By JL Herrera
The Oakland Raiders fall to the Washington Redskins in Oakland by a score of 24-14. The Raiders can blame a poor offensive performance and many mistakes as they allowed a winless Redskins team to come to town and take their first win of the 2013 NFL season.
In the week leading up to the Sunday matchup Dennis Allen and the Raiders coaching staff had a quarterback dilemma. As they awaited the result of the NFL Players Association investigation into the concussion that quarterback Terrelle Pryor suffered in the game against Denver, they were unsure if Pryor would be cleared to play on Sunday. And although Pryor was cleared to play on Friday of last week, the Raiders made a last-minute decision to sit Pryor and go with Matt Flynn, who had previously only started in two NFL matchups.
The outcome of the last-minute decision turned out to favor the Redskins.
Offense Grade: D
The Raiders offense did not look so great on Sunday afternoon against Washington. At home, the offense should have been in the spotlight. Instead they made mistakes and gave up what should have been an easy win for the Silver and Black.
First, the Raiders offense shut down after the first quarter. Also, Matt Flynn threw a pic near midfield that was returned 47 yards for a touchdown by cornerback David Amerson. That defensive touchdown was the beginning of the Redskins comeback. At that point, the Raiders were up 14-0 – until Flynn happened.
Flynn finished the game with what looks like respectable numbers, but when you line them up side-by-side with a 24-14 loss at home against one of the worst teams in the NFL, his performance was that of a second-string QB. He ended the day 18 for 31 with 227 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Although there was some light at the end of the game, the offense pretty much sat out the final three quarters. Even their last comeback drive was fumbled in the red zone, a perfect representation of the day for Oakland.
Defense Grade: D+
The defense did better than the offense in the sense that one touchdown was not the defense’s fault. However, the defense did not make any big plays. There was only one sack and no interceptions. The defense did not put enough pressure on Robert Griffin III, who played on a hurt leg, to make any big plays.
The Redskins made 15 first down conversions throughout the game, just one more than the Raiders, but the Redskins managed to score more points. The difference was the lack of turnovers. Simply, the Raiders defense did not cause any turnovers to make the difference in the game.
Quarterback Grade: D
Matt Flynn was selected to start as quarterback even though Terrelle Pryor was cleared to play the game on Friday morning. Flynn did not step up to the plate and take care of business. Flynn looked promising in the first quarter when he threw a 17-yard touchdown to tight end Mychal Rivera. After that highlight, Flynn fell silent.
Flynn threw for 227 yards against the Redskins that did not amount to anything besides the touchdown to Rivera in the first quarter. He was picked off in the second quarter and the interception was ran back for a touchdown. Flynn was also sacked seven times on Sunday, which is a bad comparison to Pryor’s seven total sacks over three games.
Sunday’s game was Matt Flynn’s opportunity to prove that he really is a starting quarterback – a position he lost to Terrelle Pryor in training camp. Unfortunately for Flynn, he failed to show the Raiders coaching staff that they made the wrong choice.
Special Teams Grade: B+
The only bright spot on the day for Oakland was the special teams. The unit blocked a Redskins punt which was ran in for a touchdown by Jeremy Stewart.
The crafty unit even faked a punt in the second quarter that resulted in a first down, seemingly giving the Raiders some hope. The offense, however, blew the opportunity to put points on the board.
On the downside, Sebastian Janikowski missed a 52-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter to put the Raiders up 17 to 10. The miss left the score at 14-10, and the Skins managed another touchdown before the third quarter was over.
The Oakland Raiders will most likely be criticized for starting backup quarterback, Matt Flynn, instead of Terrelle Pryor. Flynn showed that he has no scrambling abilities, as he was sacked seven times, picked once and fumbled once against the Redskins on Sunday afternoon.
When your number is called and your opportunity to prove yourself stares you in the face, you can’t have a performance like this one. Look for the Raiders to return to their starter against San Diego next week.
For more Raiders news and updates, visit Raiders Central.
J.L. Herrera is a huge fan of football and has been following the Raiders since the 1980s during the LA era. J.L. is also a freelance writer and copywriter on the web. He taught English for a little more than a decade in Los Angeles at the secondary level. While writing for web based news outlets, J.L. enjoys reading, creative writing, and watching sports. His work can be found on aExaminer.com.