TV Schedule: Sunday, Sept. 8, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: Lucas Oil Stadium
Line: Indianapolis (-10.5)
The Indianapolis Colts got a blessing in disguise when they lost Peyton Manning before last season. Drafting Andrew Luck and finishing with a playoff appearance and an 11-5 season, the Colts made some solid moved in lieu of losing Manning. Sure, Peyton is successful elsewhere, but the Colts drafted someone that could be a star for years to come and no one saw a playoff appearance in Luck’s first season. Luck finished with 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns in his rookie campaign while Reggie Wayne was a big reason for his success. T.Y. Hilton could help out in the pass game along with fellow wide out Darrius Heyward-Bey.
On the other side of the field, the Oakland Raiders are looking at what could be another tough season. Finishing 4-12 last season, they lost some pieces and could end up finishing with an even worse record in 2013. It’s hard to say just how rough the Raiders offense’s 2013 season will be, but with Terrelle Pryor as the starting quarterback, one can only imagine how much the pass game will struggle. Luckily for Pryor, Darren McFadden is healthy and could have a breakout season in 2013.
Defensively, the Colts had a middle-of-the-pack defense a season ago and allowed more than 370 yards per game. Led by linebacker Jarrell Freeman who had a stellar rookie campaign in 2012, the Colts will look to improve their rush defense from one of the bottom-five a season ago. A big piece in the secondary is LaRon Landry who recorded 100 tackles in 2012 to go along with two interceptions.
Oakland had a pretty pedestrian defense last season, ranking in the middle of the league in yards allowed per game and points allowed per game. The Raiders poor offense might put a bit more pressure on this defense and wear them down more quickly.
PREDICTION: Raiders 13, Colts 34
Related: Oakland Preview