I recently spent the whole day listening to Madden, ESPN and good friends about Sunday's game. I think the consensus is clear: Sometimes when you lose, you win! Hope has risen in Oaktown!
Welcome aboard the competitive Train, Mr. Terrelle Pryor! Let me get this straight.. did our man just pass and rush for THREE HUNDRED TWENTY NINE total yards??!? Sith Lord have mercy!! I knew his running ability would be properly displayed, but to break a franchise record set by former MVP Rich Gannon? That's truly amazing, kids! I honestly want to take back every negative comment I've ever spoken about TP2, but the timing doesn't seem quite appropriate. I will await further weeks in the season to give an honest, detailed evaluation but... DAMN, he was impressive!!! It makes you wonder.. doesn't it, Nation? Just how many games will be won this year with "Pryor Power" at the helm? Maybe if Darren McFadden, Marcel Reece and Jacoby Ford pitched in a little more to the offense, we will be hooked up!! Time will only tell, I guess.
I believe the Linemen did much better than expected at pass protection. Sure, there were a couple of typical Khalif Barnes like mistakes here and there, but the entire unit played exceptional when it came to blocking for the QB. (It didn't hurt that we now have a mobile Quarterback). As far as the new power scheme to get the running game going? We need to step it the Hell up! Time will only tell if it's Darren McFadden's fault, the Offensive Linemen's fault or possibly a little of both. I'm thinking the running game will be improved if Marcel Reece gets a few more touches...make it so, Coaches!!! Great job from our new Tight Ends Mastrud and Rivera totaling 67 damn yards! Impressive..most impressive!!
DEFENSE: I have to admit, I thought we were going to get torched by IND's Receivers and ran over by all of their Running backs..but every game is full of surprises! The team had a few negative plays in the first half, but boy, did they rebound nicely after Halftime. Good adjustments were made. Key tackles by new Linebacker Nick Roach (5 tackles- 4 assists) and Veteran Tyvon Branch (4 Tackles, 1 assist) were greatly appreciated by the Lord of the SIth, Master of all Evil. 4 Sacks were also logged while only one was given to a Defensive Lineman. Thank you, Lamarr Houston.. Can we now get the other big bodies to participate? Don't make me get my saber out...
Sebastion Janikowski- you have no business missing that Field Goal in the first half. That could of made a difference in the 4th Quarter. I'm giving the inglorious "Bantha Fodder" award to you and Pryor for giving up a crucial sack and interception. Please redeem yourselves!!! Thanks!!!
INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Luck followed a familiar script Sunday. He started fast, played efficiently and delivered the late-game victory. Just like he did as a rookie. The only difference this time was that he won this game with his feet. "I went through my reads. As you're sort of stepping up you sort of realize, 'Hey man, there's no one here,'" Luck said after Indy won its first opening-day game since 2009.After throwing for 178 yards and two touchdowns, Indy's second-year quarterback took off and scored on a 19-yard TD run with 5:20 to play to beat Oakland 21-17. "That decision is like 'OK, I can make the first down.' Then you start running and it's 'OK, let's go for the end zone.'" He made it work, of course, as he always seems to do. But Luck and the Colts tried to change the formula during the offseason. Indy brought in two new offensive linemen to protect Luck better and create running lanes, and it overhauled the defense to try and keep Luck and the offense on the field. They got mixed results Sunday. While the Colts ran 26 times for 127 yards, Luck was sacked four times and hit a handful of others, and the Raiders still managed to convert 7 of 13 times on third down. Luck completed 18 of 23 passes after starting the game with 11 consecutive completions. Reggie Wayne had eight catches for 96 yards and one score.
It was enough to get the win - but not good enough to satisfy Chuck Pagano, who is 8-1 at home since taking over as the Colts coach last season.The Colts' defense couldn't get off the field in the second half, yet somehow managed to hold long enough to give Luck a chance to work his late-game magic, and then made the big play to seal the win. "We didn't go into a shell. It was either a penalty, negative play, a sack that took us out of (it)," he "We still drove the ball. We still got it to midfield. We were still on their side of the 50. But then we'd shoot ourselves in the foot." The miscues allowed Oakland to stay close and even take the lead midway through the fourth quarter with a team that started the day with nine new defensive starters and no announced starting quarterback. But after allowing touchdowns on Indy's first two series, the Raiders frustrated Luck and the Coltsthe rest of the day. The most frustrating part for the Colts was Terrelle Pryor. In just his second career start, theRaiders new starting quarterback went 19 of 29 for 217 yards with one touchdown and set a franchise record for yards rushing by a quarterback. Pryor, the former Ohio State star, carried 13 times for 112 yards, breaking the mark (85 yards) former league MVP Rich Gannon established Oct. 8, 2000. But Pryor made more mistakes than Luck. Pryor threw two interceptions, both in the red zone, and took a 16-yard sack with 68 seconds to go after Oakland reached the Indy 8-yard line. Two plays later, he was picked off by Antoine Bethea at the Colts 4.
"I'm disappointed in myself. Taking sacks is unacceptable," Pryor said. "This loss is on me. At the end of the day, I threw the ball away. I did awful, I thought." Luck opened the scoring with a looping 12-yard TD pass to Wayne on the first drive and stood in against Oakland's pressure to connect with Dwayne Allenon a 20-yard score to make it 14-0. Pryor answered with two long runs to Darren McFadden for a 1-yard TD run that cut the lead to 14-7. And with the score 14-10, Pryor gave Oakland the lead when he hooked up with Denarius Moore on a 5-yard TD pass with 11:09 to go. "Sometimes when it just opens up like that, you can't help but go," Luck said. "I knew I wanted the first down if I took off. Then Darius (Heyward-Bey) did a great job of coming out of his route and just pinning the guy, blocking his man in. A nice lane into the end zone."That's when Luck responded. On third-and-4 from the Raiders 19, the middle of the field opened up and Luck took off. Oakland couldn't catch him.
NOTES: McFadden's TD run was the first by an Oakland running back since Oct. 14, 2012. He finished with 17 carries for 48 yards. ... Kevin and Kaelin Burnett became the first brother tandem to play in the same game for the Raiders.
Hopefully, our team can rebound quickly against the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday. I just heard the news that their starting QB; Blaine Gabbert is out with an injury. I know we had a decent game last Sunday, but that's no reason to get cocky, Rocky! Fight smart, fight fast and fight hard! Let's earn our 1st win with Strength and Honor!! Go Raiders and keep it on the Dark Side!!!
Peace! -Darth Raider