This Sunday the Oakland Raiders are coming into Lucas Oil Stadium for the NFL Opening Weekend. The Colts are ready to strap their helmets on and get after whomever steps on their field. The Raiders aren’t a team that many people are expecting much from this season, but they do have some weapons on offense that are potential game changers. We all obviously know about Darren McFadden. He is tough, fast and hits the holes hard. His legs never stop turning until he hits the ground. The other game changer wasn’t even a thought in many people’s minds until the last couple of days. The Oakland Raiders made a surprise move when they announced Terrelle Pryor would be the week one starting quarterback. Don’t get me wrong, I think Pryor could be an excellent NFL QB but it still was sort of a shock with a guy like Matt Flynn on that roster as well. With Pryor starting this week, the Colts have to gameplan for another Raiders offensive playmaker. The only question is this: Are the Colts’ defensive players ready for the challenge of taking out two guys like Pryor and McFadden?
I have heard all week that the Colts were gameplanning for Pryor all along. That’s nice. Question is how do you game plan for a guy like that? Pryor has a cannon on his right side and two legs that could carry him as far as the Mississippi. This is going to be a challenge for the Colts defense this week. A hard-nosed running back and a quarterback who can launch the ball downfield or break out of the pocket for a 20 yard scamper. Sounds like I am a scared fan, huh? Not in the slightest. I will admit that these two guys have the potential to blow this game open but their supporting cast is extremely lackluster. Pryor has no decent receiver to throw to, and the offensive line is kind of a mess. This should be a cake walk for this restocked Colts defense.
The Raiders are coming here to Indy only to leave 1-0. The defense must contain Pryor in the pocket. Mathis and Walden must play containment when Pryor breaks the pocket- keep him back there, and make him throw the ball. I know I said that was a bad thing, but only if he had a good receiver to throw it to. Also, Pryor doesn’t have much NFL experience under his belt. Preseason can’t prepare him for four full quarters of in-your-face starting NFL defenses. Pryor had some time last year as well, but still not enough to have the composure he is going to need this Sunday. The Colts pass rush hasn’t been very inspiring yet, but I have faith that Mathis will get the linebacking crew ready to go and Redding will make sure the front three are getting after it as well. Bethea, Landry, Davis, and Toler have already impressed us with how well they play together. This Colts defense is set for a big game, as long as they contain Pryor from running all over the place and make sure McFadden doesn’t want to run up the gut anymore. If they do those two things, then the Colts defense will be the MVP of the game.