The Las Vegas Raiders had a huge game this past Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, that pitted the Raiders against another team in the hunt for the final wild card playoff spot. In this game the Raiders absolutely needed to win, they fell short, losing to the Indianapolis Colts 44-27 in what was a devastating blow to their playoff hopes.
The Raiders started out strong in this game, going toe to toe with the Colts for all of the first half, seeming to score at will at times, and displayed an impressive tenacity to their offense in the first half that wasn’t seen since they played the Broncos roughly a month ago. After falling behind 10-0 early, the Raiders came back with touchdowns downfield to Nelson Agholor and Foster Moreau. Unfortunately, the first half was where the majority of the Raiders intensity came and the Raiders offense sputtered for only three points in the second half, with a garbage time touchdown.
As for the Colts, they had a great day offensively and defensively, with a running game that was dominant against the Raiders defense (212 total rushing yards), a great day from their quarterback Phillip Rivers (who went 19/28 with 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions), and a defense that managed to get two crazy interceptions.
The Raiders also had a decent day as well, they had 345 total passing yards and had more first downs than the Colts. Unfortunately, they also had two possessions where they needed to score but came up short, one coming before the half as the Raiders were threatening to score in the end zone, and another where the Raiders were forced to settle for a field goal after coming up short on 4th down in the redzone.
Overall the Raiders got outgunned by an impressive Indianapolis Colts offense that simply outshot them with impressive plays.
The biggest takeaways from this game is that while the Raiders played well against a top tier team, there were some things here and there that didn’t go their way, and ultimately the game just slipped away from them. When the Colts had the opportunity to score, they took advantage of nearly every opportunity, and capitalized on mistakes by both the Raiders defense and offense. When the Raiders had the opportunity to score, they scored some of the time, but some of the time wasn’t enough against one of the best teams in the league.
The Raiders have dropped three out of the last four and the only win came against the lowly New York Jets. While they aren’t completely out of the running for a playoff spot, it’s looking very grim for the Raiders at the moment. From here on out, the Raiders have to play to “Win and get luck” from another team game, because they don’t control their own playoff fate anymore.