Instead of building on that strong start, Pryor regressed and eventually lost his starting job to undrafted rookie Matt McGloin.
McGloin will make his sixth start of the season on Sunday for the Raiders (4-10) against the Chargers (7-7) and the organization still is searching for the long-term solution at quarterback that has eluded the Raiders since Rich Gannon left almost a decade ago.
Oakland is playing out the string of its 11th straight non-winning season with much of the focus on what they have to build on for the future.
“I think both these guys have shown signs of being a quarterback in the National Football League,” coach Dennis Allen said. “I don’t think either one of them is a finished product yet. We’re going to look at these last two games and try to see what we have and see what we need to do going into the future.”
Pryor showed signs of being that guy by winning two of his first four starts, capped by the strong performance against the Chargers when he completed 18 of 23 passes for 221 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a 27-17 victory.
But he has struggled since then, completing 49.2 percent of his passes, with nine interceptions, one touchdown and a league-worst 40.7 passer rating in that span. He lost his starting job after trying to play through a sprained knee injury in a loss against the New York Giants on Nov. 10 and then blaming the injury for his poor performance.
McGloin made a triumphant debut the following week in Houston, becoming the fourth quarterback since the 1970 merger to throw three touchdown passes and no interceptions in his first start.
But McGloin has lost four straight starts since then, with his worst coming last week when he threw four interceptions and lost a fumble in a 56-31 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
“It is tough,” McGloin said. “As competitors we don’t like to lose. We put so much time and so much effort in that to get beat isn’t something that you expect or want. Again, we just have to work harder, stay later, watch more film and work harder in the weight room.”