OAKLAND (AP) — The opening month of the season hasn’t quite gone as planned for Robert Griffin III and Matt Flynn.
One year after leading Washington to the NFC East title, Griffin is still seeking his first win of the season as the Redskins (0-3) are off to their worst start in more than a decade.
One year after losing the starting job in Seattle in a training camp battle with Russell Wilson, Flynn was beaten out again in Oakland by Terrelle Pryor. He’s still looking for a chance to start in the NFL.
Flynn could get his opportunity Sunday when the Raiders (1-2) host the Redskins; Pryor missed much of the practice week recovering from a concussion suffered Monday night.
“I can promise you it hasn’t shaken my confidence,” Flynn said of losing a job for a second straight year. “I still believe I can be a really good player, it’s just one of those things to learn from and just keep preparing because you never know.”
Here are four things to watch when the Redskins visit the Raiders:
If Flynn does start, the Raiders hope he plays like the quarterback who dazzled in two spot performances in place of Aaron Rodgers. Flynn threw for 731 yards and nine TDs in those games.
Or is he the sore-armed passer who lost a starting job the past two summers? The Raiders say the time off since training camp has helped heal Flynn’s elbow and expect him to be able to fill in seamlessly if need be.
The uncertainty at quarterback in Oakland creates extra work for the Redskins’ defense. They need to prepare for the mobile Pryor and the read-option game as well as a pocket passer in Flynn.
The switch from a zone running scheme in Oakland to a power system was supposed to revive Darren McFadden’s career after he averaged a career-low 3.3 yards per carry last season. He had no room to run against Denver last week, gaining just 9 yards on 12 carries for the worst rushing day for a Raider since 1978, and he had most of his carries between the tackles.
The Raiders were excited finally to have a first-round draft pick for the first time since 2010, but they are still waiting for a big contribution from rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden. He struggled last week against Peyton Manning and the Broncos, allowing completions on all five throws in his coverage area and missing six tackles, according to Pro Football Focus. He has allowed opponents to complete 72.2 percent of passes his direction.