Allen: 'We've faced adversity and we are going to continue to battle'
Matt Flynn's final stat line: 21-for-32, 227 yards, touchdown, interception, 2 lost fumbles, sacked 7 times. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
OAKLAND – The Raiders miss Terrelle Pryor. The 24-year old quarterback was ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins with concussion-like symptoms, and backup Matt Flynn didn’t provide the spark required to win.
Sunday’s 24-14 loss at the Oakland Coliseum hangs on Flynn, well deserving of the boos lavished upon him. He made a pair of costly turnovers that gave the Redskins their first win.
Flynn threw an interception returned for a touchdown and fumbled in the fourth quarter that put Washington in prime position to take a double-digit lead.
Flynn played without a full deck. Running back Darren McFadden (hamstring) and fullback Marcel Reece (knee) were injured early and couldn’t continue.
Flynn was under constant pressure, but he was sacked 7 times due in large part to a lack of pocket presence.
The defense started strong but squandered a 14-0 first-quarter lead built with a special teams touchdown and rookie Mychal Rivera’s first TD catch.
The offense sputtered after that and the Redskins slowly chipped away at the deficit. They went ahead for good on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Robert Griffin III to Pierre Garcon. The lead expanded to 10, which proved insurmountable with an offense that lost its way.
The Raiders comeback attempt failed on a fourth down where Flynn fumbled and couldn’t convert.
Backs can’t finish: The Raiders lost both Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece in the first half.
Reece was sidelined with a knee injury and McFadden suffered a hamstring strain that curtailed his activity.
Both players were in street clothes to start the second half. McFadden started the game with a 14-yard run, and ended up with 29 yards on five carries. Reece had one carry for four yards and a catch that lost two yards.
Rashad Jennings became the feature back with the Raiders’ star rushers out with injury. He finished with 45 yards on 15 carries and had 8 receptions for 71 yards.
Jennings big block: Jennings was active on offense, but he made the biggest impact on special teams. He blocked a punt that Jermey Stewart recovered in the end zone for the game’s first touchdown.
Jennings charged in free, committed to making the block and batted the punt down. It was part of 14 unanswered points to start the game.
Flynn’s day: Quarterback Matt Flynn’s first start in more than two seasons was uneven at best. It was highlighted by an 18-yard touchdown pass to rookie Mychal Rivera, but he provided several reminders of why Pryor starts.
Flynn threw an interception right to cornerback David Amerson, who returned it 45 yards for a touchdown.
Flynn fell victim to a collapsing pocket on several occasions because he couldn’t sense impending duress. All told, Flynn was 21-for-32 passing for 227 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
RGIII still effective: Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III clearly isn’t as elusive as he was last season. He’s still recovering from reconstructive knee surgery, which limits his effectiveness as a runner, but he can still sling it from the pocket. He had 227 yards passing and orchestrated scoring drives that gave Washington a 17-14 fourth-quarter lead.
Sitting it out: Pryor was the most notable player ruled inactive. He was held out after experiencing concussion-like symptoms late Saturday night. Matt Flynn started in his place.
Defensive end Jason Hunter (quadriceps) and left guard Lucas Nix (ankle) were also inactive after being listed as questionable on the team’s official injury report. Brian Sanford starter for Hunter and Andre Gurode filled in for Nix.
Guard Anoine McClain, safety Tyvon Branch, tackle Menelik Watson and receiver Juron Criner were also ruled inactive.
What's next: The Raiders will play their second division game this season on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.
The game will either be played as scheduled at around 1 p.m. or kickoff will be delayed until 8:30 p.m. due to an indirect conflict with the Oakland Athletics, stemming from the time necessary to transform the Oakland Coliseum from ballpark to football stadium.
The Chargers travel to Oakland after a 30-21 victory over the Dallas Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium.