ALAMEDA — The Indianapolis Colts come into the season opener with a proven quarterback, a playoff pedigree and the home-field advantage over the Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders are hoping the element of surprise will be enough to overcome those hurdles.
Coach Dennis Allen is refusing to name his starting quarterback for "competitive" reasons even though all signs point to Terrelle Pryor getting that call over Matt Flynn on Sunday in Indianapolis.
"I'm preparing like I always do, like I will be the starter," Pryor said Wednesday.
The San Francisco Chronicle and NFL.com reported Monday that Pryor would start. He has opened practice with the first-team offense this week and has been getting plenty of work with the starters in a clear sign that he will be the No. 1 quarterback Sunday.
But Allen wants to wait until Sunday to make an official announcement in hopes of making the Colts prepare for two possible quarterbacks.
"Whether it gives us an advantage or not, we'll see," Allen said. "We're preparing to play the Indianapolis Colts. We'll have a plan in place and our guys are ready to go."
Indianapolis is set at quarterback with Andrew Luck ready to begin his second season under center.
Colts coach Chuck Pagano said he has had to prepare to face two quarterbacks before and acknowledges it is easier when a defense is able to spend the week focusing on just one.
"You deal with it and you get the plays in that you feel like you're going to see," he said on a conference call. "We know that both guys are capable and we know both guys can beat you. We'll do our due diligence throughout the week in preparation for the game and prepare to face whoever lines up under center."
Flynn was brought in during the offseason to be the starter after Oakland dealt a 2014 fifth-round pick and a conditional 2015 pick to Seattle. The Raiders also reworked Flynn's contract, giving him $6.5 million guaranteed.