By JL Herrera
It has been a roller coaster ride for the Oakland Raiders in the early part of the 2013 NFL season. With a 2-4 record going into the bye week, the Raiders have developed a lot of hits and misses both on and off the field. Along the way came some studs and duds that have developed so far this season.
There are a few studs that have given the Oakland Raiders hope that this season is not lost, but the duds have also sprouted along the way, making the team look bad or just not contributing to the winning way whatsoever.
Matt Flynn came from the Seattle Seahawks in the offseason as the savior to take over for Carson Palmer, who was traded to the Arizona Cardinals for salary cap reasons. Flynn had worked together with General Manager Reggie McKenzie back in Green Bay, and things looked to be OK with the history between the two.
However, Flynn’s best performance was during training camp when he seemed to be looking better than Terrelle Pryor and the two rookies, Matt McGloin and Tyler Wilson. As for preseason, Flynn looked like an amateur, producing nothing and showing no leadership qualities. His starting position was taken away by the explosive Terrelle Pryor.
The quarterback had one more chance to prove himself in Week 4 when Pryor was out with a concussion, but Flynn choked against one of the worst defenses in the NFL – the Washington Redskins. After that game, he was demoted to third stringer and eventually was let go after Week 5. Now, Flynn plays for the Buffalo Bills. Good luck Buffalo!
For as much as the Raider Nation loves this running back, Darren McFadden has failed to be explosive this season. Before the 2013 season started, Coach Dennis Allen pointed out that the Raiders will be playing a heavy running scheme, and the opposite has been happening on the field so far. McFadden has 267 yards rushing in six weeks with two touchdowns. Oh yes, he also has a passing touchdown that he accomplished against the Broncos in Week 3.
The point is that McFadden has not been a threat in the running game this season like he was two or three years ago. Additionally, McFadden was hurt with a strained hamstring and missed Week 5 against the Chargers. The Raiders won that game, but it was not due to the backup running backs.
The 24-year-old quarterback in his third year with the Oakland Raiders has finally earned his starting spot. First, he fought for the starting position during training camp, in which he looked like he was going to lose. But then preseason came and Terrelle Pryor shined like a nicely lit star. Pryor showed his coach that he had the ability to lead and inspire the Raiders.
Yes, his record is not the best as his first year as a starter (2-3 so far), but Pryor has shown that he can be an agile leader. In the five games that he has played, Pryor has shown that he has the agility to be one of the best in the near future. Who knows? After the bye week, Pryor might come out gunning. So far, the kid has only been beat up once, and it was last week against the Kansas City Chiefs. In the end, Pryor, with his positive attitude, is a stud among the Oakland Raiders.
Wide receiver Denarius Moore leads the Oakland Raiders with 399 receiving yards, in 25 receptions, with four touchdowns. He also has a 73-yard TD that he managed against the undefeated Chiefs in Week 6. He has dropped a couple, but nothing like he did last year.
This year, Moore was expected to lead as one of the two main receivers, and he’s been doing just that. Moore is voted a stud for stepping up to the plate and being a receiver a quarterback can count on.
The are more studs and duds to point out. Perhaps, Oakland’s defense could have been pointed out as another stud for doing a way better job than what most football analysts, but they do have a losing record so far. In the end, the rest of the season will determine if the RaidersT defense will be a stud or a dud.
For more Raiders news and updates, visit Raiders Central.
J.L. Herrera is a huge fan of football and has been following the Raiders since the 1980s during the LA era. J.L. is also a freelance writer and copywriter on the web. He taught English for a little more than a decade in Los Angeles at the secondary level. While writing for web based news outlets, J.L. enjoys reading, creative writing, and watching sports. His work can be found on Examiner.com.