At quarterback, Terrelle Pryor breathed life into this presumed corpse with 217 yards through the air and another 112 on the ground.
A review of the "All-22" coaches film revealed how Allen and his staff made the most of Pryor's athleticism, liberally using pistol concepts (pictured at right) to establish a ground game that de-emphasized Darren McFadden in favor of unleashing Pryor.
Oakland also did a nice job of masking its weaknesses. With the left side of the offensive line besieged by injuries, the Raiders pushed run plays to the opposite side of the field, stacking the right side of the formation with as many as five blockers at a time (as shown below). It proved effective against an Indy defense that spent most of the game in reaction mode.
Jaguars coach Gus Bradley on Wednesday called Pryor an "exciting" young player, saying: "I think they do a nice job with him. Some of the passes and pass concepts they're using with him -- the ability to move him on passes and get him on the run a little bit -- has been effective."
It's worth noting that Allen was the defensive coordinator for a Denver Broncos team that rewrote its playbook to suit Tim Tebow in 2011, long before the read option was a regular sight around the NFL. Say what you will about Tebow, but Pryor has been equally catered to.
Maybe it fizzles out by October, but who expected the Raiders to be an intriguing team entering Week 2? I certainly didn't, but that's the fun of the league we watch. Oakland has found a spark; we'll see if the Raiders can keep it lit.The "Around The League Podcast" is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.