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Luck Leads Win over the Raiders, Titans Defeat Lowly Steelers

For the Indianapolis Colts (1-0), its appears their second-year quarterback will avoid a sophomore slump.

In a tight 21-17 win over the Oakland Raiders (0-1), Colts quarterback Andrew Luck set the tone at the start, as he completed his eight initial eight passes for 113 yards, followed by two scores from his first two drives of the game. He was also clutch as the Colts were down 14-17 in the fourth quarter. Luck put together a drive that ended with him running for a 19-yard game-winning touchdown with 5:20 remaining in the game.

Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck

He said of his final touchdown down via the Associated Press, “I went through my reads. As you’re sort of stepping up you sort of realize, ‘Hey man, there’s no one here.That decision is like, ‘OK, I can make the first down.’ Then you start running and it’s, ‘OK, let’s go for the end zone.'”

With the win, it was the first opening day one for the Colts since the 2009 season.

One of Luck’s weapons of choice for the game was veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne. He had eight receptions for 96 yards and one touchdown. New running back, former New York Giants Ahmad Bradshaw, had a quiet game, going 7 for 26 yards while his teammate Vick Ballard led the team in rushing with 13 carries for 63 yards.

But it wasn’t a perfect game for the Colts. In the offseason, the team added two offensive linemen and made defensive changes. They faced some challenges in Week 1.

While Sunday’s game allowed the team to run 26 time for 127 yards, Luck was sacked by the Raiders four times. The Colts also watched the Raiders convert 7 for 13 on third downs.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the Colts came from the Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor. In a second career start for the player, he went 19 for 29, 217 yards and one touchdown. This is a quarterback who likes to run and the Colts allowed him to do so as he had 13 carries for 112 yards in a team-record performance for a quarterback.

Pryor’s ground yards broke the previous record set by quarterback Rich Gannon’s 85 yards set on Oct. 8, 2000. Looks like we’ll see this same quarterback next week but this green field general was not without his own mistakes. This included two picks in the red zone and a sack with just over a minute remaining as the team was on the Colts’ 8-yard line.

In Week 2, the Colts will play the Miami Dolphins (1-0). They sit at 40/1 to win the 2014 Super Bowl.

In other AFC South News…

The Tennessee Titans (1-0) got a Week 1 win by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1), 16-9. The Titans defense showed up with five sacks against the Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It also held the Steelers to its fewest points for a game since the end of the 2011 season, two turnovers and 32 yards rushing.

The Steelers are a mess (a total of 195 yards for the game) and the Titans were able to capitalize on it. Can they attribute its improved defense to new defensive assistant, Gregg Williams?

Jake Locker

Jake Locker

It wasn’t the most exciting game for Titans quarterback Jake Locker but he got it done by going 11 for 20 and 125 yards. Running back Chris Johnson had 25 carries for 70 yards while fellow back Jackie Battle had eight carries for 21 yards and one touchdown.

Titans kicker Rob Bironas was busy with his three field goals.

Big Ben, playing without his usual weapon wide receiver Mike Wallace who now plays for the Dolphins, was missed. He also lost two defensemen to injury in the game, Maurkice Pouncy and Larry Foote.

For the day, Roethlisberger was 21 for 33, 191 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Is this the new and improved Titans? They’ll face a greater test next week against the Houston Texans.

As for Houston, they’ll kick off the season on Monday night against the San Diego Chargers and could see a win (-4, 44.5 o/u).







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