Terelle Pryor stole the show on Friday night at the O.co Coliseum, as the Oakland Raiders fell 34-26 to the Chicago Bears in their third preseason game.
After a dismal performance from starter Matt Flynn, Pryor entered late in the second quarter and provided a big spark.
In a little over a quarter of action, the Raiders put up 20 points, largely due to Pryor’s ability to scramble and create plays. On the first series of the second half, Pryor turned what should have been a sack into a 19-yard gain by somehow avoiding a swarm of pass rushers and lobbing a desperation throw to Rod Streeter, who made the catch. The drive concluded with Pryor scrambling 25 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown.
Pryor’s outing ended on an impressive note. On a 3rd-and-16 play from the Bears’ 19 yard line, Pryor threw a bolt down the seam to tight end Nick Kasa for a touchdown.
Pryor’s final line: 7-for-9 completions, 93 yards, one touchdown run, one touchdown pass, and a quarterback rating of 146.8. It is safe to say that the quarterback competition for the Raiders has just gotten a lot tighter than most expected.
Flynn, on the other hand, was awful, completing three of six passes for just 19 yards and a quarterback rating of 17.4. He also threw two interceptions as boos rained down at the Coliseum, as well as chants of “Pryor, Pryor.”
The Raiders fell behind 17-0 in New Orleans last week with Flynn under center. Somehow, things got worse tonight.
Flynn’s first drive took the Raiders beyond midfield, but resulted in a Marquette King punt. His second drive ended in an interception in Raiders’ territory on a pass intended for Denarius Moore, as the two were clearly not in sync. Shortly afterwards, Matt Forte ran 32 yards into the end zone for a Bears touchdown.
The rest of Flynn’s outing was much of the same: sacks due to a weak offensive line, incomplete passes, and another interception.
The Raiders ended the first half with just four first downs, 92 yards of offense and were o-for-6 on third downs. On the flipside, the first-team defense gave up 252 yards of offense to the Bears, and it seemed like a lot more.
– In his debut, top draft pick D.J. Hayden played well. His was lined up against Brandon Marshall in his first play, and allowed a 22-yard gain to Alshon Jeffery later on in the drive. However, he recovered and broke up a pass intended for Marshall on a 2nd-and-4 play. The Bears eventually settled for a field goal.
– The Raiders offensive line was not impressive. SB Nation’s Levi Damien called it, “the worst I’ve ever seen the offensive line perform.” Left tackle Alex Barron, the replacement for the injured Jared Veldheer, was consistently slow on the run block and was beaten several times by his man.