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Lowell Cohn: Raiders' Terrelle Pryor offers lone ray of hope for better times

  • Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor runs for a first down against the Chicago Bears in Oakland on Friday, August 23, 2013. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat) (Christopher Chung / The Press Democrat)

OAKLAND — The Oakland Raiders' story is so tired. And tiresome. And the season hasn't even started.

Or maybe it's the same old story.

This is a football team that can't play football in the usual sense. The Raiders played their third exhibition game on Friday night — the third is the only one that matters at all — and they scored three points in the first half when their good players were on the field. Admittedly, the phrase “good players” as a description of Raiders is farfetched and unfair to the English language, not to mention an affront to clear thinking everywhere.

Oakland Raiders vs. Chicago Bears

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The Raiders gave up 27 points to the Chicago Bears in the first half, and the only reason the Raiders scored their three humble, measly points is because Sebastian Janikowski, who may be superhuman, nailed a 58-yard field goal off the infield dirt with time running out.

“We can't continue to spot teams like that in the first half,” Coach Dennis Allen said afterward. There was a certain amount of wisdom in his words.

You may be a Raiders' fan. You may think the introductory judgments in this column are harsh.

You may tell yourself some of the Raiders' elite players did not play in the first half — Darren McFadden, Tyvon Branch, Marcel Reese, etc.

Come on. Don't make that excuse.

The Raiders' elite players are not THAT elite. The Raiders are a two-win team, maybe they will win three. At best.

The Raiders were so awful on Friday their fans booed them in the first quarter. Who boos anyone at an exhibition game? The Raiders continually break new ground.

The Raiders' starting defense couldn't stop the Bears' starting offense — and the Bears are nothing special. The Bears marched through the Raiders like a Mack Truck driving through a wedge of cream cheese.

The Raiders' offense was, well, dull. Mostly, the Raiders ran Rashad Jennings. They obviously are resting McFadden so he doesn't get hurt in the preseason. There's time enough to get him hurt when the games count.

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