For two years in a row, Matt Flynn has lost the starting quarterback job he was brought in to do for younger players during training camp. This year with the Oakland Raiders it was Terrelle Pryor to usurp him, although a concussion after a vicious hit from Wesley Woodyard might mean that his chances to gain back the starting spot aren’t over.
Even if Pryor won’t be able to play this weekend for the Raiders, it’s hard to believe Flynn keeps the job afterwards. Flynn went 1-for-2 in his cameo appearance, actually leading to a touchdown drive. But unless he puts up a performance similar to the one he had for the Green Bay Packers in the garbage time of the 2011 NFL season, getting him that big contract from the Seattle Seahawks, there’s no way he takes Pryor’s place on the depth chart.
For the second consecutive game, Terrelle Pryor has shown that he has no problem being a throwing quarterback. The Broncos took away the running game from him, allowing him to rush only four times for 36 yards (and limiting Darren McFadden to only 9 total yards on 12 carries), so Pryor was forced to throw. For a second consecutive game, he didn’t turn the ball over, completing 19-of-28 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown.
The Raiders couldn’t keep up with the Broncos, but it didn’t stop Pryor from showing a steady graph of improvement, and continuing his progress from a backup quarterback who no one expects anything from but being able to make things happen through rushing, into a legitimate pocket passer, who also has that deadly weapon of being able to step outside and get some yards.
Now, that progress might be halted. It’s a short week for the Raiders, which means there isn’t a lot of time for Pryor to pass the NFL’s concussion protocol only to get on the practice field, let alone play. Pryor didn’t look too dazed or confused after the game, although he didn’t have to answer any questions. Matt Flynn isn’t happy about questions as well, probably angry about being a holder for kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
He lost the starting job on a sore elbow and maybe more in training camp, despite being the guy for the general manager, only to be surpassed once more, this time by Pryor. Making $6.5 million this season doesn’t take away from wanting to get on the field. Unfortunately for the Raiders, it’ll take the halting of a promising start to Pryor’s career to give Flynn the start he always wanted.