Raiders Bookend Season With Loss To Chargers

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

For the Oakland Raiders this season began with a loss to the San Diego Chargers so its only  fitting that a disappointing 2012 comes to and end with another loss to those same Chargers.

So the only real question is did Dennis Allen’s team make progress from week one until now? The answer is yes…kind of.

The score was closer this time around as the Raiders rallied to make this a 24-21 nail biter. Unlike the debacle that was the Monday Night opener there were no botched snaps by the emergency long snapper. So that is something to hang your hat on.

But if you really want a reason to be optimistic for the Silver and Black then just go back and take a look at what Terrelle Pryor did today in his first NFL start.

Sure, Pryor made his fare share of mistakes including a few ill-advised throws, a Carson Palmer-esque turnover and some seriously shaky footwork in the pocket. But this is a results driven business and in the last two games the Raiders as a team failed to find the end zone. In one afternoon of football Pryor was responsible for all three of Oakland’s TDs including two throwing and one running.

His numbers might not grab you but Pryor’s production over percentages is ripped right out of the Al Davis book on winning football. The positive s far outweighed the negatives today. For a second forget the stats, all you need to know is the Raiders were trailing late in the second half 24-7 at one point in this contest. Pryor’s clutch play combined with a blocked punt by Coye Francies helped make this one interesting until the end.

When was the last time you were invested in a Raider game from start to finish? Better yet, when was the last time the Raiders had a QB capable of making plays no matter the circumstance?

Good luck getting Palmer to keep a play alive the second the O-line can’t hold its blocks. Today Pryor ran for 49 yards in addition to the 150 he threw for. That’s the type of production an offensively challenged team like Oakland needs in this modern NFL. Especially when Darren McFadden is still being forced to run in a system his talents don’t fit. But that should hopefully change soon enough.

While this season was a lost cause the future looks bright given what we saw today. There was never any reason for the Raiders to be as woeful as they’ve been on offense this year. For all the heat Greg Knapp has taken this season he did do a good job of having his young QB ready to go with a game plan that maximized his skills. Still, it is too little too late.

Going forward it will be on the coaches to develop a scheme that gets the most out of the weapons available. Sticking to some system just because it is has had success elsewhere proved to be one of the biggest reasons why Coach Allen is going into the offseason with a 4-12 record as a head coach. Clearly Pryor can play in this league and there is no reason why he should be buried beneath the likes of Matt Leinart on and NFL depth chart ever again.

So until we see our Silver and Black again let’s, for the moment, enjoy the simple pleasure that is watching one of Al’s handpicked talents show the world there’s still a football pulse in the East Bay. This was a forgettable season but that doesn’t mean there weren’t moments worth remembering. Perhaps we can one day say we remember when Pryor made his first NFL start. That would imply he’s made more since and has found even more success. Hey…hope is all we’ve got…once again…

Topics: Oakland Raiders

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  • Blu Spikes

    Pryor had such a small playbook to use today. They were keeping it simple for him, I dont know if he was trying out for another team or trying to keep his job in Oakland. It was very fast for Pryor in the beginning of the game, he looked like about mid first quarter that the game slowed down and he did become comfortable. He may be the future but he may also be trade bait for a WR or DB. Thought the Def. played well today. Not great but well, DB wow trade them all except Huff.

  • Blu Spikes

    Pryor had such a small playbook to use today. They were keeping it simple for him, I dont know if he was trying out for another team or trying to keep his job in Oakland. It was very fast for Pryor in the beginning of the game, he looked like about mid first quarter that the game slowed down and he did become comfortable. He may be the future but he may also be trade bait for a WR or DB. Thought the Def. played well today. Not great but well, DB wow trade them all except Huff.

  • chucka1122

    What a terrible season for the Raiders!!! I am happy they lost, needed to keep the same draft position. I thought Pryor played well for his first start. Are there things Pryor needs to work on, absolutely, but all in all, it was a good game for him. Another lost season will hopefully bring many changes. The Raiders need to try and trade down with any team that is willing to move up. This team is in dire need of depth. They have a lot of work to do this off-season and I hope it works out. I do not want to see these same players on the field next season. If they could get Andy Reid involved in the organization some how, that would be a big help. They need to show some type of improvement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.wade.351756 James Wade

    Again.. Carson Palmer incapable? We understand your love for TP6.. But come on. You hate Palmer so bad, he could win a Super Bowl, be league MVP and you would be saying he sucks. You are horrible. TP6 did impress with athleticism and some natural ability. But sailing balls and floating them over talented defenses like that in the NFL will get your receivers hurt and cause more interceptions than Palmer threw!! BTW, look at Palmer’s stats compared to other quality QB’s. He is right there. I like what I saw yesterday, and I would love to have TP play more.. but to call Palmer a failure is a joke. Knapp was the biggest problem. With Al Saunders hopefully being elevated to OC, Palmer is the right guy. and trade DMC for a pick and take a good late round RB like Washington did… TWICE in the 6th round.

  • southcentralsfinest

    Actually, Chris is right on this one. “P.A.P.(PUNK ASS PALMER) SUCKS”!!!! He can take his sorry ass and his stats to Jacksonville or Kansas City. Let them deal with his “UN-CLUTCH-ABLE ASS”. Yeah, I wouldn’t say shit if P.A.P won the Super Bowl and made MVP, but that also would mean Hue Jackson & Co. and last years roster would still be here with no General Manager(with the exception of a few roster yearly draft changes), but that’s not the case so back to reality. TP6 wasn’t perfect and he made rookie mistakes, but that’s because “HE’S A FUCKING ROOKIE”. I’m not going to forget “DARMA & GREG KNAPPSACK”. Between his bullshit play calling with RUN DMC and MR. UN-CLUTCH-ABLE, it was obvious the recipe for disaster was aready being served, I just forgot I had to bring my own fucking plate! I have no problem with Saunders taking Knappsacks place, but i do mind RUN DMC. Everybody saw that game. TP6 had the opponent on their toes(that’s something you don’t see often) and that’s good because that created more options for us. You have a quarterback(TP6), 2 running backs(TP6, RUN DMC), and you have a full back, tight ends, and wide receivers all on one field, what more could you ask for, oh I almost forgot, “DEFENSE”. Now, Allen can do what he was hired for in the first place, “BE A DEFENSIVE COACH”. Take all of your upcoming draft picks and go big on defense, because judging by yesterdays 21pt game, your future offense is already here, it’s just going to get better from here(can you say “EVEN BETTER THAN CAM NEWTON”).