With quarterback Terrelle Pryor inactive because of the concussion he sustained last week, the Oakland Raiders turned to Matt Flynn to run the offense. It turned out to be a disastrous decision as Flynn crushed the Raiders chances of winning after going up 14-0. Pryor's job security is at an all-time high with Flynn's poor performance today in the 24-14 loss to the Washington Redskins.
Oakland jumped out to an early lead courtesy of a Rashad Jennings blocked punt that was recovered by Jeremy Stewart in the endzone for a 7-0 lead. Then, the Raiders went on a 10 play 80 yard drive capped off by a Flynn to Mychal Rivera 18 yards touchdown pass to extend the lead to 14-0. That's when it all fell apart. The Raiders lost both Marcel Reece (knee) and Darren McFadden (hamstring) to injury. Both did not return.
Flynn throw a costly interception to David Amerson that was returned for a 45 yard touchdown to close the deficit to 14-10. After a punt on the next series, the Raiders went on eight drives that resulted in 59 total yards, five punts, a missed field goal, and a Flynn fumble that sealed the victory for the Redskins. Flynn was sacked seven times holding the ball forever. If he did not have a check down or his first read, he looked lost. The offensive line did not do him any favors getting beat constantly, but he has no feel for pressure or timing to get rid of the ball. The play calling was limited, conservative, and at times bad with Flynn in the game.
Washington finally capitalized after Sebastian Janikowski missed a 52 yards field goal, driving 48 yards in eight plays. Robert Griffin III found Pierre Garcon on a five yard touchdown pass to take the 17-14 lead. After the Flynn fumble, they tacked on a Roy Hulu 14 yard touchdown to end the game.
Flynn's performance against a Redskin's defense that was gashed all season, will overshadow a great Raiders defensive effort. With the offense unable to get anything going, the defense bottled up the Washington offense drive after drive. The unit forced eight punts and recovered a fumble. Mike Jenkins and Nick Roach pooped the ball loose from tight end Logan Paulsen and it was recovered by Kevin Burnett. The offense capitalized on none of it. The defense forced the Redskins to go 5-16 on third down.
Besides the defense, the shining bright spot on offense was back-up running back Rashad Jennings. Not only did he block the punt to get the Raiders their first touchdown, but he caught eight passes for 71 yards and rushed 15 times for 45 yards. He ran very strong, breaking tackles and getting yards after contact. Wide receiver Denarius Moore played well for the second straight week with four catches for 66 yards and tight end Mychal Rivera scored his first career touchdown.
It all turned into footnotes because Flynn struggled. For a guy that was penciled in as the starter in the preseason, he looked unprepared and uninterested. The Raiders will have to shake off this loss, in a game they had so many opportunities to win. They will take on their AFC West rival the San Diego Chargers next week. They better pray Pryor is ready to go.
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