I was afraid this would happen. The Indianapolis Colts have historically had trouble with mobile quarterbacks, and today was no exception. Terrelle Pryor ran for 112 yards to go along with his 217 yards through the air.
Now, when the Oakland Raiders were executing a traditional run play the Colts did a great job all day of stuffing it, the trouble came when Pryor was running around in the backfield on passing plays. It was as if he was the most agile player this defense had ever seen and they just couldn’t contain him on almost every play. And the coaching is to blame.
The players were playing their heart out, the defensive line was doing a great job in the trenches, coverage was pretty sound and LaRon Landry seemed to be in on every play. Yes, there were some missed tackles and they didn’t do a great job setting the edge, but that has a lot to do with coaching (pertaining to setting the edge).
During the week of practice the coach should’ve preached the fact that Pryor is going to run the ball! He is mobile, he is fast, and he will run every opportunity he gets! Take your chances on him completing the pass and cover the run! Stay disciplined in your gap because he’s agile enough to escape an on-coming rusher! Let him throw the ball!!
With all that being said, the Colts did actually win in a close game, 21-17, and there is some praise to go around.
Andrew Luck looks infinitely more comfortable in this offense and a look at his completion numbers would tell you the same story: 18/23, (78.3 percent completion) to go along with 178 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns and 1 rushing touchdown. And that rushing touchdown was a game-winning one; this man has ice cold veins.
Luck clearly played well, and it was behind an offensive line that was, overall, pretty bad. They started out doing a solid job with Ballard running the ball well and Luck orchestrating 2 scoring drives behind them. However, towards the end of the first half and into the second, the line, more than half the time, gave Luck less than 2 seconds to throw the ball. It was awful and they can’t perform like this against better defenses that the Colts will, undoubtedly, be facing throughout the season.
I can’t end without giving praise to a few other key players from this game. Such as the ageless Reggie Wayne who had another great day: 8 receptions, 96 yards and 1 touchdown.
The defense also looked pretty solid even though the scoreboard may not say so. They did a good job stopping the run, which is important to Chuck Pagano and his defense, and the coverage was pretty good with 2 interceptions to show for it. However, the pass rush was lacking as expected and it is somewhat concerning. However, I think they will have much better success against quarterbacks who aren’t quite as mobile as Pryor.
It was a disappointing win, if a win can be disappointing, but a win is a win. Luckily (no pun intended) the Colts got to ease their way into the season and start 1-0. Look for this team to improve and continue to find ways to win games. Go Colts!