As I watched the Oakland Raiders struggle in the first half of games offensively for the third straight week, I came to realize a couple of things about their starting quarterback Matt Flynn. He will have a high completion percentage (16-21 in preseason so far), he can’t fight out of second and third-and-long, and he takes sacks too often.
Watching Terrell Pryor, I came to think of a couple of things as well. He may not be the best passer, but he won’t get sacked nearly as much. He brings another threat into Oakland’s backfield that they are surely missing, and he gets me excited to watch the Raiders play.
If I am getting excited about watching Pryor play, then I sure as heck believe Raider fans are getting excited as well. Pryor may not be the best quarterback the Raiders have, but he is what they need. Flynn can move the ball down the field as long as he is in good down and distance.
Seven sacks in a combined three preseason games, which probably amounts to one full game of action, is way too many. The sacks not only take you out of good down and distance — second and six, third and three, etc. — it stalls offenses in its tracks.
Aaron Rodgers got sacked more than 50 times last year, amounting to more than three sacks a game. He has the arm strength and ability to buy time with his legs to get out of second and third-and-longs. Flynn is no Rodgers. Flynn has everyone, including his coach, believing he can’t throw the ball more than 25 yards down the field.
How is Flynn going to throw a deep comeback or deep out to the wide side of the field on third-and-12 if he can’t do that?
The answer is simple, he wont. Flynn will get sacked no less than 64 times by my prediction, exactly four times a game. Considering you only get the ball 12-16 times in a game, 25-33 percent of your team’s offensive drives will stall because of sacks this year. That is way too high a percentage to be a productive offense in the NFL.
What Pryor may lack in throwing accuracy, he makes up for in athletic ability, running the ball, buying time and taking less sacks for the Raiders. Let me put it this way to you, Raider fans: Flynn doesn’t scare me as a opponent, but Pryor does — he scares me a lot.