It's official Indianapolis Colts fans, the regular season is finally about to begin. The Oakland Raiders will be coming to town this Sunday, and a new quarterback will be taking snaps for them under center.
Yes, in case you haven't heard, the Raiders have officially named Terrelle Pryor the starter over former Seahawks and Packers backup QB Matt Flynn. Personally, I feel bad for Flynn in a way, but the Raiders seem confident that Pryor is their guy.
So, with this dual-threat QB starting for Oakland, how will the Colts be able to handle him?
With the talent level of the Raiders, it shouldn't be too hard.
That being said, the Raiders will now have an additional running threat to go along with Darren McFadden, the incredibly inconsistent and often hurt running back. Pryor ran for 83 yards on the ground and a touchdown this preseason.
The Colts will be in good shape against the run, because that's what this defense was built around all offseason. The additions of Ricky Jean Francois, Aubrayo Franklin and LaRon Landry showed just how much the Colts wanted to improve against the run, even if it means losing the opportunity to more effectively defend against the pass.
The defensive line looked very solid and fluid this preseason thanks to the nice combination of veterans and young players. They were able to get a lot of penetration over the past few weeks, and the amount of depth means that fresh legs will be in there often. If the preseason was any indication, the Colts could do a good job winning the battle in the trenches on defense, and that could keep the Raiders one-dimensional for the whole game.
Keeping Pryor contained and forcing him to make plays with his arm would be the best strategy against him. While he does have a strong arm, he tends to make bad decisions and sometimes has issues with accuracy. This will be a good test for Greg Toler to see just how much of an upgrade he can be for this secondary.
What I'm really curious to see when Pryor is passing is how Darius Butler will do as the nickel cornerback playing against receivers in the slot. Butler was forced into some tough situations last season, but he does much better when going against slot receivers.
At the end of the day, this is probably going to be an easy win for the Colts. Andrew Luck and the offense will likely make enough plays to win the game. This will be a great game to gauge the defense in a real game setting that actually counts, and see if they can play as well as they should against a struggling team.
Just a few more days, people.