Oakland Raiders Make Risky Quarterback Decision

By Josh Walfish
Mark J. Rebilas- USA TODAY Sports

With Carson Palmer out with cracked ribs, Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen named Terrelle Pryor as the starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers. The decision comes after Matt Leinart was inefficient in relief of Palmer in last week’s loss.

Although the move is risky, it was the right decision for Allen for the future of this organization. Pryor was a risky supplemental draft pick last year and many people were curious how Oakland would use his talent. There is uncertainty surrounding the future of Palmer in the Bay Area and who will play quarterback for the Raiders in the future. The answer may be Pryor, who showed a tremendous amount of talent at Ohio State, but his indiscretions as a member of the Buckeyes gave him a black eye.

However, the main reason this is the right move is the Raiders have nothing to lose from playing Pryor. In the best case scenario, Pryor is the dynamic playmaker he was at Ohio State and he leads Oakland to a win. He showed flashes of that ability over the past couple of weeks when he was given sporadic snaps at quarterback. In the worst case, he is the third-string quarterback we all projected him to be coming our of college. However, it is a risk Oakland is able to take because of where it is in the standings and the need for .

San Diego does not have a lot of empirical evidence on Pryor and most of that comes when he was in the Wildcat formation. The book is out on Leinart and his performance last week does not breed confidence that he will be any better than he was with the Arizona Cardinals. The announcement comes late enough in the week that the Chargers will have trouble coming up with a complex gameplan to stop Pryor and that should let the quarterback’s natural athletic talent shine.

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