The pundits have said the Raiders are the worst team in football. A 2nd rate team with a bargain basement roster. After watching the last 3 pre-season games, I too feared they would do worse than last year. Today, I have hope.
According to Vic Tafur, the roster flip cards listed the QB as Matt Flynn/Terrell Pryor. Some may say that Allen was just trying to make Indy prepare for either QB. I think Pryor needed to come out and cement his place as the starter. And he did just that.
It's no secret that the o-line needs work, but Pryor did a great job moving the chains and made some great throws. He also made some mistakes as expected. He took a 16 yard sack in the red zone and threw 2 picks. The first interception he tossed a lame duck - doing one of those jump passes that always make his throws float. The second interception was a bad decision at the worst possible time. Unfortunately, both occurred in the end zone and those mistakes just can't happen. Still Pryor threw for over 200 yards and distributed the ball well instead of locking in on one receiver.
Pryor rushed for over 100 yards as well. He is so sneaky fast he just blew by the Colts defenders once he found his stride. Even in a loss he was exciting to watch.
The defense started slow but soon they were meshing as a unit and making plays. There was actually pressure on Luck! There were 4 sacks! We haven't seen a pass rush since the first pre-season game. DJ Hayden's debut was quiet. He got burnt by Reggie Wayne, but for the most part was in tight coverage. Luck just did a great job threading the needle.
Typically dependable Janikowski missed a FG that, while it wouldn't have made a difference in the outcome of the game, gave the Colts the ball in favorable position and they took advantage of it. People may blame King for the hold, but SeaBass just missed it and you could see that on his face.
All in all, it was an exciting game that they had a chance in throughout. That felt good and I am looking forward to next week to see if they can build on this. Go Raiders!