INDIANAPOLIS – Terrelle Pryor says he played “awful.”
Not so sure about that, TP. Sounds a bit extreme.
The Raiders quarterback had more than 300 yards of total offense in Sunday’s 21-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. He threw a touchdown pass and orchestrated two more scoring drives.
Didn’t matter. Not with two interceptions on his stat line. One came in the end zone on the Raiders first drive. The second cemented a heartbreaking loss.
Even in that vein, “awful” still doesn’t jive. Pryor made some magic and gave the Raiders a legitimate chance to win. A loss simply means he wasn’t good enough.
“I could’ve helped win the game and didn’t,” Pryor said. “We had ‘em on the ropes and we didn’t knock them out. The record is all that matters to me. I don’t care what my numbers are. I just want to do well for the team, and I didn’t do well enough.
What happened today was unacceptable, and that’s on me.”
Pryor’s frustration was clear. He didn’t try to hide it. The 24-year old beat himself up because he failed to reach his own lofty expectations.
“Please don’t write this as cocky because it’s not. Anytime I get on the field, I feel like I’m the best player out there and that my team is going to have a chance to win,” Pryor said. “That’s my job. I need to get the ball into the right hands and make plays. We have to get better. I know I do.”
He certainly does. He was late on the first pick, too aggressive on the second. He kept possession on too many option plays when Darren McFadden had room to run. He took a sack on the 8-yard line of the comeback trail and got no closer.
They were costly mistakes to be sure, but they don’t erase other dynamic plays Colts coach Chuck Pagano says are only made on the sandlot. It doesn’t change the fact that he gives the Raiders a legitimate chance to win.
“I’ll tell you, Terrelle Pryor is a stud,” Colts quarterback Andrew Luck said. “He made some unbelievable plays.”
Pryor made quite a few actually, enough to earn the respect of his teammates and give Raider Nation hope for the future. This starting gig isn’t a one-time engagement. Pryor will lead this team for the foreseeable future, and his play will dictate how the Raiders fare this season.
“The guy’s a heartbreaker,” Raiders safety Charles Woodson said. “Just when a defender thinks a play is over, Terrelle finds a way to stay alive and make a play. That wears people down over the course of a game. The guy is fun to watch, and he gives us a chance to win.”
The Raiders lost, which is what will eat at Pryor until next week’s game.
“That’s why I’m very disappointed,” Pryor said. “At the end of the day, I learned a couple things that I can put in my bag of treats and use in the future. You have to keep learning.”