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QB Terrelle Pryor impresses, still in mix for Raiders' starting job

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

QB Terrelle Pryor makes his case for the Raiders' starting job. (USATSI)
For the third time this preseason, the Raiders made their case for why they could be the worst team in football. At one point Friday night, they trailed the Bears 27-0 in the first half, and the starters -- on both sides of the ball -- looked overmatched for much of the evening. That includes quarterback Matt Flynn, who was 3-of-6 for 19 yards and two interceptions.

Meanwhile, backup Terrelle Pryor was making his case for more playing time. Pryor, who recently switched to No. 2, JaMarcus Russell's old number, was 7-of-9 for 93 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 37 yards on four carries, including a rushing touchdown.

Coach Dennis Allen, perhaps realizing that things could get much, much worse before they get better, is keeping an open mind about who will be under center when the season begins, even if Flynn is considered the favorite.

“I think obviously we have to look at it,” Allen said when asked about the starting quarterback situation. “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 think that's something that we have to go and look at it. I'm not going to make any decisions on anything, obviously, 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.”

What exactly did Pryor do to spark the offense?

“I think his mobility, and he was able to create some plays down the field," Allen said. "Listen, he made some throws down the field too that were impressive throws. What I want to look at it is, who gives us the best chance to move the ball down the field and score points. And what combination of things give us the best chance to move the ball down the field and score points. Obviously, I'm not going to look at one night and base any type of decision based off of one night. I'm going to go back and I'm going to look at it and we'll see where we go from here.”

Back in February, before the Raiders traded for Flynn and Carson Palmer was shipped to Arizona, offensive coordinator Greg Olson said the team wanted to see what they had in Pryor.

"I like the ceiling of Terrelle Pryor and where we think he can get to, but his skill set is completely different than Carson's, so we go forward with the idea, we know what Carson Palmer is," Olson said at the time. "He's played in the league a number of years. We know what he can do. We don't really know quite yet what Terrelle Pryor can do at this level but we have a good feel for what he is athletically, so there will be packages for both of them to allow them to compete and we'll just be ready in either direction."

And if things continue along their current path, Pryor could be the Raiders' starter in two weeks when the games count in the standings.

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