The Oakland Raiders came out victorious in their first preseason game 19-17 against the Dallas Cowboys after a field goal and turnover filled 4 quarters of football. Matt Flynn started out a little shaky after a quick fumble but recovered nicely with a solid drive going 4-5 for 37 yards before a perfect 51-yard chip shot for Janikowski. However, the most electrifying man on the Raiders bench came out in the second quarter and was a much more exciting alternative. While he came away with as many points as Flynn did overall, he got the team closer to the endzone on both trips and got over a hundred yards overall in 2 possessions. His duel-threat capability also opened up running room for ex Jaguar Rashad Jennings to gain 39 yards in 9 attempts.
With the success of Colin Kaepernick in the pistol offense towards the end of last year the Raiders should at least think of experimenting with Pryor. If he can calm down and make better decisions, the pistol would be a great way to open the field up for the new core of wide receivers, the multiple options at running back, and most importantly Pryor’s running ability. If the Raiders could work some plays out even for short yardage situations, they could still start Flynn and throw in Pryor when the situation calls for it. That way if Flynn doesn’t turn out to be the leading man everyone is hoping for, Pryor will have a little experience and the offense will be used to his style as well.
There is no arguing whether or not the pistol offense can work in the NFL after Kaepernick’s explosion on to the scene last year, and even Peyton Manning and the Broncos are taking notice as they tried a few plays in their first preseason game. McFadden worked best in the wildcat in college because it gave him more options and that is exactly what the pistol could do, especially due to his good hands for a running back.
Latavius Murray, 6th round running back from Central Florida also had a good game with 29 yards rushing on 8 attempts, leaving the race for running back up in the air as McFadden has been prone to injury in his 5 years in the league never once finishing out an entire season. While many questions are always raised from the first game of the preseason, it’s nice to actually have high hopes for the games ahead starting with Friday night’s matchup in New Orleans.