INDIANAPOLIS –The running of Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor threatened to take the Colts down Sunday, but Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck made sure that didn't happen with some mobility of his own.
At the 5 1/2-minute mark of the fourth quarter, Luck called a pass play but saw a hole and decided to run. Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey helped Luck's cause with a nice screen block. The Indy quarterback scrambled 19 yards for a touchdown that proved to be the winner in a 21-17 victory over the Raiders at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"They doubled Reggie (Wayne), which takes one extra body out of there," Luck said, explaining how Oakland was defending the Colts' star receiver on the play. "And the O-line did a good job of pass protecting. It seemed to open up the middle.
"I went through my reads and as I was sort of stepping up, you sort of realize, 'Hey, man, there really is no one here.' ''
Luck took advantage, and the score put the home crowd of 65,412 in a festive mood at the season opener. But Pryor and the Raiders weren't finished.
Pryor's 41-yard completion to Jeron Mastrud moved Oakland downfield, and then a 21-yarder to Denarius Moore put the visitors in the red zone. A sack of Pryor by Colts linebacker Robert Mathis stunned the Raiders. And two plays later, on second down from the 24-yard line, Colts safety Antoine Bethea intercepted a Pryor pass to extinguish Oakland's hopes.
Pryor ran for 112 yards and passed for 217 with a touchdown with two interceptions. The Colts' defense stayed poised in the face of Pryor's assault. Coach Chuck Pagano had warned the team of his prowess.
"We talked about it," Pagano said. "We said this guy is going to get outside and he's going to make some plays on it. Don't worry about it. Just move on. Play through it."
And the Colts did, both offensively and defensively. Luck went 5-of-5 and then 3-of-3 passing on Indy's first two possessions, leading the Colts to an early 14-0 lead. He finished with an 18-of-23 mark for 178 yards and a pair of scores.
The Indy running game put together a solid effort and totaled 127 yards, led by Vick Ballard's 63 in 13 carries.
The Indy defense persevered, as Pagano said, and made big plays to start the game as well as end it. Oakland's first drive, like its last, ended in a Colts interception. Cornerback Greg Toler picked off Pryor in the end zone in the first quarter.
For the Colts, it was a satisfying victory -- another like many in 2012 that went down to the wire. Luck tried to explain how the Colts seem to have a knack for rescuing such wins.
"I think the DNA of the team is that maybe there's a little extra focus when that comes," he said. "Maybe that little bit of pressure pushes us in a sense. But we know we can't live like that every week."
For this week, however, they'll take it.
FIRST QUARTER (2:47 remaining)
That sound you heard was the thump, thump, thump of the Colts' offense methodically working the ball downfield against the Raiders. The drive started with Indy cornerback Greg Toler's interception of a Terrelle Pryor pass in the end zone. Then Andrew Luck and the offense went to work, marching 89 yards in 10 plays. Luck went 5-for-5 passing for 63 yards, including the 12-yard score to Reggie Wayne in the corner of the end zone. Adam Vinatieri booted the extra point. Colts 7, Raiders 0.
SECOND QUARTER (10:47 remaining)
Luck stayed hot for the Colts. He hit 3-of-3 passes for 50 yards, including a 20-yarder over the middle to Dwayne Allen for the touchdown. Luck got the scoring pass off just before defensive tackle Vance Walker leveled him. Vick Ballard continued his fine running on the eight-play, 69-yard march, too, carrying three times for 18 yards. Vinatieri kicked the extra point. Colts 14, Raiders 0.
SECOND QUARTER (4:53 remaining)
Pryor and the Raiders emphasized the ground game to put their first points on the board. Pryor ran three times for 51 yards on the 11-play, 85-yard march. He also completed passes of 14 and nine yards. Pryor handed to Darren McFadden for the 1-yard touchdown. Sebastian Janikowski kicked the extra point. Colts 14, Raiders 7.
THIRD QUARTER (5:42 remaining)
Pryor used his legs once again to propel the visitors to a field goal. The Raiders quarterback ran four times for 42 yards, helping to push Oakland to the Colts 20-yard line before the drive stalled. Janikowski came in to kick a 38-yard field goal.Colts 14, Raiders 10.
FOURTH QUARTER (11:09 remaining)
A sack of Luck on fourth down gave the Raiders the ball at the Indy 44. This time, Pryor used the airways to carry his team to the lead. He completed passes for 41 yards, hitting Denarius Moore for the 5-yard touchdown. Janikowski booted the extra point. Raiders 17, Colts 14.
FOURTH QUARTER (5:20 remaining)
Luck took a page from the Pryor handbook and ran 19 yards for a Colts touchdown that put the home team back in the lead. Luck also completed passes for 28 yards on the 80-yard scoring march. A personal foul call against the Raiders helped the Indy drive. Vinatieri hit the extra point.Colts 21, Raiders 17.