Well, Raider Nation the day finally came. The day we have all been dreading. No it was not losing to the Kansas City Chiefs on the road for the first time in six games, although that certainly bears an infectious sting, no, it was the performance of our starting quarterback. Terrelle Pyror, who has been an exciting burst of inspiration for this Oakland Raiders team had a forgettable afternoon, throwing for 216 yards, 1 touchdown, and three interceptions. And while you can point out Pryor’s positives, including a couple encouraging scrambles and a second quarter touchdown to Denarius Moore, Pryor’s inexperience showed today and it was glaring.
Obviously, Pryor had no help up front. With our poor offensive line being put together by Elmer’s Glue before kickoff, Kansas City’s nasty defensive front had a thunderous afternoon recording 10 sacks. Tamba Hali and company were ferocious getting to Pryor, flattening his protection, and turning Pryor’s three step drop into a frantic scamper of offensive futility. Right now, I would not be surprised if the Oakland Raiders were to hire the stars of CBS’ hit sitcom, Mike and Molly, to fill in as right tackle and center. Regardless of this foregone truth, Pryor needs to be smart with the ball.
Pryor, who has all the motivation to be a great quarterback, tried to be the hero on too many occasions and it cost the Raiders dearly. Far too often when the offensive line folded, Pryor kept retreating frantically with the ball instead of just throwing it away. In the fourth quarter down 14-7 with 10:46 left on the clock the Raiders had a chance to even things out and were moving up the field, getting to the 50-yard line after starting on the 18. However a promising drive would end in misery.
1st and 10 at the 50 became 1st and 20 after a holding penalty. Soon after that, Pryor was sacked for 12 yards, 2nd and 32 now. A delay of game penalty took the ball back and it remained 2nd down but now with 37 yards to convert. Next play, Pryor is in the shotgun, but soon finds himself running backwards and the Raiders are 3rd and 48 from their own 12-yard line. What was once an encouraging drive turned into a series of plays last seen in a Three Stooges short. Pryor, despite being a fan favorite, must be held accountable in this game.
We know about his athleticism, but Pryor entered a test that required mental toughness in a hostile environment and performed less than satisfactory. Along with running nowhere from the rush, thus tacking on negative yardage, Pryor’s interceptions were very disheartening, particularly his first and third follies.
On his own 19 yard line midway through the 3rd quarter, Pryor’s first pick came from a desperate, dumbfounding, fling up the middle of the field while on his back foot. Once the ball was released there was only place it was headed and it wasn’t to the intended receiver, Rod Streater. Kansas City’s Qunitin Demps picked off the meager attempt and the Chiefs scored on the ensuing driving. Jamal Charles powered through for his second touchdown of the game.
And then there was the game killer. Down 17-7 and in need of a quick score, Pryor’s intended pass for Mychal Rivera was intercepted by Husain Abdullah and taken back for a 44 –yard, exclamation mark touchdown. It was an avoidable turnover too because Pryor’s eyes were transfixed on Rivera, providing Abdullah a blueprint to a pick six.
Pryor is obviously still the man to command this Raiders team throughout the 2013 NFL season and he possess the kind of character and work ethic needed to improve from today’s awful afternoon in Kansas City. The Raiders fly back to Oakland and head into the bye week before playing host to a bad Pittsburgh Steelers team. Pryor’s play making abilities are still not in doubt, but his game time decisions were exposed today.
You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @jermg11.