Terrelle Pryor’s dividends almost paid off for the Oakland Raiders for his rather outstanding performance against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. In the end, the two costly interceptions and a few other mistakes caused the Raiders to lose the game in Indianapolis for the opening week of the NFL season.
Despite the outcome of 21-17 in favor of the Colts, many will agree the Oakland Raiders showed some prominent play making that could make the Raiders a team to reckon with in the NFL.
The best player of the game, on the Raiders side, would have to be Terrelle Pryor for keeping the team alive after being down by two touchdowns. His scrambling abilities led the force of the Silver and Black that almost got them a win. Overall, the team’s performance is a C+.
The Raiders’ Offense: B-
Oakland had a decent offensive push, involving many of the team’s weapons. For the most part, Terrelle Pryor was scrambling around improvising and doing it right. Rod Streater had a 70- yard reception and Denarius Moore had a touchdown reception. Also, Darren McFadden got a touchdown despite his 48 total yards on the ground. There was a touchdown pass made to McFadden but the call was overturned – McFadden stepped out of bounds. Tight end Jeron Mastrud had a 41-yard reception, which kept the Raiders hopes for a game-winning drive alive. However, Pryor threw two picks (one of them happened at the end of the game) inside the two minute warning. The last drive that was kept alive by Mastrud was killed by a pick. In the end, the offense gets a B-.
The Quarterback: B-
Terrelle Pryor showed some promising moves and looked good doing it. His passing, on the other hand, was not as good as his legs, which kept him and the Oakland Raiders alive in the game against the Colts. Pryor rushed for 112 yards. Out of 29 attempts, Pryor completed 19 passes. Those passes added up to 217 yards, which is not bad for 19 completions.
The thing is, Pryor was throwing bombs most of the game. Going long usually means picks, and that is what happened to Terrelle Pryor. He was picked twice at very important moments of the game. Both picks took away opportunities for the Raiders to score and take the lead.
Pryor’s rushing and eluding skills, however, were magnificent. The improvisation skills that Pryor has are something that could be an offensive threat, as it almost took down the Colts. His improvement needs to come in his passing. For a rather young and inexperienced QB, Pryor performed well, but at the end of the game he fell apart, and that last pick cost Oakland a victory.
The Defense: B
The Raiders defense is hard to grade as it did its job, but did not get big plays or any turnovers. They Held Andrew Luck’s Colts to just 21 points, however, they were unable to capitalize with turnovers. The offensive turnovers killed the Raiders in this game, so the defense needed to create something big to help out.
Andrew Luck threw for 172 yards with a touchdown, another TD was rushed in from 19 yards out. It took the defense a while to wind up, as the Colts scored two touchdowns before the Raiders knew what hit them.
In the second half, the Raiders defense held their ground and allowed the offense to make its move. Sunday’s loss can’t be pinned on the defense, however, with a couple of key turnovers, it could have been a very different game.
Special Teams: C
Oakland’s special teams were also a little too bland on Sunday. It was pretty much business as usual until the missed field goal at the end of the half put the raiders at 10-14. This hindered the Raiders overall, going into halftime down by a touchdown.
So far, Marquette King has not gained the trust of Sebastian Janikowski when it comes to holding the football. These two are professionals and had plenty of time to practice the hold. C’mon guys! That miss, a short 40-yarder, could have been the difference in the game. Although it was the only mistake by the special teams, it was costly.
For week 2, the Oakland Raiders face the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are considered to be a weaker team than the Colts. If the Raiders play at the caliber that they played against the Colts, the Raiders might see a victory. On the other hand, a missed field goal and two picks should be avoided by all means!
For more news and updates, visit Oakland Raiders central.
J.L. Herrera is a huge fan of football and has been following the Raiders since the 1980s during the LA era. J.L. is also a freelance writer and copywriter on the web. He taught English for a little more than a decade in Los Angeles at the secondary level. While writing for web based news outlets, J.L. enjoys reading, creative writing, and watching sports. His work can be found on Examiner.com.