Friday night’s game between the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys was highly anticipated by Raiders fans, because it was the first good look that fans got at the quarterback situation.
Terrelle Pyror got a chance to play sparingly last season, but Matt Flynn is a new addition to a team which looks pretty new in general.
First up in the game was Flynn, who went 4-of-5 and passed for 37 yards. What the numbers don’t show is his footwork. Flynn showed that he’s not as flat-footed as a Manning, and can scramble a bit when need be. He also proved that he’s calm under pressure and pretty darn consistent. He’s not a bad starter by any means.
What convolutes this situation is that Terrelle Pryor has some next-level skills, if he can learn how to use them.
Once it was his turn under center, Pryor proved to be calm, but his immaturity when it comes to making snap decisions shone through.
On 3rd-and-4 at the 6 yard line, Pryor made a crucial mistake and threw an interception in the endzone. Later, he said:
"I looked at the pictures and I could have ran it easy. That was just me being greedy. Maybe in the back of my mind I was saying, 'Hey, I want to throw a touchdown pass. People think I can't.'"
Well, at least he recognized that was his thinking at the time. It also seemed like the coaching staff may be have been telling Pryor not to run quite as much to avoid injury, since it’s just preseason. However, his thinking on the situation would say otherwise.
It’s that type of decision making that could keep him on the bench (but it’s also important to keep in
mind that he’s still very young and will no doubt mature, and starters make that same mental error every year).
With all of that said, Pryor is like giving the Raiders an extra weapon on the field because his game has so many dimensions. One of the Raiders will almost always be open because the opposing team will need to have a man keep an eye on the young quarterback in case he runs.
Flynn is still the starter as of now, and Pryor will really have to prove himself to make that change. Dennis Allen said:
Allen said Matt Flynn “was very composed in pocket … able to move the team.”— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) August 10, 2013
Next Friday, we'll get to see them out on the field again against New Orleans.
What did you think of the quarterback battle?