concussed Terrelle Pryor would have been tough enough without the perfect storm that developed around him.
Fast-forward: Flynn is not the QB for this team at the moment, not with so many holes around him. And not when Pryor is fully recovered from his concussion, as he should be this weekend. Pryor, you’ll recall, was actually medically cleared by the NFL concussion protocol on Friday, but he missed so many practice reps and he was still symptomatic, coach Dennis Allen said, so the Raiders erred on the side of caution by making him inactive. He should be ready to play Sunday night, though.
Facing pressure: According to Pro Football Focus, Flynn’s passer rating dropped 85.8 points (from 111.2 to 25.4) when he faced pressure. Pryor’s mobility covers a lot of the offensive line’s faults.
Prediction: Pryor wanted a tinted shield for his helmet and was denied, and with sensitivity to light a symptom of a concussion, alarms went off for the Raiders. With the late start against the Chargers -- 8:35 p.m. PT on Sunday -- might the lights present a different challenge?