Oakland Raiders: What Went Wrong With The Offense In 2013?

Dec 29, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) fumbles the ball against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders had a fairly up and down season in 2014, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The Raiders shocked many of the experts by selecting Terrelle Pryor as their starting quarterback coming out of the preseason. Pryor then ran with opportunity to start and looked like a sure-fire candidate to be talked about for most improved player, but then he suffered an injury and the offense could never regain any of their consistency. So, what else played a major part in the offensive failures during the season?

The first major problem for the Raiders’ offense was injuries, particularly along the offensive line. The first big injury occurred to the Raiders’ best offensive lineman, Jared Veldheer. Then his potential bookend at right tackle, rookie Menlik Watson was limited to just five games. The injuries sapped an already thin unit and they struggled throughout the season, as they gave up 44 sacks on the season. The running game was held in check for the most part due to the line unable to create consistent push and they were saved by the mobility of Pryor in the early part of the year.

The Raiders’ running game also took a hit with another down year for their supposed number one back, Darren McFadden. McFadden was limited to 10 games with various injuries throughout the season. He ran for a total of 379 yards, with a career low 3.3 yards per carry.

The Raiders’ backup running back Rashad Jennings step up admirably with 733 yards with a 4.5 yards per carry average, but he did not have the same impact that the Raiders expected to get from McFadden. It would seem probable that this will be the final straw for McFadden, unless he comes back on a short term, low money deal.

The other major problem was the inconsistency of the quarterback play. The Raiders’ started with Pryor, who beat out Matt Flynn in preseason, and he looked to be the right decision for the first part of the season. Pryor was looking much improved as a passer, which combined with his ability to move in the pocket and pick up big chunks of yards with his legs.

As the season went on, Pryor’s progression began to take a major step back. His accuracy and decision making regressed with his mechanics through the second half of the season, as turnovers began to pile up in bunches. He also dealt with some injuries during the season, as well. The poor play and injuries opened the door for undrafted rookie Matt McGloin to take the reigns of the offense.

McGloin’s season had similar trajectory to Pryor’s, as he started off hot before cooling off considerably. McGloin threw for three touchdowns passes in first career start. He would throw for at least two touchdowns in half of his starts, but much like Pryor, he struggled with ball security.

McGloin had at least one interception in five of his six starts, including five in his final two games combined. Neither quarterback could make a case that they deserve to be given the starting position next year, but McGloin deserves another look with his flashes of promise in his rookie season. Meanwhile, Pryor’s days in Oakland look to be numbered.

Mental mistakes plagued the Raiders’ offense, as well. A lot of the times, the Raiders were their own worst enemies, as they would kill drives with silly penalties or costly turnovers. Oakland was near the top of the league in both penalties against and giveaways. Too often, these mistakes killed drives or took away any of the momentum that the offense might have had. This is the one area that the Raiders can make noticeable improvements without any major overhauls to the depth chart.

The Oakland offense was a roller coaster ride for most of the year, as both young quarterbacks had initial flashes of greatness before crashing back to Earth. It was not just the fault of the quarterbacks, as the blame can be placed on a multitude of issues. There is no simple fix and both Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen will have their hands full trying to put this offense in position to take the next step forward.

Topics: Darren McFadden, Matt McGloin, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Terrelle Pryor

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  • PJ

    Another QB dillusional write up. Every team passed on MM for a reason? Pittsburghs Tom and Kellyn the eagles want TP bad! They are circling like vultures. What does that say about TP when a 2 time world champion wants him badly. He even tried a trade with Al for him but he refused. The problem is DA has no idea how to develop a QB and those guys do. If we get rid of TP it will be another huge mistake that they will make. TP is a pitt native and would come back to bight us!

    • Cetswayo Dawson

      And TP deserves a good look with an intact offensive line. Not Brady, not Peyton, not Brees, no one would play well behind the O-line at that time. Why expect an inexperienced TP to? Get out of here!

      • Phil Mokate

        I could not agree more. But with this staff I’m on edge as to what stupid decisions they have made and may still make. If we were to put TP in Carolina’s. 49′s or even Seahawks O he would be a force to be reckoned with. No QB in the league can survive behind this line. TP deserves it. He has proven he has all the skills of Wilson, Kap, Cam or any other scrambling QB if he has protection and weapons around him and time under C to develop. What’s that say about out QB coach Dephlip? If TP has to go to Brady’s coach for improving. To start over by drafting a QB and throwing him into the fire would be stupid! We need a vet to come in and back up TP and coach him up.

    • Rees Britton

      First of all we haven’t played a down in 2014 so I don’t think we had any issues….yet! PJ you are right that DA doest know how to develop QB’s, but I would imagine thats why he brought in Olsen. For all the supposed raiders “fans” out there that keep hating on DA and the coaches for not developing or adjusting what do you say about designing an offense around flynn, then scraping it all to redesign around pryor, then pryor gets hurt and you have to redesign the offense again and develop an undrafted rookie QB. Oh but they have no idea how to coach right…

  • Brian F

    2013. Not 2014.

  • Phil Watson

    Got a little ahead of ourselves with the headline there. Read right over it. Our bad.

  • RN808

    To say TP regressed in the second half of the season is not fair when he did not play in 6 of the last 8 games. TP was great against the chargers(who are in the playoffs) was a big reason they beat Pittsburgh(who was starting to play like a playoff team) and played well in the first half against KC in KC, TP played poorly in NY while injured, and never got a chance again until the last game. MM only threw 3 TD’s against the texans because the defense gave him a short field multiple times. No way he wins that game without the defensive takeaways, other than that he lost every game. and KC scored more points on the raiders than any team has every(56) with MM as the starter, in large part to his 5 turnovers in that game. I’m sorry but MM will never and should never be a starter in the NFL. He is a turnover machine, and a lot of his big plays were jump balls to receivers. I could understand if he had a lot of potential, but at his best he is a backup, period. Start MM and Rashad Jennings next year and good luck winning two games. They are both being totally overrated. Bring in Vick for TP to learn under and draft Clowney, and a #1 receiver. TP is AL’s last pick. let him play more than 9 games and prove himself. Come on man. The raiders will continue to lose games and fans if they keep rolling with MM, because he sucks and their boring to watch with him as the starter. It should be Commitment to Excellence not Commitment to mediocrity.

    • Ricky Bobby

      You can thank BIASED HC DA for MM EVEN BEING ON THE ROSTER. DA was a FAILURE AS A GUY TRYING TO GET A SHOT IN THE NFL & he resents guys getting a shot soley on athletic ability. That is why he secretly detests TP.

  • Oscar gonzalez

    Tp regressed each of his last few weeks. He did some nice things but he showed more of not being the answer than being answer at the quarterback position . He did help us win those games but a lot had to do with the defense playing well at the time. We could barely score against the steelers. He limits the offense because he can’t throw receivers open with anticipation. He can LOB it to them if they’re wide open. I wish he was the answer so we wouldn’t have to waste time looking for the future qb, but he isn’t a good qb and I don’t think he will ever be anything other than an ok backup. He has a better chance switching to wr.

    • AF AF AF

      Tp may have regressed but he still won more games for us than MM

      • Oscar gonzalez

        The reason he won more games was the defense playing well. We averaged more points and total yards with mm. U can’t blame mm for a horrible defense. Once teams had tape on to they figured they blitz and stack the box to stop the run and he can’t be effective. Just agree to disagree. Either way we can only sit and watch what happens. We don’t have any control over what they decide to do.

  • RN808

    I’m not saying TP is the answer, I just don’t think MM should even be in the conversation. TP had a higher passing completion rate than MM and only had 154 yards less rushing than jennings on 80 less carries. TP would have been the raiders leading rusher by far if he had played in all the games. Take away jennings 80 yard run and he barely averaged 4 yards a carry, right at his career average. MM is being a distraction because no one expects him to succeed, so any little thing he does good seems like a big deal, but loosing five in a row, and looking worse each week was terrible to watch. A jump ball to ford in the end zone with the game on the line, on thanksgiving was enough for me, but DA insists that MM would give them the best chance to win, but the raiders never won a game again after his first start, because that’s when they got soft, no team was worried about the raiders when MM was the starter, and it showed, you could tell they lost any edge they had earlier in the season, every team they faced felt they had a shot because their starter was better than MM. He does have some talent or he would never play a snap in the NFL, but a franchise quarterback. Come on man!

  • Ricky Bobby

    MM is a BACKUP, he had the healthy OL, best RB’s & WR’S yet LOST 5 consecutive games beating only the WORST TEAM IN FOOTBALL. The only reason this guy is on the team is because DA prefers avg white players over athletic black ones.SMH

  • KloverJane

    Why do these articles constantly have spelling errors? Even the date says 2014 season. If you’re a journalist, spelling and syntax is paramount. Late 20th century technology has spell check even. There’s also something called facts and an editor usually checked these out prior to publication. Put some effort into it.

  • Oscar gonzalez

    If it were the most athletic guys playing qb. There would be receivers playing qb. Just cuz u can run around doesn’t make u a legitimate qb. He can’t throw the ball to be a successful qb. This isn’t college football. This is the NFL