Sep 23, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive end Malik Jackson (97) and outside linebacker Wesley Woodyard (52) pressure Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Back to the Bay With Rory Anderson: Week 17

Back to the Bay is a weekly column from Just Blog Baby Podcast cohost Rory Anderson. For more of Rory’s Oakland Raiders analysis tune into the Just Blog Baby Podcast every week on 

To me if you don’t win the Super Bowl you are the same as the other 30 teams in the NFL that didn’t win it either. Furthermore, if you are not going to make the playoffs, you don’t want to be close you want to be as bad as possible to get a better draft position. Some call it tanking, I call it reality especially if you are the Oakland Raiders. Yes it was nice to write a column about the miracle it would have been if the Raiders made the playoffs, but at this point my mind is focused on the offseason. I knew coming into this year that it would have been a long year and although I was optimistic, the Raiders found a way to lose early in the season when they should have won. That’s not blaming coaches or players or management, it is just pointing out what happened. I am sick and tired of trying to assign blame to someone or another. I see the stats and I watch the tape and what I have seen is a team with a lack of talent get exposed doing things it did successfully earlier in the season because it caught teams unaware.

With all that being said, I really got into the Chargers’ game on Sunday and although I knew in my head that a loss was best for this franchise, my heart wanted a win and frankly the Raiders arguably could have won. There were some amazingly terrible calls by the referees. A total of nine plays that eliminated or altered a score because of the decision of a referee occurred in this game. That means nine decisive plays regarding the score were determined in some way by the referees. That is the definition of poor refereeing in my mind because they should not have a dramatic effect on the game. Later in this column I will hit on the Rod Streater touchdown that was incorrectly ruled an incomplete pass, but that was just one of many terrible calls that the referees were involved in. Many penalty flags were thrown against the Raiders when they shouldn’t have been and the Chargers basically got away with murder. On the other hand the Raiders also went out of their way to play stupidly and by the end of the game it was a comedy of screw ups both on the Raiders side and the referees’ side.

This was really a fitting game for the Raiders in the end. They played well enough to win, but did enough things either wrongly or stupidly to lose. The Raiders looked like a team that was pressing to make something happen. They didn’t play ball like a loose team, instead they were tense and the more they pressed the more they screwed up. This is what happens to teams when they get in their own heads. Look at the Houston Texans. They had a big lead over the Patriots and blew it because they tensed up and then on Sunday they played the Broncos tight for the first half and then got blown out. I have faith in both Reggie and Dennis to get this ship righted even if many of the fans of this website disagree. Many people have made a big deal out of what Ron Rivera has done in Carolina turning that team around this year even when they started slow, but people ignore possibly the most important fact. The Panthers stuck with Rivera after two disappointing years when the fans wanted his head and claimed he was overwhelmed and did not know how to motivate his team. When asked about how it happened, Rivera mentioned stability time after time. If the Raiders need to see an example of what patience and stability can do for a franchise they need only look to Carolina.

Game Recap (With Screenshots!)

Here we go with the best screen caps from my review Sunday night. Be sure to join in this Sunday at 9 pm PST when I do the final Raiders Review of the season:

This was a blatant illegal use of the hands on the facemask in retaliation of Fluker’s same move a second before. The fact is a player especially a veteran such as Hunter needs to keep his cool. An early example of playing tight.

Focus on Porter and Chekwa for the next screen shot they go together.

Jenkins and Sims both played very well in this game although Jenkins did have a dumb penalty.


I LOVED this playcall because it was PERFECT. They got everything they wanted in this matchup, but McGloin simply missed his man deep.




Now after that play the Chargers come back with the exact same route against what they think is the exact same defense. However, instead of cover 2 the Raiders go with a cover 2 sink and they bait Rivers into a bad throw:

This is the McGloin interception in which he scrambles to his right and Weddle begins to come up to cover the under man who in turn starts to open up.

This was a joke of a penalty call. Absolute disgrace and of course it was thrown well after the play when Rivers started complaining.



This was another abysmal non call by the officiating crew in this game. This is a clear pick play and no flag.


Another huge non call and this block in the back lead to a 40+ yard run play.



Here comes the Rod Streater play. My analysis is this should have been a completed pass with a fumble that is recovered for a touchdown. How they ruled this is an incomplete pass is an absolute joke.



Another missed Chargers penalty.


Terrelle Pryor is Starting?

When I was watching the Raiders’ press conference on Monday I was absolutely stunned to hear Dennis Allen say that Pryor was going to start. Of course because Allen is a professional he uses typical coach speech to justify the move going back to the consistently used phrase, “I believe so and so gives us the best chance to win…” but I don’t buy it. There is no statistical proof to justify the claim which makes me certain there are other forces at work here. To me there are two potential answers and one makes sense while the other worries me.

Firstly, the Raiders could simply want to see if Pryor can have a good game and bolster his tape so they can get a higher pick in a draft day trade. In this case a fourth rounder would be a great trade for the Raiders and I like the value of the talent in that round. That seems to me to be the best potential answer, but the other is the potential that Mark Davis has a hand in this. He is a big fan of Terrelle Pryor and of course the emotional ties with his father’s final draft pick is strong, but if he gave Allen an ultimatum to start Pryor, that is a bad sign. The Raiders need stability and they need professional management from the ownership and if Mark Davis begins to get involved in the football operations it could minimize any potential progress the Raiders have made in that area.

When we compare Pryor to McGloin objectively there is no way to say that Pryor gives the Raiders a better chance to win than McGloin. During the game on Sunday CBS put up this visual:


Beyond this the statistical superiority of McGloin’s game becomes even clearer. Pro Football Focus has a -16.0 overall rating with a -23.3 rating in passing and a -1.3 rating in penalty. His only positive rating is running which is 8.1 and simply is not how a quarterback wins in the NFL. If you were to average his rating per game it would be a -1.6 per game. On the other hand, McGloin has a -6.1 rating with a -5.0 in passing, but his 2.5 second release which is only bettered by 5 other quarterbacks has led to only two sacks which were both by JJ Watt since McGloin has taken over as a starter. If you average out McGloins rating it is just slightly worse than -1.0 per game which is half a point better than Pryor.

ESPN’s advanced statistics also reflect a dramatic difference between the two quarterbacks that also favors McGloin. Pryor’s total QBR is a measly 29.7 while McGloin has a 49.5 while perfectly average is 50.0. his rating is 24 of the 40 quarterbacks that have seen snaps this season and it is higher than quarterbacks such as EJ Manuel, Mike Glennon, Ryan Tannehill, and Alex Smith while just being under Joe Flacco and Carson Palmer. Pryor is 38th beating out only Weeden and Matt Flynn. When you compare just the points added over the season, McGloin gets a 21.0 with only five starts while Pryor gets a 8.3 while having 10 starts. For points lost on sacks McGloin gets a -2.8 while Pryor is -15.5. The only advanced metric where Terrelle Pryor beats McGloin is points added on run plays and that is because he runs the ball himself. If you want to see the results yourself here is a link to the page:

Expectations vs the Broncos

I have some serious concerns coming into this football game. Some Raiders fans seem to think that because Jared Veldheer is back and Jennings is the running back now magically Terrelle Pryor’s performance is going to drastically change. The problem that caused the sacks for Pryor had less to do with the offensive line and more to do with the simple fact that Pryor held onto the ball way too long. He on average holds onto the ball almost an entire second longer than McGloin and a second and a half longer than Peyton Manning. Even without Von Miller the Broncos should be able to get consistent pressure due to that simple fact.

Secondly, the Raiders have issues at the cornerback position. Beyond DJ Hayden being injured, both Porter and Jenkins practiced limited Friday and are both listed as questionable. Generally, players that are listed as questionable play, but it is still a concern and if they don’t play, the combination of Chekwa and Adams will be torched. To me the result is pretty clear; it should be a pretty dominant performance by the Denver Broncos. The only way I see it being close is if Peyton Manning absolutely implodes and has a dismal performance. There is no way I see Terrelle Pryor leading the Raiders to 35 points to win this game unless something amazing happens. If and when the Broncos get and early lead and force Pryor to sit in the pocket and throw this game will end quickly because he simply cannot do it on a consistent basis. I am a big Terrelle Pryor fan, but these are the facts and the idea that his presence led the Raiders to those three wins early in the season is nothing more than a delusion by people who refuse to face facts. Furthermore, the idea that Pryor’s ceiling is higher than McGloin’s and Pryor has the potential to be a starter but McGloin also has no merit to it. The idea that athleticism somehow creates a greater potential is ludicrous. Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Joe Montana, and Tom Brady won Lombardi’s not by being the most athletic, but rather by being the smartest players on the field.

Does that mean I think McGloin will be the franchise quarterback for the Raiders going forward? No, but I do think he has more potential to become that franchise quarterback than Terrelle Pryor does because unlike Pryor he has the basics of being a quarterback ingrained in him. Here are four stat lines for quarterbacks:

58.8 completion, 1972 yards, 6.44 average, 11 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 42.3 QBR, 77.7 rate
55.9 completion, 1547 yards, 7.33 average, 8 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 49.5 QBR, 76.1 rate
60.0 completion, 2389 yards, 6.37 average, 17 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 43.4 QBR, 84.9 rate
55.3 completion, 2856 yards, 6.87 average, 12 touchdowns, 21 interceptions, 31.2 QBR, 65.3 rat

To finish the stat lines, the quarterbacks have 10, 5, 12, and 15 starts respectively and my question is, “Can you name those quarterbacks”? They are EJ Manuel, Matt McGloin, Mike Glennon, and Geno Smith. One could argue that Matt McGloin although the shortest rookie year may have also had the most successful considering he leads all rookies in QBR and yards per game.

Offseason Scenario of the Week 

I have been advocating that Dennis Allen keep his job and that is primarily due to the need for consistency, but the situations I have been presenting also have a fair amount of turnover. To be consistent, this week I want to focus on taking care of each side of the ball in different ways. Defensively it will be about consistency and adding depth so the defense can be effective in waves. Offensively, I want to focus on fixing the trenches but have it be done through the draft not free agency. This approach would be very effective if the contracts were set up in the model that Tampa Bay uses where they keep the yearly totals consistent, and rather than give prorated bonuses, they instead guarantee years at the beginning of the contract. If a contract is 4 years long and worth 20 million dollars, then years one and two will be guaranteed, while years three and four will not be. There can also be years that are half guaranteed.

Jared Veldheer: 5 years 35 million 17.5 guaranteed (7 million APY)
Lamarr Houston: 5 years 32.5 million 17 million guaranteed (6.5 APY slightly less than Cliff Avril contract)
Pat Sims: 3 years 13.5 million 7 million guaranteed (4.5 APY 1 million less than Peko)
Vance Walker: 3 years 12 million 6 million guaranteed (4 APY slightly more than Sammie Lee Hill contract)
Tracy Porter: 4 years 16 million 7 million guaranteed (4 APY even with Aarington contract)
Mike Jenkins: 3 years 10.5 million 5 million guaranteed (3.5 APY even with Brock contract)
Charles Woodson: 1 year 1.5 million all guaranteed
Usama Young: 2 years 2 million
Total per year: 32 million

Free Agents (with explanations):

Michael Johnson: With his massive drop off in pass rushing production his value is going to drop considerably. What he can do well is be a solid rotational left end for the Raiders with his growth in run stopping.
5 years 30 million 14 million guaranteed (6 APY slightly more than Michael Bennett contract)

Brandon Spikes: He has been a monster inside and picking him up would allow the Raiders to move Roach to the Will spot where he is more comfortable and it would also give them a bigger run stuffer inside.
5 years 27.5 million 15 million guaranteed (5.5 APY equal to Derrick Johnson contract)

Jason Worilds: Adding this player could allow the Raiders to use both Houston and Johnson on the left side where they belong, while having a vet to start at the Leo position so any top pass rusher they draft could be a situational player to begin their career.
4 years 18 million 10 million guaranteed (4.5 APY slightly more than David Hawthorne contract)

Arthur Jones: One more defensive tackle that could be a great run stopping end would be ideal for a solid rotation.
4 years 16 million 7 million guaranteed (4 APY slightly less than Sammie Lee Hill contract)

Total per year: 20 million

Draft Picks:
1st: Anthony Barr, Leo
2nd: David Yankey, G
3rd: Weston Richburg, C
3rd comp: AJ McCarron, QB
4th: Craig Loston, S
5th comp: Alfred Blue, RB
6th: Ryan Grant, WR
7th: Chris Davis, CB
7th: AC Leonard, TE

Total 2014 approx: 8 million

Grand Total New Spending: 60 million
Currently under contract: 49.6 million
Dead Money: 9.2 million

2014 Grand Total: 118.8
2014 Projected Cap space: 128 million

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