With Terrelle Pryor out with lingering concussion symptoms, the showdown of mobile quarterbacks would not come to fruition. Instead, Oakland Raiders backup quarterback Matt Flynn stepped in to face the Washington Redskins in the Bay Area. Flynn and the Raiders got off to a quick 14-0 start. However, they let the lead and the game slip, going down 24-14.
As usual, both good and bad things can be drawn from this game. However, in this game, there was more bad than good.
The Defense: I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to the defensive unit. In the first quarter, they swarmed the Redskins, Robert Griffin III could not get anything going early. They had one really successful drive in the first half, driving into the red zone only to kick a field goal. However, the Redskins were still in the game thanks to a pick-six.
In the second half, they struggled at times, but also had some good stops. The pass rush looked dangerous and the run defense looked solid most of the time. The Redskins punted seven times, showing that the Raiders defense did get a number of quality stops. Also, keep in mind that the Redskins offense is not bad: this unit led the team to the playoffs last season.
Running backs: Both Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings looked good in this game. McFadden looked fast and powerful when he was on the field (he came off with an injury) and its seems as if a healthy McFadden can carry the Raiders offense.
Jennings had some trouble finding room on the ground but was great catching the ball. The Raiders should consider using him in the passing game more often, especially if Marcel Reece misses time.
QB Decision: At least we know for sure who the quarterback for the Oakland Raiders is. No more debate. Matt Flynn proved that he is not able to handle the starting job. Terrelle Pryor- you’re in for good (if you are healthy).
Matt Flynn: It seems only logical to start here. Matt Flynn did not begin the game very poorly. He led the Raiders to a long touchdown drive in the first quarter, but found very little after that. He rarely looked comfortable in the pocket, holding onto the ball far too long, unsure of where to throw it.
Flynn’s numbers do not look too bad. They are by no means great, but they also are not awful. He just cannot get scores. It is the same issue that he had in the preseason: he does not give the Oakland Raiders a good chance to put points on the board. He was only able to produce seven points against by far the worst defense in the NFL so far. Flynn’s chances are done.
Injuries: Injuries hurt. Darren McFadden knows this very well at this point in his career. It was only a matter of time before the glass-man cracked. Unfortunately, he was playing well and really would have helped the Oakland Raiders. The injury is not believed to be too serious, but with McFadden, one can never be sure.
The running back injuries did not stop there. Marcel Reece injured his knee in the game as well. This takes a very dangerous option out of the passing game. The Raiders will hope that he doesn’t miss time, especially if McFadden can’t get back on the field soon.
The Redskins Defense: This unit had been beyond terrible coming into this game. They were on pace to allow the most total yards in the history of the NFL, by a lot. The fact that the Oakland Raiders offense put up fewer than 300 yards and just seven points in this game shows the incompetence of the Raiders offense. They were shut out in the second, third, and fourth quarters of the game.
They need Pryor back.