Last week, there was some talk about the Raiders interest in Josh Freeman. Initially, I thought why hes a far less dynamic version of Pryor. Then I thought about the last disgruntled quarterback they went after, Carson Palmer, and how that quick fixed failed. I thought about why would you look to a quick fix after Pryor has injected so much hope into the team. Then i heard talks about the Mcfadden injury and I asked myself, why are the Raiders concerned so much with the quarterback when it should be the least of their worries. I hadn’t heard any talk about pursuing offensive line help, a pass rusher, reciever, tight end, running back, or any other position where the Raiders are lacking playmaking ability.
Then Sunday came, and the Raiders showed up underneath the lights. They played a bitter rival, The Chargers, but still seemed more inspired then there opponent. Even with a late rally, the team kept playing hard and managed to pull out a win rather than falter like previous teams. Therefore, I don’t want to talk about who is not in a Raider uniform. I don’t want to talk about the star safety, running back, and left tackle that are absent from the active list. I don’t want to talk about the free agent quarterbacks they might sign or ended up releasing. I don’t even want to talk about the players the roster is lacking at various positions. Rather, I want to talk about the team as it is constructed.
He absolutely balled the last game and all season. If you think it is a coincidence that he recoved a fumble or got an interception than your dead wrong. Woodson has been getting to the ball all season long, so it was only a matter of time until they started creating turnovers. More importantly, you could see his leadership skills to rally a defense that seemed worn out as the Chargers tried to make a comeback.
I’ll admit I was pretty hard on the rookie all game. No means did play perfect, but his interception in the fourth quarter couldn’t have come at a better time. He finally showed some of those playmaking abilities when he broke on the ball and intercepted it. It is promising to see a kid get beat all day and then comeback and make a pick. To be a successful DB in this league, you have to posses that confidence and swagger. I know he missed a lot of training camp, so I hope this is an indication that he will continue to get better as the season goes on.
After a tough game against the Broncos, and talk about Josh Freeman, Pryor was able to come out and ball. In the first half, lacking his dynamic backfield partner, Pryor was able to piece together nice drives. His speed and elusiveness were showcased as he was able to outrun linebackers and dbs to the corner. Even as his offense sputtered in the second half, he held his composure. I think this game really cemeted Pryor as a starting quarterback, because he was able to showcase his physical abilities and leadership qualities. I also seen his ability to throw on the run, and the receivers are beginning to adjust to Pryor’s timing and accuracy. I think as they get in more cohesion, Pryor and his receivers can only get better. Streater caught a nice ball in the first half, and Moore caught a few good passes to keep the drives along.
In closing, Pro Football talk moved this team up to number 18 in the power rankings. As they get healthier and as they continue to get better I can only imagine how far this team will go. If Pryor continues to show improvement week to week, then his team will as well. For the first time in a long time, it seems like the coaches, media, and team are starting to buy into the Raiders Starting Quarterback. Hopefully it means the team will end the playoff drought, but either way it is nice to see the Raiders compete in every game, and have an once of hope that their Quarterback can make a play when its time to.