We finish the year facing a Colt and a Donkey. Let’s look a bit further at the former and the keys to getting our 12th win of the season.
Obviously when you bring up Indy, Andrew Luck comes to mind; and Luck is having a solid year. He’s currently a top 10 QB with 27 TD’s, 10 INT’s and a 97.1 QB rating. He is also second on the team in rushing with 312 yards and 7.6 yards per attempt.
T.Y Hilton, his primary target, is second in the NFL in Receiving and yards per catch with 1248 yards and 15.4 respectively.
Luck’s second passing threat is their young TE Jack Doyle, who has found the end zone 4x. Raider fans know we haven’t covered the TE well at times, and with Karl Joseph still injured, Doyle could be a big threat in the passing game.
Frank Gore, the ageless worker, has only missed 12 games in his entire career! He is averaging a just 3.8 yards a carry but is closing in on another 1,000 yard season with 891 rushing yards 15 weeks into the season.
This season, amidst a pass heavy era in the NFL, Gore surpassed the great Jim Brown with 12,323 rushing yards.
Offensively Indy is a threat. We don’t really have a true corner that can follow the small and speedy Hilton downfield. Our secondary has had issues with small and quick receivers. Think Brandin Cooks, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Benjamin.
Luck has been sacked a lot; Fact! Having taken 37 of them, he is tied for 2nd in the league Contrast this to only 15 for Carr. Khalil and Bruce have to be licking their chops as these two are causing havoc for opposing QB’s on the regular.
Furthermore, our running defense has really been quite good. Perry Riley Jr. and company will see to it that Frank Gore and Robert Turbin do zero damage on Saturday. Also, say “goodbye” to Calhoun (out for the season) and “hello” to Mario Edwards Jr. who was officially activated this afternoon.
Our defense is quietly sitting at 24th vs the run and 20th in points allowed giving up 24 a game. The last 2 games tell a slightly different story, however, as we have held teams to just 14 and 16 (I’m taking out Hill’s punt return @ KC). Given that, our defense can do just enough to make it difficult at key times and force Luck, who is turnover prone, into one key mistake that will decide the game.
Defensively Indy is in the middle of the pack. They give up 4.5 yards per rush so look for Murray and Richard to see plenty of action. More good news comes in the form of Indy’s pass defense. They are ranked 2 spots worse than our passing defense, which is both embarrassing to admit and hard to believe.
Tread cautiously, though. Indy is still fighting for their division and a loss eliminates them. They will come to Oakland hungry and desperate. Luck could come in here and throw for over 350 yards and hurt us like Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, and Phillip Rivers already have earlier this season.
I still believe they will need a lot of “Luck” and I believe a lot of things will have to go there way for them to leave Oakland with a W. As long as our front 7 continue to stop the run and we can hurry and get to Luck, I feel we can hold them to 21 points.
Our offense is due for a big game and I feel with how we have run the ball so effectively the last 2 weeks, Carr can get back on track, especially in The Red Zone. Yet, the question remains: can and will Carr take snaps under center?
Tune in Saturday to find out as the Raiders play their last home game for the 2016 regular season. Let’s hope they come back to play a few more before the next one begins!
Merry Xmas Raider Nation!
Written by: 303Raider
Edited by: Kenny Stapler