Oakland Raiders: Paradise Lost?

The Oakland Raiders fell to divisional rival Kansas City 24-7. The tale from most media outlets and Chief fans in brief will illuminate the 10 sacks and 14 hits on the Raiders’ season hope Terrelle Pryor, the 3 interceptions the Chiefs forced and an all around defensive dominance. The defense harassed and stifled Pryor for three quarters, pressured Pryor on 55.3 % of his drop backs to be precise. Pryor’s performance may spark a mass exodus of the Terrelle Pryor band wagon amongst media and fair weather fans.
Pryor started off pretty good and was giving the Chiefs defense, now elevated into folk lore, all that it could handle via his arm and legs. Pryor looked to be very much the longterm answer Oakland had been seeking since Rich Gannon went down in 2003. The Raiders overall looked to be in charge, Pryor moving the chains and the defense stuffing the Chiefs offense. Then the wheels fell off . The patch work offensive line lost two more members in center Andre Gurode filling in for Wisniewski and tackle Tony Pashos who was filling in for Menelik Watson who himself was filling in for Jared Veldheer. As a result the offensive line descended to unparalleled depths while facing a defensive line that was leading the league in sacks coming into the game. Kansas City annihilated the Raiders offensive line which now consisted of a back up guard forced to play center (Brisiel), two newly elevated to active undrafted free agent rookies (Mady and McCants) and another backup to boot. The offensive line also paved the way for a flag filled day culminating with 11 penalties for 68 yards. The crowd was energized and set the Guinness world record as the loudest US crowd ever. The already struggling running game disappeared completely. For a split second or more like a quarter and change, the outlook for Oakland looked bright with a franchise QB in position. Three interceptions and 7 sacks later, what about now? Do the Raiders still have a franchise QB in Terrelle Pryor? Is paradise now lost?
Terrelle Pryor is still very much the guy to lead Oakland back to prominence, a statue outside of Alameada may be premature, but he is the guy to lead Oakland for years to come. As I am sure Dennis Allen is telling him now in his Alfred Pennyworth voice “Why do we fall Master Bruce?” Pryor now 23 years old, could play until he is 40 years old and perhaps never play under worse circumstances than he experienced Sunday in Arrowhead stadium. A divisional rival, best defensive line in football, an offensive line that would struggle to make all NFL rosters, a record setting crowd, penalties negating good plays, missed horse collar calls and a non existent run game. Games like Sunday could serve Pryor well going forward, knowing how wrong things can go in a game enables you to lead an offense and team more effectively. A leader forged in the fires of enemy territory under adverse conditions is better down the stretch than one who has only known sunshine. When all appears lost, he can be the general that insists to push forward. Getting ragged by a team you will face 2 times a year in Oakland, strengthens your desire for pay back and to truly embellish the rivalry. Bottom line, Pryor is a young QB and he is gonna make mistakes, but he is a force under at least average circumatances. The conditions yesterday would have unraveled most QBs young and old. If anything the game added volume to the the already known “Pryor needs help or at bare minimum an offensive line.” Well that’s my two cents, now we all have should about a dollar.

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