Misguided fans assume I've been calling for Pryor because I don't like Palmer or don't believe he's a good quarterback. This isn't the case, I assure you.
Reggie McKenzie needs to insist that Dennis Allen start Pryor in Week 15, and there are three main reasons why.
Pryor Could Be the Face of the Franchise
Palmer is a serviceable—perhaps better-than-average—starting quarterback, but he isn't the future of the franchise. He is still capable of throwing a pretty deep ball, but his best years are behind him.
Pryor could be the team's quarterback for the next decade or longer, but the only way the Raiders can find out if he's worth investing in is by putting him into the line of fire.
In terms of raw ability, Pryor rates up there with guys like Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson. His biggest flaw at this point in his career is that he's never been a pro-style quarterback, but a creative game plan could do a lot to mask that.
At this point, the Raiders don't have anything to lose allowing Pryor a chance to show what he's capable of. With a record of 3-10, the only thing that could possibly make any impact on this team is if Pryor somehow injects life into an offense that hasn't been doing enough to win.
Pryor Would Inevitably Boost the Team's Running Game
Blame Greg Knapp if you must, but the fact remains that this team needs to find some balance on offense—somehow, some way.
Pryor's ability to add an extra dimension to the Raiders' offense would force teams to game plan differently. His speed and experience running the ball would certainly add production to what has been a lackluster rushing attack this season.
Can you imagine how deadly a read-option offense would be with Pryor and Darren McFadden?
Pryor Is Anything But Predictable
Opposing defenses know what to expect with Palmer.
There isn't anything complicated about what he does, and even though he's put up respectable numbers this season, defensive coordinators don't lose any sleep thinking about how to stop the Raiders' offense with him behind center.
Pryor, on the other hand, is a complete wild card who brings a level of unpredictability to the table—the kind of player that has the ability to break off monster plays on any given snap.
Pryor's electric, big-play abilities with both his arm and his legs would give the Raiders' offense a shot of adrenaline. Furthermore, Pryor's ability to make plays with his feet could be a boost to the overall morale of the team.
The worst thing that could happen is that the Raiders continue losing games and end up with one of the top draft picks in the 2013 NFL Draft.
The best thing that could happen is that the Raiders go on a winning streak to end the season and find out that Pryor actually is the face of the franchise.
Oakland must look to the future during this final stretch, and starting Pryor for the final three games is simply a win-win for the franchise.