We have said almost all that can be said about the Oakland Raiders 21-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts over the past two days. Here are our picks for Players of the Game.
Offense: Terrelle Pryor
The Player of the Game for Week One has to go to Terrelle Pryor, after all the Raiders may not have had the same success they had on Sunday if not for their new starting quarterback. With their fourth starting left tackle in Khalif Barnes playing with on the left side with very little notice and Tony Pashos playing on the line after just joining the team on the waiver wire, expectations for the offense were low heading into Sunday. Pryor instantly elevated them. There were few moments when Oakland was on offense Sunday where Pryor wasn’t showing what he brings to the table. When the dust settled he was the NFL’s leading rusher on Sunday, becoming the first Raiders quarterback to break the 100 yard mark on the ground.
With his arm Pryor looked comfortable moving the offense, hitting Rod Streater and Denarius Moore for big gains over the middle. He even hit Darren McFadden with a perfectly placed deep ball in the end zone before he bobbled it and put his foot on the out of bounds line. Undaunted, Pryor marched the Raiders into the endzone anyways.
Sure two interceptions showed his inexperience, but those are growing pains that come with the territory. After the game Pryor in tears said that he played “awful” and that his performance didn’t matter because he cost the Raiders a victory. After just one regular season game Pryor has shown a lot of growth and is quickly turning into a leader that the Raiders can rally around, TP2 gets the Week One game ball on offense from JBB.
Honorable Mentions: Rod Streater, Tony Pashos
Defense: Lamarr Houston
Down 14-0 early on Sunday it was clear that the Oakland Raiders would only be successful if they could manage to find a pass rush. Lamarr Houston made that pass rush appear in a hurry. After starting the game 100% on completions, Andrew Luck was far less comfortable in the second half and Houston was a main reason why.
Showing why he is such a coveted part of the Raiders defensive line, Houston showed off a high motor and work ethic in the second half, containing Andrew Luck in the pocket to allow Tyvon Branch to pick up a sack . Houston also forced a sack of his own on Sunday and gave the Colts starting left tackle Anthony Costanzo all sorts of problems. Oakland’s pass rush looks like it is going to be much better in 2o13 and Houston is the leader of that.