Hallelujah! The best time of the year is finally here! Let’s preview the week 1 matchup for the Indianapolis Colts against the Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders have unofficially, officially, announced Terrell Pryor as their starting quarterback for this week’s game. Can’t say it’s surprising, what is Matt Flynn going to do behind that offensive line? Pryor has the ability to escape and make plays with his legs. And that is where the biggest concern for the Colts lies, in the run game.
It is the biggest, and maybe even only concern, defensively for the Colts. Yes, the Raiders have young speedy receivers in Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford, but they are developing talents and provide boom or bust play more than any consistency.
Stopping the run has always been an issue in Indianapolis, and Grigson is hoping his new acquisitions can change that starting week 1. However, seeing as this defense still needs some time to gel, that may not happen so early in the season. I am sure the Colts will see some of the, much talked about, read option with the Raiders’ star but oft-injured running back Darren McFadden and Pryor. This may be the one area the Raiders focus on to keep their chances of winning alive.
Don’t forget about the young quarterback for the Colts, Andrew Luck, will also be playing. Yes, we will finally get to see Ahmad Bradshaw in a Colts uniform, but we will also have to watch Bradshaw try and run behind an offensive line that doesn’t do its running backs any favors. Bradshaw will have a good game, but more in the passing column than anything and that is because he has Luck accompanying him in the backfield.
Luck will have an array of weapons with T.Y. Hilton, Dwayne Allen, Reggie Wayne and the ex-Raider Darrius Heyward-Bey (all healthy now) to throw to. He is also going against a young, mediocre at best, defense that won’t be able to handle the Colts’ attack. Luck should have a field day, go easy on them Andy.
There are some major questions about the pass-rush on the Indianapolis side. How productive can Mathis be without Freeney on the other side? Is Werner ready to take up the role as situational pass rusher? How big of a difference will newly acquired Cam Johnson make? Will a change of scenery catapult Walden into an adequate pass rusher, to go along with his edge-setting abilities? We’ll get a chance to start answering these questions this Sunday.
Before I give you my prediction for the score of the game, which, quite frankly, I don’t enjoy doing (oh, the pressure!), I want to mention a unit I have been talking about all off-season; the secondary. It’s finally time for them to put up or shut up, and fortunately they get to ease into the season, going against a poor thrower in Pryor. They should be licking their chops and hopefully be able to create some turnovers this weekend.
The Colts start their season with a pretty easy victory:
Colts 31, Raiders 13