Raider Nation, cue the Ice Cube anthem, I am here to testify for what I witnessed o the field of play today. As a fan, I was invigorated, as a witness, I saw Terrelle Pryor control the tempo, fire up his teammates and display the potential that made Al Davis sacrifice a third round pick to nab him in 2011.
It is no coincidence that the Raider defense came out and shut the Colts down after Pryor drove the team 85 yards in five minutes and fifty-four seconds. As many on Silver and Back Pride were quick to point out after the team was down 14-0, past versions of this team would typically go three and out or begin to melt down at that point. Terrelle Pryor would not have any part of that as he drove the team down for six and lit a fire under the defense. At that moment, this band of career back-ups and disappointments believed that they could win. At that moment, the Oakland Raiders became a scary team.
The defense went on to only give up one touchdown over the next three quarters and sacking Andrew Luck four times. To put that into perspective, last year the Raiders only managed 25 sacks. After allowing an 11-11 start to Andrew Luck, after that touchdown drive he was 7 of 12 for 70 yards.
What I also witnessed was a very green quarterback making some very naive mistakes. Like many young qb's, see Colin Kaepernick, he had to burn timeouts because plays were not getting in on time. Like other young qb's, see Geno Smith today, he took a sack on 1st and goal. Like many that have come before him he under threw passes that he should have thrown deeper.
What I am here to testify about is the fact that I'd forgotten that Pryor has started a total of two games since 2010, at Ohio State. Not only that, but, he has ran the second and third teams in camp and has very little time with the first team.
Given these circumstances, he played head and shoulders above my realistic expectations. It is only one game, so, I am waiting to see what the future brings, but, I firmly believe that his shortcomings are to be expected and they are all issues that can be addressed as he matures and things slow down for him. I cannot overstate how difficult the situation was today. He started his second game in three years, was on the road against a team that made the playoffs last season and faced a 14-0 deficit straight on, leading his team to a 17-14 4th Quarter lead.
All of Raider Nation needs to be excited for this season, as this will be the year that we see Terrelle Pryor mature. And that has to mean a lot to us tat have believed in this kid for three years.