Week 6 Rewind: Raiders need offensive line to heal up fast

Scott and Fallon: Pryor was desperate; he tried to make plays and forced it

Week 6 Rewind: Raiders need offensive line to heal up fast
October 14, 2013, 9:00 am
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Terrelle Pryor was sacked 10 times and hit 14 others against the Chiefs. (AP)

Programming note: Watch Monday's Raiders press conference with head coach Dennis Allen today at 1p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California, and streaming live online here

What you need to know: Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor took full responsibility for Sunday’s disastrous 24-7 loss to the host Kansas City Chiefs. No shocker there, considering he did the same thing after a Week 1 heartbreaker at Indianapolis.

He was adamant that the result was an aberration, a humbling exercise that will make these Raiders stronger. He tossed in a playoff reference for good measure, just to show Raider Nation and his teammates that 2-4 is not a lost cause.

[RELATED -- Pryor: 'We'll be back; we'll get the playoffs']

He was equal parts humbled star and motivational speaker with comments directed at teammates through the press. His message was clear: Don’t give up. You know I won’t.

“You’re going to fall,” Pryor said. “You’re going to see the best players in the world get beat. But, at the end of the day, it’s about who gets up and is ready to fight.”

This 24-year old is incredibly bright, thinking and playing well outside the box. Taking all the blame is a leadership exercise, one meant to accelerate a peaceful coup in the locker room.

If truth serum coursed through Pryor’s veins, he'd tell a different tale. He’d admit mistakes. He’d say the three second-half interceptions that helped Kansas City score 17 points were huge blunders. He’d also say that he had no time to work behind a battered offensive line held together with duct tape. He’d say the running game let him down again, that it’s still lacking the consistent punch it should have with Darren McFadden at the conn.

Instead, Pryor stayed on message.

“This loss is on me, and I’ll take it,” Pryor said. “I’ll make sure we get better. As the leader of this offense, I have to make sure that happens. It will.”

This team has leaders to keep eyes on the prize. The best thing Pryor can do for his team is focus on himself.

Let’s not forget the kid has just six NFL starts. He has iceberg potential. Only the tip is in view. Pryor has tremendous room for growth, and ego-checking road losses are part of the maturation process. Raiders coach Dennis Allen believes he’ll be better for the humbling experience.

“Terrelle is a young, maturing quarterback, and as hard as it was for us to play the way we typically do offensively, I think it’s a great learning experience for him. I think he’ll be better for it when he gets put back in this environment again. I think he’ll do a better job.”

Pryor believes that. His teammates do too, a sign they’re buying into his words and actions alike.

“Terrelle is still learning; this is a game he’ll get better from,” Raiders free safety Charles Woodson said. “Every day, he’s working hard and trying to improve. Every quarterback goes through games like this. Thatsaid, we’re not going to make excuses for Terrelle. We need him to get better and we know he will. We expect better things from him down the road.”

Getting defensive: The Raiders defense played another solid game from start to finish. They forced a turnover. Nearly pitched a second straight first-half shutout.

They harassed quarterback Alex Smith and sacked him three times. They held feature back Jamaal Charles to 3.5 yards per carry.

Not good enough.

The offense gave no support, and put the defense in awkward spots prior to 10 of the 17 points allowed. Charles Woodson didn’t care. The veteran free safety wasn’t pointing fingers or passing blame following another winnable game gone awry.

“We played well at times, but you have to hold them to field goals,” Woodson said. “We had some short fields, but that’s no excuse. We can’t allow that. When you allow touchdowns, you get beat.”

That’s the harsh, honest truth. It’s an opinion shared by many on the defensive side, despite a solid outing where points weren’t allowed without a turnover or major penalty.

“We should’ve done better in those critical moments,” defensive tackle Vance Walker said. “We believe we’re good enough to stop them no matter where they get the ball. We could’ve helped. We could’ve done more than we did. That’s the frustrating part about this whole thing.”

Play of the Game: The Raiders defense played a near-perfect first half on Sunday, but the unit cracked late in the second quarter.

Cornerback D. J. Hayden made a costly rookie mistake, committing a blatant pass interference penalty on receiver Dwayne Bowe near the end zone.

It moved the Chiefs down to the 7-yard line, from where running back Jamaal Charles scored on the next snap. It also gave them hope.

Hayden’s miscue was certainly crucial in a game where points were in low supply and high demand.

The Chiefs built on that momentum in the second half, where they scored 24 unanswered points.

“I thought that was a critical point in the game,” Allen said. “You have a young player with pass interference in the red area, which gives them chance to get down there tight. We were really in control of the game. I thought our defense was doing a great job against their offense the whole game. That’s what happens. They just keep putting pressure on you and force you to make mistakes. Unfortunately, we made mistakes.”

Player of the Game: It should go to Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali, who had 3 1/2 sacks, five other quarterback hits and proved to be one of few players Pryor can’t shake. He was dominant, and had the biggest impact on the game. So there’s that.

This is a Raiders rewind, so we’re focused on silver and black linings. In that vein, an all-effort award goes to offensive lineman Mike Brisiel.

The Raiders starting right guard moved to center when Andre Gurode suffered a knee injury in the first half. Brisiel hadn’t played center since 2007 in NFL Europe, but he stepped in a worked hard against the league’s best pass rush in the world’s loudest stadium.

Brisiel wasn’t perfect. Far from it, really. He made an illegal snap and caused a delay of game when he couldn’t hear Pryor request the ball, but he kept the line together despite limited reps at the position.

“At the end, Mike Brisiel could barely walk,” Pryor said. “I appreciate him and what he did. …I respect and appreciate the fact that these guys are out there fighting.”

3rd and 48!?!: Yup. That’s an accurate down and distance from an NFL game. The Raiders put themselves in such a predicament with two sacks a holding penalty and a delay of game.

The Raiders were so far away that Marquette King failed to punt his way to the first-down marker. It was a downer and an example of how bad things got in the second half. The Raiders went backward on four straight plays, a setback the team couldn’t recover from.

World (record) beaters: The Chiefs announced that Sunday’s crowd at Arrowhead Stadium set a world record for loudest sports venue, maxing out at 137.5 decibels, which broke a record set in Seattle on Sept. 15.

While the record seemed sketchy considering the loudest roar came in the fourth quarter, with a crowd a quarter gone.

Regardless, crowd noise had an impact on Sunday’s loss. The Raiders had six pre-snap penalties and two timeouts that prevented other flags.

In combination with the offensive line’s injury problems, Arrowhead Stadium created a perfect storm that punished the Raiders for every misstep.

“It’s one of those things where you have to slow your heart down and come up with a play when you have to,” Brisiel said. “We couldn’t do that today.”

McFadden back in the fold: Raiders running back Darren McFadden was active against the Chiefs after missing last week’s game against San Diego with a hamstring strain.

He also provided a helpful tip on his future playing status.

“If I can practice,” McFadden said. “I can play.”

Good tip, especially after his playing status was up in the air heading into the Chiefs game. McFadden had 84 total yards, including 52 yards on 16 carries.

“I felt pretty good,” McFadden said. “I don’t think I was able to let loose (on a big run) or anything, but I thought I played prettywell. “

Quote of the day: “I didn’t take a beating. I’m a big man, a grown man. They just tackled me. They got me, and they made great plays. It was not a beating. ” -- Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor on taking severe punishment -- 10 sacks and 14 quarterback hits – inSunday’s loss to Kansas City.

Looking ahead: Every team says their bye week is well timed. The Raiders really mean it. They can’t survive with an offensive line as currently constructed, a leaky ship run by a skeleton crew. The team has six injured impact lineman without specific timetables for return, and it shows.

The line was plain awful, and needs reinforcements to improve.

A few weeks off gives ailing linemen a chance to heal and recoup from a disastrous outing against the Chiefs. They must do better against future opponents. If not, even Pryor doesn’t give the Raiders a chance to win.

The Raiders host Pittsburgh and Philadelphia is consecutive weeks following the bye, both winnable games if the Raiders are at their best. That’s only possible with a healthy line.

“The bye is coming at a good time to get some guys healthy, get some guys rested,” Allen said. “Hopefully the injuries that did occur on the offensive line today are not serious and we’ll be able to get (center Stefen Wisniewski) and (tackle) Menelik Watson back out there, if not during the bye week, then hopefully for the Pittsburgh game. The big thing for us is to get rested and get healthy.”