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Over the course of 60 minutes, Terrelle Pryor’s legs not enough to derail Colts defense

Posted Sep 8, 2013

Intro: No matter how much a defense prepares for the read-option, nothing can equate to actually defending it in live action. That was the case for the Colts defense on Sunday afternoon but the unit rose to the occasion when it had to in earning a 21-17 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium.



INDIANAPOLIS— Terrelle Pryor’s legs had the Colts defense running on empty as the 2013 regular season opener reached the waning minutes of the fourth quarter on Sunday afternoon.

The dual-threat quarterback had already racked up over 100 yards rushing and continually converted third downs thanks to keeping plays alive.

But with the Colts defense defending a goal-to-go situation, there was just enough fuel left in the defensive tanks for one game-winning stop.

Veteran safety Antoine Bethea carried out what the Colts defensive backs have been preaching this offseason with a final-minute interception, his first in 35 games.

“They ran a scissors route and I was just in a position where I needed to be after reading the quarterback,” Bethea said following the Colts 21-17 victory.

The story for the final three quarters though was the play-making ability of Pryor.

All week the Colts (1-0) talked about defending the read-option and while they did a very good job containing Darren McFadden (17 carries for 48 yards) it was Pryor that made the Indianapolis defense crazy.

Pryor had 112 yards on 13 carries (a Colts franchise record for an opposing quarterback) and had a handful of other plays where his creativity to avoid sacks allowed him to complete passes.

“We were trying our dangdest to get that guy on the ground and we knew it was going to be tough because you can get into situations where you go after a guy like that and you may have a guy free, and we had guys off the edge and in position, but the guy's one heck of an athlete,” head coach Chuck Pagano said of Pryor.

Leading up to Sunday’s regular season opener, the Colts defense talked about the importance of containing Pryor within the pocket.

It should be noted on both of Pryor’s interceptions on Sunday afternoon that is exactly what the Colts defense accomplished.

“It gets hard, talking from a DB aspect, just covering your guy with your back to the quarterback,” cornerback Greg Toler, who had an opening drive interception, said.

“It’s just kind of hard not knowing where he’s scrambling to, if he’s up on your back, the guy’s trying to run a comeback, it’s pretty hard.”

On the Raiders first touchdown drive on Sunday, Pryor had carries of 14, 9, 29 and 13 yards before McFadden scored from a yard out.

Pryor followed that up with a 9- and 26-yard rush on the Raiders first drive of the third quarter, which ended in a field goal.

All that set up Pryor and the Raiders offense taking over at their own 20-yard line, down four points with 5:20 remaining.

The elusive signal caller took the Raiders all the way down to the Colts eight yard-line before a 16-yard sack from Robert Mathis set up Bethea’s clinching interception.

“We were tired out there on that last drive. Just with (Pryor) scrambling, running around, DBs having to stay with their receiver. We continue to say, when that play it presents itself you’ve got to make that play,” Bethea said of his interception with 25 seconds remaining.

“It’s a 60-minute game. You never know what’s going to happen. When that play comes, you’ve got to make that play for your team so I was fortunate enough to make that play.”


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