It’s been a rough off-season and preseason for backup quarterback Terrelle Pryor, enduring the loss of his father and his mentor in a span of seven days. Reports out of Alameda stated Pryor repeatedly struggling with fumbled snaps, missed reads and missed throws. Moreover, Pryor failed to impress in the first two preseason games, all but cementing his status as third-string on the depth chart, behind starter Carson Palmer and second-string Matt Leinart. However, Pryor hasn’t given up working and getting in his reps in practice and the film room, and it seems to have paid off, for one day at least, in the Raiders preseason victory over the Detroit Lions, 31-20 at the Oakland Coliseum Saturday night.
Starting, and playing all of, the second half, Pryor completed only three out of five passes, but threw for 137 and two long touchdowns with no interceptions. His legs also provided some excitement as he repeatedly ran his way out of pressure and the grasp of defenders. He led the Raiders in rushing, gaining 90 yards on five carries, including a 17 yard scramble for a touchdown in the third quarter. His touchdown passes included a pair to rookie Juron Criner, one for 76 yards and the other for 39 yards. On both plays, Criner made impressive catches.
As for the starters, it was a mostly positive affair. Palmer, for the most part, played an efficient game, completing 17-26 passes for 181 yards. However, he threw two interceptions, a recurring problem dating back to last year. Although, it’s unfair to pin the second pick on him, as his pass hit receiver Eddie McGee right in the hands. It bounced right off of them and into the arms of linebacker Stephen Tulloch. The Raiders were playing without starting wide-receiver Denarious Moore, still out because of a nagging hamstring injury suffered in mini-camp and slot-receiver Jacoby Ford, who is recovering from a foot injury suffered against the Arizona Cardinals.
Star running back Darren McFadden looked relatively sharp, gaining 27 yards in nine carries and scored on a one-yard touchdown and staying injury-free, which is the main concern for the Raiders. Backup Taiwan Jones looked good as well, gaining 50 yards in 10 carries. Rod Streater, the undrafted rookie from Temple, continues to impress and push for playing time due to the injuries to Moore and Ford, with five reception for 56 yards.
The defense continues to impress. Yes, it is preseason, but the eyes don’t lie. After shutting down the Dallas Cowboys first unit in game one and relatively shutting down the Cardinals first team and battering quarterback Kevin Kolb, the Raiders harassed and mangled Lions starter Matthew Stafford, knocking him out of the game with an apparent injury to his left hand. He was immediately removed from the game, but it was more precautionary, as X-Rays were negative.
The Raiders close out the preseason on Friday as they travel up to Seattle to take on newly appointed rookie starter, Russell Wilson, and the rest of the Seahawks.
About the Author
Written by Simran Reyatt
Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles I became passionate about sports around 1988, watching the showtime Lakers and the miracle Dodgers. I have been hooked ever since! Lakers, Raider and Dodgers are my main passions, but really, I'm a huge sports lover as a whole.