Oakland Raiders: Showcase of Speed, Pryor vs. RGIII


Sep 23, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) runs with the ball during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is going the way of the mobile Quarterback. Everyone knows it, why fight it? Guys like Terrelle Pryor and Robert Griffin III are quickly finding themselves in leadership roles on their respective teams. One is a former first-round pick, the other is an eccentric owner’s last chance at redemption. For two such similar players, their stories couldn’t be any more different.

Terrelle Pryor found himself buried in Oakland’s depth chart last year behind Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. His moment of truth came in the 2012 regular season finale against San Diego. The Raiders lost that game by a narrow margin, but Pryor hasn’t looked back. Since then, Pryor won the starting job and has been making steady improvements to his game. Just three games into the season, Pryor has 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Having passed for 624 yards and obtaining a QB rating of 86.7, he has surpassed many of the media pundits’ expectations already. Unfortunately for Pryor, he is playing behind a ragtag offensive line that fell apart after the loss of left tackle Jared Veldheer to a triceps tear. Because he is behind this kind of line, Pryor is often asked to run, extend plays or even recover plays that have been broken.

His size and speed is what drew Al Davis to him. After Pryor ran the the 40-yard dash in 4.38 secconds, Davis knew he had to have this kid. Already nearing 200 yards rushing, Pryor has run for first downs and kept his team driving even after the passing element of a play has died. Speaking of first downs, Pryor has run for 8 first downs and ripped off 4 runs for 20+ yards. The longest of which being a 29-yard scamper to move the chains. The ability of Pryor to either stand tall in the pocket and pass or break out for a big gain has defenses guessing all game long.

Much of the same can be said about RGIII. His running ability and pocket presence keeps defenses playing the guessing game all night. Although, RGIII has been throwing the ball much more after suffering a major knee injury in the playoffs last year. Through three games, he’s rushed for only 62 yards, averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Standing in the pocket and firing rockets down field has led to 975 yards passing already. He boasts an 88% completion rate, and is grading out with a 84.1 QB rating. Griffin ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds and was lauded as a speedster quarterback upon entering the league.

RGIII is the mirror of Pryor this season. Both players are dual-threat quarterbacks, Pryor’s concussion he suffered in Denver on Monday night finds him questionable for Sunday’s game, while RGIII still hasn’t looked quite the same since his knee injury. Whether it is Redskin coach Mike Shanahan trying to protect his quarterback, or a lack of confidence from RGIII in his surgically repaired knee, the Redskins offense has looked somewhat flat without its quarterback’s running threat keeping defenses stretched thin.

Both men can run, pass, and direct their offenses, so Sunday could be quite a showdown. No matter what side the viewer is rooting for, no one can deny that these two men are going to put on a lights out show on the dirt infield of the O.Co Coliseum.