Cohn: Flynn-Pryor the Bizarro version of Smith-Kaepernick

  • Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Flynn runs the ball against the Dallas Cowboys during their preseason game in Oakland on Friday, August 9, 2013. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

OAKLAND — Who is a better quarterback for the Raiders, Matt Flynn or Terrelle Pryor?

That is the question in today's Raiders quiz. I could ask many more questions: Can Darren McFadden stay healthy one whole season? Can the Raiders' secondary defend? Will the Raiders win, say, five games? There are just so many questions where the Raiders are concerned.

But in the interest of concision and clear thinking, and so you and I don't run out of breath, I am cutting through the underbrush and the weeds, and I'm asking one key, specific question. Who is the better quarterback for the starting-yet-again Raiders?

The data is scarce. It's based on Friday night's exhibition game between the Raiders and Dallas Cowboys.

Flynn played two series and led the Raiders to a field goal. He also fumbled and lost the ball. Pryor played the rest of the first half. He led the Raiders to a field goal but also threw an interception in the end zone. Those are the basic facts.

Now for the wrinkle. You love a wrinkle, right?

The competition between Flynn and Pryor strongly reminds us of the competition between Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. And this calls for an apology.

I sincerely apologize for writing about the Raiders in the context of the Niners. It's mixing football metaphors and it's unfair to Raiders fans. It's just that, unless you've been living under a rock the past few years, you know about the Smith-Kaepernick dichotomy, the game manager vs. the electric talent, the steady reliable nice man vs. the dashing daring adventurer.

This duality we understand. And as the league changes and as more teams use the pistol formation and the read option play, the Smith-Kaepernick conflict becomes more relevant every day.

Before we get to Flynn vs. Pryor as an example of Smith vs. Kaepernick, it's important to talk about Superman. Please be open-minded as we analyze this Earth-shaking quarterback issue. If you are a Superman aficionado, you know about Bizarro. Bizarro was the mirror image of Superman. But there was something wrong with the poor guy. He was a degraded version of the Man of Steel. I mean, he was bizarre.

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