Pryor to start for Raiders in season finale

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Terrelle Pryor will start at quarterback in the Oakland Raiders‘ season finale Sunday against the Denver Broncos, coach Dennis Allen said Monday during his weekly media conference.

Does the decision mean Matt McGloin has fallen out of favor?

“Absolutely not,” Allen said. “We want to get another opportunity to see, and we’ve said for a while now that we want to be able to evaluate Terrelle, so here’s an opportunity to go in and do that.

“Listen, when Terrelle’s played, he’s gone in and done a good job. So we anticipate he’ll go in and play well.”

Pryor won the job in training camp, beating out Matt Flynn, and started eight of the Raiders’ first nine games. (Flynn started against the Washington Redskins after Pryor suffered a concussion in Denver the previous week.)

Oakland is 3-5 in Pryor’s starts — the defense playing better, the offensive line banged up — and McGloin took over after Pryor suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee against the New York Giants on Nov. 10.

“We got a chance to see Matt McGloin for six games,” Allen said. “I liked a lot of things that I saw in Matt.

“It’s been a while since we’ve gotten an opportunity to see Terrelle in a game, and I want to get him in the game and get another opportunity to evaluate him.”

Pryor has a passer rating of 66.0 in completing 57.7 percent of his passes (135 of 234) for 1,591 yards with five touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has been picked off eight times since his last touchdown pass.

He also has 527 yards on 74 carries, including a 93-yard TD run Oct. 27 against Pittsburgh.

McGloin has a passer rating of 76.1. He was 20-of-36 for 206 yards with an interception in Oakland’s 26-13 loss Sunday to San Diego.

How would Allen assess McGloin’s performance?

“Overall, I would say it was a plus,” Allen said. “Obviously, there were mistakes. He wasn’t quite as sharp as he had been earlier, in a couple of the earlier games, but I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen out of Matt McGloin from, really, the first moment he walked on campus here. I think we have a guy that can be in our plans for the future, and I’m glad he’s on this football team.”

McGloin, the fourth-stringer in training camp, is an undrafted free agent out of Penn State who, with the help of Oakland’s defense, beat the Houston Texans in his first start Nov. 17.

The Raiders have not won since. Did McGloin plateau?

“I think when you come in and play as well as he did in the first game, I mean, your expectations go so high and then, obviously, he wasn’t able to perform at that same level on a week-in, week-out basis,” Allen said. “But I think overall when you talk about a guy that was an undrafted free agent, I think he’s done pretty well.”

Now it’s Pryor’s turn. Again.

Although he initially sulked after being benched, he kept a “good teammate” face going for the media, Allen said.

“He’s done a good job,” Allen said. “Obviously, we all get frustrated when we’re not playing, but he’s done a good job with that, and he’s going to get another opportunity.”

  • Covered Raiders for and Sacramento Bee for eight years
  • Member of Pro Football Writers Association
  • Previously worked at Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal and Sports Illustrated

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