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Oakland Raiders: Why Matchup with Philadelphia Eagles is Just What Terrelle Pryor Needs

Yahoo Contributor Network
COMMENTARY | If there was ever a week Terrelle Pryor needed an opponent to cure his recent passing woes, the Philadelphia Eagles prove to be the perfect opponent.


For as stellar as the Oakland Raiders' quarterback has been with his legs, his arm has limited a healthy chunk of his potential.

Pryor has made tremendous strides since last season when he was never used in Oakland's offense. But despite the opening-week performance against the Indianapolis Colts where he threw for over 200 yards while rushing for another 100, his passing abilities haven't been the greatest, especially as of late.

Over his last two games, Pryor is just 28-of-53 for 304 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions.

Those aren't the numbers that are going to win football games, and Pryor needs to play better if the Raiders want to make a serious run at the postseason.

He knows it. Dennis Allen knows it. Everybody knows it.

Luckily for Pryor, the underachieving Philadelphia Eagles and they're 31st-ranked pass defense are coming to Oakland on Sunday.

It's the type of matchup that could easily give Pryor the momentum he needs at the perfect time.

The Eagles pass defense has been non-existent this season, giving up 302 yards per game through the air. Alex Smith, Eli Manning and even Mike Glennon have feasted on Philadelphia's secondary, and there's no reason Pryor shouldn't be able to do the same.

Opposing teams are throwing the football an average of 43.6 attempts per game against the Eagles, the highest in the NFL, according to cbssports.com. And on the road, Philadelphia is allowing nearly seven yards a completion, which is why offenses are attacking its secondary.

Over his last two weeks, Pryor's averaged just 5.5 yards per completion while dinking and dunking his way to poor passing performances.

Oakland saw way too much of the conservative check-down routine last year with Greg Knapp as offensive coordinator, and it was the main reason the offense was so stagnant. It was also the reason Knapp was run out of town...again.

During Pryor's recent struggles, he's played conservative football for the sake of not turning the ball over. He's already shown he can hit his receivers deep down the field like he did against San Diego in Week 5, now he just needs to let it fly.

The Raiders have the pieces to extend the field, now they just have to use them. Greg Olson needs to dust off the ol' Al Davis playbook and throw the deep ball so Pryor can gain some more confidence in his arm.

And with a weak secondary coming to town, there's no better time for the Raiders to to air it out.

Steven Slivka covers the Oakland Raiders for the Yahoo Contributor Network. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter


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