Terrelle Pryor doesn’t have great final audition, so who will be Raiders’ starting quarterback?

Frank Schwab

Terrelle Pryor was given the entire first half to play quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, and it was one of the rare instances where a high-profile starting job was at stake in the final preseason game.

After Matt Flynn struggled again last week against Chicago and Pryor did well off the bench, Pryor was given what amounted to a tryout for the starting job. The problem is, his performance didn't provide a lot of clarity.

He ran the ball very well, but that's no surprise. He's incredibly athletic. The Raiders and everyone else already knew that. He didn't do as well as a passer. He completed 3-of-8 passes for 31 yards and an interception against Seattle. That's over a full half of work, and not going to cut it over the long haul.

So the Raiders have an interesting decision to make.

Nobody would blame the Raiders for going with Pryor to start the season. Behind a terrible offensive line, his mobility is an asset. And over the entirety of the preseason he did outplay Flynn, even though most of his work came against backups.

Flynn can't be ruled out. He was the clear top option through most of the summer, and a fairly limited sample size in the preseason behind a terrible offensive line doesn't erase everything else.

Pryor made one play against Seattle that shows his potential. On a third and 7, he took off on a designed run to the right. He was all alone in the open field with Seahawks safety Jeron Johnson. He put a quick move on Johnson and ran right by him to the outside for a 25-yard gain. That's the kind of big play he could produce for an otherwise stagnant Raiders offense.

The Raiders were probably hoping Pryor made their decision easy with a big game against Seattle. That didn't happen. Now when the coaches figure out who their Week 1 starter will be, they'll have to figure out whether Pryor's natural talent is enough to compensate for his deficiencies as a passer. If not, Flynn is available as a safe option.

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