Oakland Raiders: Last Season’s Overachievers

Dec 29, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) hands off the ball to running back Rashad Jennings (27) against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NFL season was not one to remember for the Oakland Raiders. A 4-12 record and losses in their last six games capped another season of Raider mediocrity.

Despite this, there were still players who performed well, or at least above expectations.

TERRELLE PRYOR: Perhaps Terrelle Pryor isn’t the most fundamentally gifted quarterback the Raiders have ever seen. Perhaps he doesn’t have a style of play that fits the NFL mold. Perhaps he did not have outstanding stats. However, he gave the Raiders a chance to score and a chance to win. He went 3-5 as the starting Oakland Raider quarterback, which, at first glance, does not seem overly impressive. Then one looks at the schedule and realizes that they played five playoff teams over those first 10 weeks of the season. One also realizes that the Raiders went just 1-7 without him. Pryor’s injury-prone style of play did eventually get the best of him, but while he was playing, Pryor made the Raiders a threat to score on every possession.

RASHAD JENNINGS: Coming into the season, Rashad Jennings was a backup, only to be really used in case of a Darren McFadden injury. Of course, the latter happened. Jennings was thrust into the starting role and responded with very solid play. He finished with 733 rushing yards and 4.5 yards per carry. He also provided a reliable outlet in the passing game, on two occasions having at least seven catches for at least 70 yards. What is more impressive is that he did this in essentially nine games when McFadden was either out or limited. The Oakland Raiders clearly believe in him, as they are looking to extend his contract into next season.

SIO MOORE: Sio Moore proved to be the Oakland Raiders best pick in the 2013 NFL draft. He outperformed first-round pick D.J. Hayden. He earned his starting spot on the defense. He finished the season with 55 total tackles, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Moore also won the defensive rookie of the week award in Week 8, in which he had eight tackles and 1.5 sacks. Moore has begun his career with a bang and still has time to develop into a top linebacker in the NFL.

LAMARR HOUSTON: It could be argued that defensive lineman Lamarr Houston was the best player on the Oakland Raiders defensive unit. He was expected to be good but turned out to be great. He recorded 56 tackles, which is quite a bit for a defensive lineman, along with six sacks and two forced fumbles. Houston was able to put pressure on the quarterback and still be very effective in his run stopping duties. Like with Jennings, the Oakland Raiders have expressed a desire to bring Houston back next season. Unfortunately, Houston remains unconvinced, and has expressed interest in moving away from Oakland for the 2014 season.


Topics: Lamarr Houston, Oakland Raiders, Rashad Jennings, Sio Moore, Terrelle Pryor

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  • Sterling Archer

    Seriously another Love story for Pryor !?! okay the guy has athletic ability sure but he is in no way an overachiver…. he is an underachiever he was taken in the 3rd round 3 seasons ago. This is the point where a pick is considered a bust even more so at the QB position he has had 3 years to learn to read the defense and get up to NFL speed. Part of the problem was he wasn’t fully developed as a college QB when he left due to the OSU Scandal. But he at this point is not an NFL starter caliber QB. while there may not be the QB of the Future on the Raiders Roster it has been made clear by his play and lack of development that Pryor is not the QB of the Future. .

  • Anthony Allen

    my goodness, quit with the Pryor talk. Mcgloin out-performed him and proved to be closer to an NFL qb than Pryor. Those games won with Pryor? the defense played good enough to keep us in games. He lacks too many natural quarterback instincts after 3 years and it took Mcgloin less than a year to show more skill. Not saying Mcgloin is the answer but he’s closer to being ready than Pryor. Pryor just has speed and is athletic but that doesn’t do much for a qb that can’t step in the pocket and deliver accurate passes. he can’t throw in stride and he too often overthrows or under throws receivers. He can’t read defenses well. he just isn’t it and I wish a lot of you people would look at the tape and realize there are better options at qb. you can’t just keep making excuses for the guy

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