Jeannette native Pryor endures tough start as Raiders fall to Colts
INDIANAPOLIS — Terrelle Pryor threw for 217 yards, one touchdown and broke a franchise record Sunday. That wasn't good enough for Oakland's new quarterback.
After watching the Colts' Andrew Luck scramble 19 yards for the go-ahead score with 5:20 to go, Pryor made two costly mistakes on the Raiders' final series. Oakland wound up losing, 21-17.
“I'm disappointed in myself. Taking sacks is unacceptable,” said Pryor, a Jeannette native. “This loss is on me. At the end of the day, I threw the ball away. I did awful, I thought. I had two interceptions. We had them on the ropes. We could've won the game.”
Pryor and the Raiders played better than most people expected. They came into opening day with nine new defensive starters, a patchwork offensive line and no announced starting quarterback.
Yet, somehow, Oakland nearly made it work.
The defense kept the Raiders close, Pryor caused chaos offensively and, with 11:09 to play, Oakland actually led, 17-14.
Oakland just couldn't finish, in part because of Pryor's big errors.
He played well in his second career NFL start, finishing 19 of 29 for 217 yards with one TD and rushing 13 times for 112 yards to break Rich Gannon's franchise record for yards rushing by a quarterback. Gannon ran for 85 yards Oct. 8, 2000.
But Pryor also threw two interceptions in the red zone, including the game-sealing pick with 25 seconds left, and took a 16-yard sack with 68 seconds left after Oakland had driven to Indy's 8-yard line. Pryor was upset.
Coach Dennis Allen was not.
“He proved he's a starter. You see what he can do with his feet,” Allen said. “I was pleased with how he came out and moved the football down the field.”
Luck followed a familiar script.
He started fast, played efficiently and delivered the late-game victory — just as he did last year as a rookie. Only this time, he took off with 5:20 to go and won this game with his feet on a 19-yard scramble.
“Sometimes when it just opens up like that, you can't help but go,” Luck said. “I knew I wanted the first down if I took off. Then Darius (Heyward-Bey) did a great job of coming out of his route and just pinning the guy, blocking his man in. A nice lane into the end zone.”
He made it work, of course, as he always seems to do.
But Luck and the Colts tried to change the formula during the offseason.
Indy brought in two new offensive linemen to protect Luck better and create running lanes, and it overhauled the defense to try and keep Luck and the offense on the field. They got mixed results Sunday.
While the Colts ran 26 times for 127 yards, Luck was sacked four times and hit a handful of others, and the Raiders still managed to convert 7 of 13 times on third down.
Luck completed 18 of 23 passes after starting the game with 11 consecutive completions. Reggie Wayne had eight catches for 96 yards and one score.
The Colts' defense couldn't get off the field in the second half, yet somehow managed to hold long enough to give Luck a chance to work his late-game magic, and then made the big play to seal the win.
It was enough to get the win — but not good enough to satisfy Chuck Pagano, who is 8-1 at home since taking over as Colts coach last season.
Luck opened the scoring with a looping 12-yard TD pass to Wayne on the first drive and stood in against Oakland's pressure to connect with Dwayne Allen on a 20-yard score to make it 14-0.
Pryor answered with two long runs to Darren McFadden for a 1-yard TD run that cut the lead to 14-7. And with the score 14-10, Pryor gave Oakland the lead when he hooked up with Denarius Moore on a 5-yard TD pass with 11:09 to go.
That's when Luck responded. On third-and-4 from the Raiders 19, the middle of the field opened up and Luck took off. Oakland couldn't catch him.