Oakland Raiders' quarterback Terrelle Pryor had a huge opportunity Thursday night in Seattle to take a strangle hold on the starting quarterback role. He performed ok, but left a few plays on the field that could have turned his fortunes.
Pryor led the Raiders on two drives that resulted in field goals. He showed his elusiveness on runs on 25 and 17 yards. He is a terrific scrambler, making plays with his legs when under pressure. He finished with three rushes for 48 yards. He connected with Rod Streater on consecutive passes on a nice drive in the second quarter, but only completed one other pass, finishing 3-8 for 31 yards. He missed a big opportunity when wide receiver Jacoby Ford burned his defender on a go route. Pryor under threw the potential touchdown pass and it was intercepted.
When all is said and done, Pryor showed good development and playmaking this preseason. He needs to work on a number of things including keeping his eyes down field while escaping pressure. Throwing the ball away and not taking unnecessary sacks is another. For the number of things he needs to improve, he still looks the part of an NFL quarterback. He was not over his head against the Seattle defense. Pryor just needs to sure up some areas in his game and decision making.
Raiders head coach Dennis Allen knows who the starting quarterback will be week one against the Indianapolis Colts. He won't divulge that information until later in the week to keep the Colts guessing and preparing for both Pryor and Matt Flynn.
Rookie Menelik Watson played his first preseason game Thursday and performed well. It was the first time he ever lined up at left tackle and looked relatively comfortable. An offensive lineman is doing a fine job when they aren't getting noticed for penalties and blown assignments. Watson can build on this performance as they enter the regular season.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Raiders still have work to do. On the Seahawks' first drive of the game, quarterback Russell Wilson drove the team right through the Raiders' defense for a touchdown. The drive covered 80 yards in just six plays and was capped off by a Robert Turbin three yard touchdown. The defense did settle in after the opening drive and held Seattle to field goals the rest of the way.
Defensive tackle Pat Sims made his preseason debut and was very impressive. He was generating pressure up the middle on a number of occasions including combining with Lamaar Houston on a sack. The defense brought a little more pressure in this game as a precursor to what will be seen in the regular season. On the second team defense, defensive end and seventh round 2013 NFL Draft selection David Bass continued his solid preseason. He has a knack for getting pressure off the edge and supplied that when he and Christo Bilukidi combined for a sack.
Now the Raiders turn their focus to the regular season. Dennis Allen has made his quarterback decision, which he will announce before next Sunday. The defense has work to do, but having Pat Sims healthy makes a difference. The next time the Raiders take the field it will be against Andrew Luck in the regular season opener.
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