Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

August 24, 2013

NFL PRESEASON: Raiders QB Pryor solid in 34-26 loss to Bears

OAKLAND — As soon as Terrelle Pryor ran on the field to take over for the ineffective Matt Flynn, the Oakland crowd got excited, the Raiders played better and a quarterback controversy might have started.

Pryor ran for one touchdown and threw for another in the Raiders' 34-26 loss to the Chicago Bears on Friday night that raised serious questions about who will start when the season begins in two weeks.

"I think obviously we have to look at it,'' coach Dennis Allen said. "I think when you look at it I don't think Matt played well in this game. Obviously, I thought Terrelle came in and gave us a spark. I thought he played well in the game. ... I'm not going to make any decisions on anything tonight. I want to get a chance to go back and look at the tape and see how things went. But it was obvious that Terrelle gave us a little bit of a spark tonight.''

Pryor completed 7 of 9 passes for 93 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown to Nick Kasa. He also ran four times for 37 yards, including a 25-yard score.

"I'm not looking to get into who's going to start,'' Pryor said. "We have a lot of things to fix offensively and defensively''

Here are five things we learned from Bears and Raiders:

1. FLYNN MIGHT NOT BE IN: Flynn has been the presumed starter for Oakland ever since he was acquired in a trade from Seattle in April.

But after leading the Raiders to one touchdown and one field goal in 13 drives, that appears to be in serious doubt at this point.

Flynn threw two interceptions on just six passes before being pulled to the delight of the booing crowd midway through the second quarter. He finished 3 for 6 for 19 yards.

"I think anybody would say, out there at the beginning, we were very frustrated with how we performed,'' Flynn said. "But like I said, you watch it, correct it and you have to move on. You move on from this and get on to the next game.''

2. WON'T YOU BE MY NUMBER TWO: The Bears have been on a search for a legitimate second option in the passing game after Brandon Marshall caught 119 passes and was targeted on more than 40 percent of Chicago's throws a year ago.

Jay Cutler threw all five of his passes last week to Marshall, but spread the ball around more this week. His favorite target was second-year receiver Alshon Jeffery, who had seven catches for 77 yards.

Jeffery caught just 24 passes for 367 yards in 10 games as a rookie last year but looks like he could be a big part of the Chicago offense this year.

"The guy's hungry,'' Cutler said. "He wants to make it in this league. He knows he has a great opportunity opposite (Marshall). He knows he's going to get a lot of single coverage.''

3. HEALTHY HAYDEN: The Raiders got their long-awaited first look at rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden.

Hayden last played a game Nov. 3 for Houston against East Carolina. He was injured days later when he had a near-fatal collision with a teammate at practice.

Hayden worked his way back to health and was cleared by doctors before the draft. The Raiders selected him 12th overall even though some teams believed he was too much of a risk. He was cleared for contact this week and made his debut against the Bears.

He allowed two completions and missed a tackle on his first drive before breaking a pass.

"No question he was rusty,'' Allen said. "It's his first game experience since November of last year. I'm sure we'll go back and look at the tape and see there were positives in there as well as a lot of things we have to get corrected.''

4. FAST FORTE: Bears running back Matt Forte is showing he's a perfect fit in new coach Marc Trestman's offense.

Forte gained 76 yards on six rushes and caught a 32-yard touchdown on a swing pass from Cutler as keeps taking advantage of getting the ball in space.

Forte is averaging 9.9 yards per carry so far in the preseason.

"He's scary out there,'' Cutler said. "He's getting more and more comfortable with the running lanes and the blocking schemes. Mark's doing a great job of getting him outside and finding nifty ways to get him touches outside the box. When he can do things like that, you might as well.''

5. DOOMED DEFENSE: For the second straight week, the Raiders were unable to stop the opposing team's first offense.

After allowing Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints to score on all five drives a week ago, the Raiders let Cutler and the Bears move the ball with ease this week.

Chicago scored on its first four drives this game before the Raiders finally came up with a stop midway through the second quarter. The Bears added a late field goal, meaning starting quarterbacks have scored on nine of the past 10 drives against Oakland's defense.

"I didn't think the speed was good enough,'' Allen said. "I didn't think the tackling was good enough. I thought we made too many mistakes and too many errors.''

 

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