Originally published on Silver & Black Report on Aug. 30, 2013
The Raiders entered their fourth preseason game with many question marks still in their starting lineup, a rare occasions for teams about to head into the regular season.
Still, there was a game to play and the Raiders came up short falling to 1-3 in the preseason as they fell to the Seattle Seahawks 22-6 in their final attempt before the regular season begins.
There's no doubt that one of the biggest competitions and story lines heading into the game was the starting quarterback situation. With Matt Flynn out with tendinitis, Pryor got the start and played the whole first half.
Pryor was able to show what he brings to the starting lineup right from the beginning as he used his athleticism early and often. After going three and out on his first drive, Pryor was able to get the ball moving on his second drive with some well-timed throws and his ability to run.
One of the more telling plays demonstrating what Pryor brings to the offense was a plan in which he scrambled to the right, forcing the linebackers up to prevent the scramble giving the young quarterback a passing lane to find Rod Streater for the first down.
Pryor showed his athleticism later on a third down by making a ridiculous move on a defender on a 3rd and 7 rush that left the defender motionless and unable to get a hand on him as Pryor was able to turn nothing into a 25-yard gain for the first down.
Unfortunately for Pryor, the drive ended with a sack that halted the drive and forced a 45-yard field goal that Justin Medlock nailed to make the score 10-3 with the Seahawks on top.
On Pryor's next drive, he was unable to make the necessary throw on his first attempt as he let his pass for Jacoby Ford go late and Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond intercepted the under-thrown ball.
Overall, Pryor was able to show what he brings to the offense by making the defense accountable but finished just 3/8 passing for 31 yards and one interception, including three rushes for 48 yards. Granted, it should be noted that the Raiders offensive receiving corps should be held accountable for about three drops.
Since the starting quarterback position may come down to this game, it's only right we look at both quarterback's lines throughout the preseason.
Flynn finished with a 70 percent completion rate for 180 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Meanwhile, Pryor has provided 53 percent completion rate for 221 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions to go along with 138 rushing yards. Pryor might not have done enough to grab the starting job by the horns, but it's certainly something Allen is going to have to think about heading into the season opener.
Another question mark coming into the game was how the Raiders would replace starting left tackle Jared Veldheer. Head coach Dennis Allen turned to rookie Menelik Watson for Thursday's game, a second-round draft pick that hasn't played at all during the preseason after limited practice during training camp due to a calf injury.
Watson looked strong during his half of play using his athleticism to stay in front of his defender any not surrendering and clear-cut sacks. Watson did give up one sack but it was on a play in which Pryor held onto the ball excessively long and tried rolling to his left, though Watson was unable to hold his block and Pryor was sacked for the loss. Watson had a solid game, especially given he has had little time practicing and no game time in the preseason.
Defensive tackle Pat Sims was also out for much of training camp and made his preseason debut on Thursday. Sims made his presence felt from the start while applying pressure on the quarterback and penetrating the backfield allowing the linebackers to make tackles. The Raiders were able to stop the Seahawks rushing attack and limit the team to just 53 rushing yards.
The Raiders will need Sims to continue his strong play after his presence seemed to give the defensive line an added boost and allow pressure to be applied to the opposing quarterback, something the Raiders have been lacking throughout preseason.
Down 16-6 heading into the half, the Raiders were unable to mount a comeback with rookie quarterbacks Matt McGloin and Tyler Wilson.
The good news was the coaching staff was able to get more film on fourth-round draft pick Tyler Wilson, who has seen limited playing time during the preseason after a solid offseason workout regimen.
Though it was only two drives in the fourth quarter, Wilson finished the game 8/12 for 65 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. Wilson was able to show off his strong arm on a couple of passes including a laser of a throw to wide receiver Juron Criner for a first down on 3rd and 5.
General manager Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders front office have some tough decisions to make as the roster has to be cut down to 53 by 3:00 p.m. PST on Aug. 31.