Matt Flynn didn't play Friday night. He survived.
The Oakland Raiders quarterback was nearly eaten alive by the New Orleans Saints' pass rush, sacked five times in the first half of a 28-20 loss at the Superdome. Flynn was extremely fortunate not to come out of the game with an injury.
It was a terrible night for a Raiders offensive line that's clearly reeling from the loss of Jared Veldheer, the starting left tackle who underwent surgery Friday to repair a torn triceps muscle. Alex Barron clearly is not the answer as Veldheer's replacement. Barron simply was non-competitive at times.
Keep in mind this was against a Saints defense that was -- statistically -- one of the worst in NFL history last season.
Much to Flynn's credit, he led the Raiders on an 11-play, 82-yard touchdown drive to close the second quarter, capped by a pretty 18-yard scoring strike to Denarius Moore. Flynn finished 12-of-16 passing for 124 yards and that score. Nice production, considering the circumstances.
If Flynn can stay healthy, he's a mortal lock to be the Raiders' Week 1 starter. Terrelle Pryor didn't inspire confidence in three second-half series, finishing with 9 yards passing and 15 yards rushing.
The Raiders could be scary bad this season. The final score didn't tell the story of how thoroughly Oakland was manhandled when it counted.
Flynn is finally getting his chance to be an NFL starter. Be careful what you wish for.The Around The League Podcast is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.