It is finally here, the opening game of the 2013 NFL season. The Autumn Wind is coming within minutes now and although that wind is coming with the clouds of roster turnover uncertainty
Event: Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts
Where: Lucas Oil Field Field, Indianapolis
When: 1:00 EST, 10:00 Pacific
Television: CBS has this one guys. Check local listings andwww.raiders.com outside of California.
Radio: Bay Area 102.1 FM, 98.5 FM KFOX/ 1140 AM (Sacramento)/ 105.9 (Fresno)/ 830 AM (Los Angeles)/ 104.1 FM (Modesto)/ 103.9 FM (Merced)/ 1280 AM (San Luis Obispo)/ 1490 AM (King City)/ 106.3 FM (Eureka)/ 1440 AM (Napa)/ 1670 AM (Redding)/ 920 AM (Palm Springs)/ 630 AM (Monterey)/ 97.7 FM (Santa Rosa)/ 1520 AM (Ventura)/ Check local listings and www.raiders.com outside of California.
Not Playing: OT-Jared Veldheer (Tricep), David Ausberry (shoulder), Menelik Watson (knee)
Sio Moore and Sebastian Janikowski will both play on Sunday as they were questionable during the week but were confirmed as in by Dennis Allen over the weekend.
Keys to the Game
With a weak offensive line everything falls on the shoulders of Terrelle Pryor and Darren McFadden to create instant offense by themselves this season. The duo have shown in college as well as given glimpses in the pros of their ability to take over games, if they can do that in Indy today right off the bat the Raiders will be a lot more even with the Colts than the experts would want you to believe.
Defensive line and the pass rush. Plain and simple, Oakland’s downfall in 2012 on the other side of the ball was not getting to the quarterback and running back behind the line of scrimmage enough. Other than the Jaguars, Oakland had the worst pass rush in 2012. Injuries and vanilla blitz packages gave Raider Nation concerns about the pass rush yet again this preseason, with Andrew Luck under center, defensive coordinator Jason Tarver and his Stanford roots will be counting on Oakland’s Front Seven to make things uncomfortable for the young superstar.
This is a game that can define Oakland’s season and set the tone off on the right foot with Terrelle Pryor at the helm, nobody expects the Raiders to win and when you look at the skill department it makes sense. However football is often about momentum and the emotions that come with it carrying a team to victory. Oakland has a chance to create that atmosphere around the team this afternoon in a game that nobody expects them to win.
Will that happen? It is unlikely based on the results of the 2012 season and the Vegas line that has the Colts up as 10.5 point favorites, but former Stanford man Jason Tarver calling the plays on defense against Andrew Luck gives the Raiders an edge that I think will keep this game close. If that happens and Pryor/McFadden can get the offense in scoring position just enough, then this will be a ballgame. If that doesn’t happen and the defense can’t stop Luck, then things might get ugly. I don’t expect Oakland to win and it will be hard to call any Raiders wins this season, but I do expect them to have their chances to win this game. It will be a close one in Indy.
Prediction: Colts 28 Raiders 24