Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with what I saw out of this team yesterday and was pleasantly surprised by what Terrelle Pryor had to offer. He led all of Sunday's teams in rushing yards with his 112 yard output and that includes all of the running backs in that total. We need to see Pryor develop more over the course of this season but if he continues to make plays like that then the talk of drafting Teddy Bridgewater will be null and void.
The most important thing that we need to see from Pryor going forward is for him to go through his progressions more than what he did though. He would look at his first read and if it wasn't there he would take off running far too often, although plenty of that is attributed to having to get away from the rush. I am fine with him running when he is able to pick up big chunks of yards but once teams start seeing him take off so quickly on tape they are going to plan for it and will take that away from him.
Terrelle did throw the ball 29 times completing 19 of them compared to only 13 runs so he definitely showed he was capable of winning by throwing, he just needs to show a little bit more patience. His head did not move enough while looking down field, he looked one way and if he saw somebody he threw it and if he didn't he ran it. I believe that he will get better and he will continue to develop as he gets more playing time though. He certainly has earned the starting position going forward without question.
I am still waiting for the real Darren McFadden to stand up and I am very much worried that this actually is the real McFadden. He needs more help from the run blocking but at the same time he just has not been able to make people miss, like at all. He looked good on his one yard TD run where he powered through to the endzone but the rest of the game he did not impress.
His average of 2.8 yards per carry is just not going to cut it. The only thing that accomplishes is giving somebody a good deal on an average running back once he hits the free market. He is capable of so much more and the Raiders need him to show it. We all would rather see him earn a big pay day over solidify himself as a busted top pick. Right now unfortunately he is leaning towards the latter.
As for the defense I expected more out of the corners and less out of the linemen. The Colts big question mark going into this game was along the offensive line and we could definitely tell by the way that the Raiders defensive line was able to get into the backfield. Hopefully this was more a product of Oakland's D-line being better than we thought and not the Colts O-line being as bad as they are talked about being. Getting 4 sacks on a mobile, tough quarterback like Andrew Luck is no small feat either way and they deserve some praise for doing so.
With the corners on the other hand, they were decimated early and often by the talented Luck. Even when they were in decent coverage it wasn't good enough as Andrew picked them apart. Part of that is from Luck being so good but another part is from the corners just not making enough plays. Hopefully as we move forward we will see the secondary start to get their hands up more because we need them to be more active if we want to win some games this year.
As for Sebastian Janikowski, it was very disappointing seeing him miss his first field goal attempt of the season. It was from 48 yards which is normally automatic for Jano but it just went straight to the side. Part of that was a bad snap but the hold was ok and I am certain that Sebastian will make those far more often than missing. However, even with how great Janikowski is a 48 yard field goal is no chippy and everybody misses from time to time.
I believe Sebastian's not practicing all week also led to him being a little rusty and may have played a role in the miss too. Whatever the reason, it is very unfortunate that such an important field goal was missed. The Raiders only lost by four points and they managed to get the ball all the way into the redzone before Pryor threw his second interception of the game which sealed the win for the Colts. That means had Jano made that 48 yard field goal that the Raiders would have only needed a true chippy to win this game. Oh well, no use crying over spilled milk.
All in all I am very happy with the performance but not happy with the result. We need to get out of this moral victory period that we have found ourselves in where we have decided to be ok with barely losing. I want to see the team be competitive and I feel good that they very much were, but they should have won this game. The Colts sneaked out a victory yesterday that would have meant a lot more to the Raiders and that sucks. Hopefully the Raiders make up for it next week with a solid performance with the proper result against the Jacksonville Jaguars.