ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Oakland coach Dennis Allen says he doesn’t believe quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s sprained right knee was the reason the Raiders offense struggled so much in their loss to the New York Giants.
Pryor revealed after the 24-20 loss on Sunday that he played despite a sprained medial collateral ligament that he first injured last week and that got worse during the week.
Allen said Pryor never told him the knee was an issue but added it was clear from watching that his quarterback lacked explosiveness and wasn’t 100 percent. Allen also said he never thought of replacing Pryor with backup Matt McGloin because he didn’t believe the injury was the main factor in Oakland’s offensive ineptitude.
“When you watch the game, I didn’t look at it and think that was, you know, really the limitation that held us back there,” Allen said Monday.
The Raiders (3-6) gained a season-low 213 yards in the game and lost their second straight despite starting the game at the Giants 5 after a fumbled kickoff and getting an interception return for a touchdown late in the first half.
Oakland couldn’t score a touchdown on any drive longer than 5 yards with the biggest failure coming in the third quarter when they failed to punch it in after having first and goal from the 1.
Rashad Jennings was stopped on first down, Pryor threw an incompletion on second and another on third after a false start by Khalif Barnes backed the Raiders up to the 6.
The Giants took the lead for good later in the third quarter after an interception set them up at the 5. The Raiders failed to get a first down on their next two drives and had their hopes for a comeback squashed when Pryor lost a fumble with 3:21 to play.
Pryor completed just 11 of 26 passes for 122 yards with one interception in his fourth straight sub-par performance.
“We’ve got to continue to work to improve in our passing game,” Allen said. “Everybody’s involved in that. Protection is involved in that. Routes are involved in that. The quarterback is involved in that. That’s something we’ve got to continue to work to improve because we’ve got to be able to throw the ball effectively to have success offensively in this league.”
After a promising start to the season, Pryor has struggled mightily in recent weeks, once again raising questions about whether he can be consistent enough to succeed as an NFL quarterback.
Since the start of Week 6, Pryor has completed 61 of 120 passes for 714 yards with one touchdown and eight interceptions. Pryor is last in the NFL in that span in completion percentage (50.8) and passer rating (44.2) and is tied for the most interceptions. Pryor has gone 112 straight passes since throwing a touchdown pass.
“It would be a lot easier if you could say there’s one specific thing we can pinpoint and say that’s the problem we are having in the passing game,” Allen said. “There’s a lot of issues that are involved in that. A lot of issues with injuries, and change-ups to line-ups, and just feeling confident in what we’re doing in the passing game. So, it’s an area we have to continue to improve on and we have 7 games to do it.”
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