EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor finished his press conference, thanked the media and stepped off the platform. His knee buckled.
It was proof positive that the athletic passer just wasn’t right. He was functional during Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium, but explosiveness was lacking.
It hindered him in subtle ways, robbing good push and stability from his throws and agility running the football. He wouldn’t use an a medial collateral ligament sprained late last week against Philadelphia as an excuse. Pryor knows he didn’t play well enough to win.
The same can be said for the passing game as a whole, which is the missing link of an otherwise competitive club.
Pryor was 11-for-26 passing for 122 yards and an interception in the latest chapter of his statistical slide. Pryor has now thrown eight interceptions and just one touchdown in his last four games.
“One day we have a good day and the next we’re out of sync,” Pryor said. “We’re just inconsistent in that area. A lot of that falls on me.”
He dealt with receiver drops and occasionally suspect protection. He also dealt with a balky knee that impacted his ability more than expected.
“I wasn’t able to explode off the knee, both as a runner and a passer,” Pryor said. “I couldn’t get a good push.”
Pryor wasn’t much of a running threat, and his passes lacked necessary zip. His throws were characteristically late, which left the team in trouble several times. The Raiders were just 2-for-12 on third down, and the passing chiefly responsible for that awful percentage.
“It’s not going to be in sync all the time, but there will be time where we have to execute and make some plays throwing the football,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “Third downs are one of those instances. Everybody’s involved, from the protection to the receivers to the quarterback. That’s going to be something we have to continue to work on and get better at.”
Pryor said rest should help his knee get better. It might keep him out of some practices, but it shouldn’t prevent him from playing next week against the Houston Texans. Pryor dismissed the injury’s severity after last week’s loss to Philadelphia, but it altered his playing style somewhat. With a passing game in tatters and mobility as his greatest asset, a healthy knee will be vital to offensive success.
“It felt good early in the week, but it was a little sore as the days went on,” Pryor said. “I thought it was just soreness, but I think it needs some more rest. I tried to get back as fast as possible and get it healthy.”