The third preseason game for the Oakland Raiders and the first-team offense was a success, somewhat. Carson Palmer and company have been able to drive down the field this preseason, but unable to punch it in the end zone. All that matters is the victory at the end, which the Raiders got by defeating the Detroit Lions 31-20.
The Raiders drove down to the Lions 12-yard line on the first drive of the game and could not get into the end zone. To cap it off, Sebastian Janikowski missed a 30-yard field goal wide left.
The Lions countered with a 12-play, 57-yard drive led by Matthew Stafford and it was finished by Jason Hanson. Hanson nailed a 41-yard field goal, which gave the Lions a 3-0 lead with 1:51 left in the first quarter.
Once Detroit took the lead, both teams traded punts. It was on the third series that the Raiders finally punched it in. It was a 12-play, 86-yard drive finished by Darren McFadden with a 1-yard touchdown run. Prior to the touchdown, Lions DT Corey Williams forced McFadden to fumble. The Raiders challenged that McFadden had already broke the plane and the call was reversed. That gave the Raiders a 7-3 lead with 6:39 left in the half.
Lions QB Shaun Hill entered the game midway through the second quarter as Matthew Stafford suffered an injury to his non-throwing hand.
"It was just scary to look down and see your hand swelling up by the second," Stafford said. "That kind of freaked me out. The skin kind of just grew by the second. I didn't know what was going on." Team trainers wrapped Stafford's hand in heavy bandages and a brace on the sideline and X-rays were negative.
After back to back field goals by the Lions, the Oakland Raiders ended the half with a 56-yard field goal by Eddy Carmona and a 10-6 lead.
The second half was the Terrelle Pryor show.
The Lions opened the second half with 7 yard touchdown pass from Hill to Brandon Pettigrew. Pryor replaced Palmer (17/26, 181yds) to start the Raiders third quarter. He scrambled for 59 yards and later shook off a sack for a 17-yard touchdown run in his first series in a quick third quarter, which gave the Raiders a 17-13 lead.
The Big Ten product had some chemistry with rookie wideout Juron Criner. The two connected for on two touchdown passes. One was a 39-yard TD pass that Criner had to twist back to haul in the underthrown ball over a defender. The second score was a 76-yard pass in which Pryor threw across his body to Criner running a post pattern across the middle of the field.
Pryor ended the day rushing for 90 yards and a score. He also threw for 137 yards, on five attempts and two scores.
The victory was the first for Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen - “Any time you get a chance to get a win, you do nothing but grow from that. We talk about creating habits and you’re either creating good habits or bad habits and today we created a good habit. It’s a good habit to get into winning. I talked to guys before about that’s why we play the game and that are what we went out there and tried to do today.”
The Raiders finish the 2012 Preseason next Thursday at Seattle.