Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor believes he can be great and he flashed some of the ability that fuels that confidence.
Al Davis would have liked the speed his final draft pick showed while going 59 yards — Lions cornerback Justin Miller put on the jets to stop it from being a touchdown — to put the Raiders into the red zone in the third quarter of Saturday night’s game. And he would have definitely liked Pryor going 17 yards for a touchdown two plays later. And he wouldn’t have minded the 41-yard touchdown he threw to Juron Criner in the fourth. The runs might have been against the second string Lions defense, but they showed the kind of athletic ability that could lead to some creative uses for Pryor this season.
The starting Raiders offense didn’t have quite as much flash as Pryor, but they were fairly effective during their work in the first half. Darren McFadden ran for 27 yards on nine carries and scored a touchdown when officials ruled, via replay, that he broke the plane of the end zone just before losing the ball. It appeared to be the right call, although it was awfully close to being a fumble. Rod Streater, the undrafted free agent from Temple who used the opportunity created by injuries to Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford to lock up a roster spot, had five catches for 56 yards. He now has 18 catches in the preseason after catching 19 all of last season for Temple.
Carson Palmer had a mixed night of work. He completed 18-of-26 for 181 yards, but was intercepted twice. One came when wide receiver Eddie McGee couldn’t hold onto a pass, but the other was a poor throw on a screen pass that Lions defensive end Willie Young picked off. Palmer wasn’t able to get the team into the end zone on another trip to the red zone as well, leaving his performance a little less productive than the Raiders would have liked.
Pryor’s runs (and the Lions injuries) will be the memories that linger from this game, though.