INDIANAPOLIS – Of all the offseason talk of NFL teams having to defend spread offenses, the Colts might get their first taste of such a task in Week One.
It appears that dual-threat quarterback Terrell Pryor is going to get the start on Sunday against the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
With quarterback Matt Flynn also in the mix, the Raiders offense isn’t entirely a spread system but if Pryor is under center on Sunday, then the Colts defense will be ready for a pass/run option from the signal caller position.
In three seasons in the NFL, Pryor has played in four games (one start) completing 46.7 percent of his passes.
This preseason Pryor has completed 17-of-32 passes and has carved up defenses with 14 carries for 131 yards.
It’s that ability, mixed with a former 1,000-yard rusher in Darren McFadden that will be high atop the Colts defensive priority list this weekend.
When healthy, McFadden can impact the game via the run or catching the ball out of the backfield.
McFadden and former Jaguars running back Rashad Jennings are Oakland’s top two backs with the offense trying to incorporate some speedy, young wide receivers.
On defense, the Raiders have some veterans across all units. Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver held the same position during
Names such as safety Charles Woodson and cornerback Tracy Porter were brought in by Oakland during the offseason.
2012 Record: 4-12, Third in the AFC West.
Head Coach: Dennis Allen, 2nd season as Raiders head coach and second NFL season as head coach (4-12 overall regular season).
2012 NFL Rankings: Offense – Overall, 18th (344.0); Rushing, 28th (88.8); Passing, 8th (255.2) Defense – Overall, 18th (354.5); Rushing, 18th (118.6); Passing, 20th (235.9).
2012 Leading Passer: Carson Palmer (345-565 comp., 4,018 yards, 61.1 pct., 22 TDs, 14 INTs).
2012 Leading Rusher: Darren McFadden (216 carries, 707 yards, 2 TDs).
2012 Leading Receiver: Brandon Myers (79 receptions, 806 yards, 4 TDs).
2012 Leading Sacker: Lamar Houston and Desmond Bryant (4.0).
2012 Turnover Breakdown: -7 (23rd).
2013 NFL Draft Results: Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie was an active man during the 2013 draft as the Raiders had a total of 10 picks thanks to a trio of trades. In the first-round, Oakland chose Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden. The story of Hayden is well documented as he is attempting to comeback from an injury that is considered life-threatining for many who suffer it. Florida State offensive tackle Menelik Watson was the choice in the second-round and he is trying to fight his way into the starting lineup. Third-round pick Sio Moore appears to have found a starting role at the strong side linebacker spot in the Raiders 4-3 scheme.
2012 Review: Led by a new coaching staff in 2012, the Raiders finished the first two months of the season with a 3-4 record and in the thick of the AFC West picture. However, Oakland lost eight of its next nine games and a large roster overhaul was in order. Quarterback Carson Palmer, who has since moved on to the Arizona Cardinals, passed for over 4,000 yards last year. The Raiders leading receiver last year, Brandon Myers, now plays for the Giants.
Last time in Playoffs: 2002 season.
Last time in Super Bowl: 2003. Lost Super Bowl XXXVII to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 48-21.
Super Bowl Championships: Three. 1977 (XI), 1981 (XV), 1984 (XVIII).
2013 Pro Bowl Selections: FB-Marcel Reece.