With Terrelle Pryor on the sidelines dealing with the after-effects of a concussion and running backs Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece out by halftime because of injuries, the punchless Raiders fell 24-14 to the Washington Redskins Sunday at O.co Coliseum.
The Raiders finish the first quarter of the season with a 1-3 record after finding themselves unable to build on a 14-0 first-quarter lead because of an inability to move the ball consistently.
Washington, which came in giving up an NFL high 488 yards per game in an 0-3 start, got a lot better against an Oakland offense directed by Matt Flynn.
The Raiders were reportedly leaning toward starting Pryor after he was cleared to play Friday, but according to Fox Sports, the quarterback began having concussion symptoms Saturday evening.
With the Raiders leading 14-3, Flynn threw an interception directly to David Amerson that was run back 45 yards for a touchdown and was too often unable to find receivers or deliver first downs to keep drives alive.
The Redskins took the lead for good with 2:58 left in the third quarter when Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III hit Pierre Garcon on a 5-yard slant against rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden.
Washington put the game away when San Ramon Valley High product Roy Helu Jr. ran 14 yards through the heart of the Oakland defense for a touchdown with 6:59 left. The score was set up when Ryan Kerrigan stripped Flynn on a dropback, with Barry Cofield recovering at the Oakland 28-yard line.
The Raiders struck first when Rashad Jennings blocked a Sav Rocca punt, with James Stewart recovering in the end zone. Flynn made it 14-0 with an 18-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Mychal Rivera.
Flynn, booed heavily following the last turnover, completed 20 of 31 passes for 210 yards with the touchdown pass and interception which was returned for a touchdown. He was sacked seven times by a defense that wasn’t shackled by the threat of Pryor’s breakaway runs as the previous three opponents were.
McFadden, who had some strong runs early in the game, left in the second quarter with a hamstring injury and was in street clothes during the second half. He had five carries for 29 yards. Reece departed with a knee injury in the second quarter and did not return.
Griffin, although not nearly the runner he was as a rookie as he recovers from reconstructed knee surgery, completed 18 of 31 passes for 227 yards and the touchdown to Garcon.