Allen: 'We're not going to win without being able to throw the ball'
Terrelle Pryor threw one interception, lost one fumble and was sacked four times in the 24-20 loss to the Giants on Sunday. (USATSI)
NEW YORK – The Raiders lost yet another road game, but this result had little to do with the environment. They fell short in a 24-20 contest with the New York Giants, and have no one to blame but themselves.
A 12th straight loss to an East Coast team sent this team out of contention, most likely for good. Reasons for Sunday's downfall were easy to see.
They resorted to field goals over touchdowns. They couldn't pass much at all. They shied away from a productive run game in the second half and gave the ball away too often.
Despite several key miscues, the Raiders had one last chance to win late in the fourth quarter following a punt deflected by Kaelin Burnett.
The Raiders had an early lead and lost it. The opened the scoring with a 1-yard run by quarterback Terrelle Pryor, which punctuated a short scoring drive made possible when the Giants fumbled the opening kickoff. Taiwan Jones forced the fumble and Andre Holmes recovered it, setting up an easy touchdown.
Easy touchdowns were required with a struggled Raiders offense that couldn’t do much in the passing game. Running back Rashad Jennings played well, but the rest of the unit struggled to establish a rhythm.
The defense held its own and created two takeaways, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Giants in a winnable game.
Jennings working hard: The Raiders played without Darren McFadden for the second time this season, and they didn’t miss him much.
Rashad Jennings ran tough in his stead, fighting for each yard as the Raiders’ best offense weapon. They had a lead and Jennings helped them keep it, even when the passing game struggled.
All told Jennings had 20 carries for 88 yards and zero touchdowns.
Pryor’s progress: Quarterback Terrelle Pryor has struggled over the last month as defenses attack his weaknesses. His decision making is a step slow, and he rarely hits receivers in stride.
He threw an interception nearly returned for a touchdown in the third quarter. It was one of several bad throws against the Giants, although his receivers dropped a few passes. Pryor hasn’t played well since getting rattled against Kansas City, a disturbing development that, if continued, gives the Raiders little chance to compete throughout the season.
Pryor’s numbers aren’t good for the fourth straight game. He was 11-of-26 passing for 122 yards and zero touchdown(s).
Porter’s pick six: Raiders cornerback Tracy Porter had an interception returned 43 yards for a touchdown. That’s not the first time he has done that. Against a Manning no less.
Porter iced a Super Bowl victory for the New Orleans Saints with a pick six off then Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, and he got one off brother Eli on Sunday.
Special teams gaffe: The Raiders have mande several big plays on special teams. On Sunday, they gave one up.
Marquette King had a punt blocked in the first quarter by Cooper Taylor, who returned the ball 21 yards for a touchdown. He came in unblocked and got to King, which negated an early Raiders touchdown.
The Raiders deflected a punt late in the fourth quarter, but the offense couldn't do anything with it.
Sitting it out: The Raiders played the Giants without several key players. They were thin yet again on the offensive line, with rookie Menelik Watson making hisfirst career start at right tackle. Tony Pashos and Matt McCants were out with injury, and Andre Gurode barely played in his first game back from a quadriceps injury.
Phillip Adams played well in place of cornerback D.J. Hayden, who missed the game with a groin injury suffered in practice.
Therewere no healthy scratches this week. Running back Darren McFadden didn’t play, although Jennings was a forced. Linebacker Kaluka Maiava, safety Tyvon Branch and receiver Juron Criner were rendered inactive.
What's next: The Raiders play their second straight road game next week against the Houston Texans. The Raiders have struggled on the road in recent seasons, and Reliant Stadium is no easy place to play.
The Texans are an early Super Bowl pick fallen on hard times, but they still have talent to cause trouble for the Raiders. The Texans will be a bit worse after Arian Foster was placed on injured reserve, but they’ll still be a formidable foe.