OAKLAND –- A few thoughts on the Oakland Raiders’ 24-14 loss to Washington:
What it means: Depth is an issue for the Raiders, no doubt. So when they had to play the final three quarters without their starting offensive backfield -- quarterback Terrelle Pryor (concussion) was inactive and running back Darren McFadden (hamstring) and fullback Marcel Reece (knee) were both lost in the first half -- it didn't go well. Simply put, Matt Flynn, Rashad Jennings and Jamize Olawale did not have enough staying power as Flynn was sacked seven times. And the defense, which started out hot, ran out of gas after taking a 14-0 lead.
Stock watch: Falling: McFadden. He’s in a contract year and has never played more than 13 games in a season, so give yourself a pat on the back if you had the injury-prone back going down in Week 4. He started strong, carrying the ball five times for 29 yards, including a 14-yard gain on his first carry. But he was lost in the first half with a hamstring injury and watched the second half in street clothes on the bench.
Just Flynn, baby? With each sack he absorbed, the crowd’s booing of Flynn grew. And sure, his pocket presence left something to be desired. But now you see why Pryor was a more attractive starting QB candidate. His running and ability to extend plays cover up many of the offensive line’s deficiencies. Opposing defenses have to respect Pryor more than Flynn, so to speak, so they are able to pin their ears back and bull-rush Flynn, who finished 21-for-32 for 227 yards, one TD and a pick-six interception. He also lost two fumbles.
What's next: The Raiders (1-3) play host to San Diego (2-2) next Sunday, the day after the A’s play Game 2 of their American League Division Series at the O.co Coliseum. What is not settled yet, though, is the start time for Raiders-Chargers. If the A’s play an earlier game on Saturday, the Raiders kick off at the regularly-scheduled time of 1:25 p.m. PT. But if the A’s have a later game, kickoff will be at 8:30 p.m. PT. Major League Baseball is expected to announce its times early this week.