Terrelle Pryor on Sunday didn’t look like the second coming of Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.
His passing stats were less than mediocre and, on this one day at least, he looked nothing like the young quarterback who’d shown such improvement this season as a passer.
Yet Pryor did some things Sunday in a 21-18 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers that Brady or Manning have never done, and the third-year QB from Ohio State led the Raiders to their third victory in their seventh game of 2013, just one win behind their total for all of 2012.
On the Raiders’ first play from scrimmage Sunday, from their own 7-yard line, Pryor faked a handoff to Darren McFadden out of the shotgun, then kept the ball and sprinted through a huge hole on the right side of the Pittsburgh defense. He ran untouched 93 yards for a touchdown to give Oakland a 7-0 lead that it would never relinquish.
It was the longest run from scrimmage in Raiders history and the longest run by a quarterback ever in the NFL. The Raiders’ previous longest run was a 92-yard run by Bo Jackson in 1989 against the Cincinnati Bengals. The previous longest run by an NFL quarterback came in 1996, by the Steelers’ Kordell Stewart.
Against the Steelers – the team Pryor rooted for as a boy growing up in Pennsylvania – Pryor rushed for 106 yards on nine carries, his second 100-yard rushing game this season, boosting his rushing total to 391 yards in seven games.
Pryor also guided two other first-half drives for touchdowns, both ending in scoring runs by Darren McFadden (who gained 73 yards on 24 carries), that gave Oakland a 21-3 lead at the half.
In the second half, however, the Oakland offense went dormant and it was up to the Raiders’ defense to preserve the win. Pittsburgh drove for two fourth-quarter touchdowns and tacked on a two-point conversion to get within 21-18 with less than two minutes remaining, but an onside kick was recovered by the Raiders’ Rashad Jennings.
After eating up some time on the clock and then punting the ball deep, the Steelers were able to run off just one play before time expired.
The Raiders defense was able to get to Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger five times – rookie linebacker Sio Moore sacked him twice – and intercepted Roethlisberger twice while also holding the Steelers to just 35 yards on the ground.
The Raiders finished with just 81 yards passing. Pryor completed just 10-of-19 throws, with two interceptions (a passer rating of 25.4), but Oakland rushed for 197 – with Pryor’s 93-yarder the first and biggest play of the day.
With their first win after a bye week in a decade, the 3-4 Raiders will now get set to host the Eagles this coming Sunday in Oakland.