Colts Rapid Game Reaction: Raiders vs. Colts

Overview: The Colts were the favorite going into today’s game. With the Raiders coming from a 4-12 season last year, it seemed that the Colts will win the game with a double-digit score. Raiders weren’t going to make it easy for the Colts.

The Colts answered the first half with 14 points which gave them a 14-point lead. However, Terrell Pryor made it hard for the Colts to keep that lead. With a 4th quarter TD pass from Pryor, Colts fans were unease that the Raiders took the lead for the first time in the game. However Andrew Luck never lost hope and with a 19-yard TD run, the once favored Colts took a 4 point lead with 5 minutes and 20 seconds left in the 4th quarter which proved to be the game-winning run.

Pass Rush nightmare: The Raiders started 9 new players on the defense during the game and Luck was constantly pressured after the Colts first two TD drives. With the play-calling becoming more predictable as the game continued, the Raiders just kept throwing different types blitzes which startled the offense in the second half. Hopefully the offense can become less predictable in relation to play-calling when the Colts face the Dolphins next week.

Pass Rush non-existent: Before I start, I will say that if Matt Flynn started the game (assuming that he is a pocket passer) then the pass rush was really consistent. However, Terrell Pryor was the starting QB and Pryor took advantage of his athleticism. Pryor was hardly ever stopped from running the ball himself which he recorded 112 rushing yards (8.6 yards per rush) in the game. The set-the-edge mentality, that head coach Chuck Pagano kept insisting that the defense will do, was never there. Overall a bad day for the defense who couldn’t keep Pryor contained. Remember the Colts face the 49ers and the Seahawks later in the season which could give the defense (and fans) headaches. Expect a better defense when the Colts face Tannehill who is predominately a pocket passer.

Keeping the lead: The Colts had trouble last season on keeping the lead and it seems that they still have that problem. After the Colts answered 14 points in the first half, the Colts couldn’t stop the Raiders from scoring points as the Raiders scored 17 unanswered points. Luckily for the Colts, Andrew Luck showed off some of his athleticism by scoring a 19-yard TD run which later proved to be the game-winning play. If the Colts want to challenge the bigger teams (49ers, Broncos, Seahawks) then they must keep the lead for the rest of the game.

Experience: Overall this game should be taken as experience for a young team that is trying to repeat their success from last year. It doesn’t help that the read-option is becoming more and more permanent. Hopefully the Colts coaching staff (and the Colts team as a unit) can learn from their mistakes and rebound when the Colts face the Dolphins.

Milestone for Reggie Wayne: Reggie Wayne passed Steve Largent on career receiving yards. Wayne is now #13 in that category with 13,159 yards and Andre Reed (13,198 yards) is now in front of Wayne in that category. Hopefully Wayne can keep rising on the list and maybe get close enough to Marvin Harrison ranking (6th in career receiving yards).