Graphic Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media


FSM Essential Recap: Raiders vs Colts – Week 10

Las Vegas Raiders (2-7) | Indianapolis Colts (4-5-1)

Franchise Sports Media

Raiders vs Colts
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Before the season, many had the Week 10 game between the Colts and Raiders circled as a potential early-round playoff matchup. As it is now, this contest should still be quite competitive, but the postseason is almost all but out of the question.

Entering Sunday, these two AFC sides had only combined for five wins through the 2022 season. Regardless of how we got here, both franchises desperately seek to reestablish an identity.

In my Colts-Raiders preview from Thursday, I highlight a few different aspects Las Vegas needs to key in on before returning home to Allegiant Stadium while also noting a crowded transaction/injury sheet. You’ll notice some integral figures missing in this game (Waller, Leonard, Renfrow, Deablo, etc.). Additionally, LB Denzel Perryman was a game-day scratch. Oh, and at some point this morning, veteran QB Matt Ryan was named the starter over rookie Sam Ehlinger. Here we go …

With NFL Sunday kicking off in Germany at 6:30 am PST today, I am more than eager for 14+ straight hours dedicated to football. As for the game between the eerily similarly struggling Colts and Raiders? Here’s how it went …

Previous contests:


HOF game: Raiders 27 – Jaguars 11
PRE1: Raiders 26 – Vikings 20
PRE2: Raiders 15 – Dolphins 13

PRE3: Raiders 23 – Patriots 6

WK1: Chargers 24 – Raiders 19 (L)
WK2: Cardinals 29 – Raiders 23 (OT)/(L)
WK3: Titans 24 – Raiders 22 (L)
WK4: Raiders 32 – Broncos 23 (W)
WK5: Chiefs 30 – Raiders 29 (L)
WK7: Raiders 38 – Texans 20 (W)
WK8: Saints 24 – Raiders 0 (L)
WK9: Jaguars 27 – Raiders 20 (L)

1st Quarter


Raiders vs Colts
Photo Credit: Matt York/AP

With the visiting Colts winning the opening toss, Indy elected to defer their possession to the second half. So, in front of an anxious home crowd, the Raiders would start Week 10 with the ball. RB Ameer Abdullah set the tone with a 30-yard kick return out the gate. On the first play from scrimmage, QB Derek Carr dialed up a deep ball to WR Mack Hollins but missed him long. On 2nd down, RB Josh Jacobs took a toss left upfield for a 5-yard gain. However, after WR Keelan Cole could not hang on to a pass over the middle, Vegas was forced into an early three-and-out.

On 1st down, the Colts could not hold their water, false starting on their initial offensive play. Next, a completion to WR Parris Campbell produced a short gain for Indy before LB Chandler Jones stuffed RB Jonathan Taylor on a stretch right. Ryan then found WR Alec Pierce for a would-be 1st down, but after a challenge from McDaniels, the catch was overturned and ruled incomplete. With that, Indianapolis was forced to punt back to the Raiders.

Vegas would give the ball back to Jacobs on 1st down but had his run negated after a holding penalty on Cole. Next, Carr whipped a precise pass to WR Davante Adams, who picked up 9-yards but also had his gain negated after an illegal man downfield call (A. James). To make matters worse, Carr was sacked for a 9-yard loss before throwing short to Adams on 3rd down. With their second straight three-and-out, the bellowing boos from Raider Nation echoed through Allegiant Stadium. A.J. Cole’s backed-up punt did well to pin Indy back on their own 30-yard line.

Ryan returned to action with the Colts’ offense and established more rhythm on this drive. After a rush from Taylor, Ryan connected with WR Michael Pittman Jr. for a 1st down catch-and-run. Next, Ryan went right back to Pittman for another 1st down, this one into Raider territory. Then, out of the gun, Ryan used a counterplay-action pass to TE Kylen Granson for a 32 yards gain down inside the red zone. Now in a heavy package, the Colts handed off to Taylor, who was stopped in the backfield by DE Maxx Crosby and LB Jayon Brown. Still, that momentum was quickly doused as the Raiders lined up with too many men on the field for the next play. The Colts kept it simple on the goal line, using a QB sneak from Ryan to punch in the game’s first touchdown. With not much blue in the Allegiant Stadium stands, this crowd is growing wallowing in anguish early.

Thankfully, Hollins eased some of those frustrations on the Raiders’ next drive, making a contested catch on a curl for their first 1st down of the day. But, hold the phone–Indianapolis challenged the reception and had it overturned. With that, Carr’s 3rd down pass to Hollins also fell incomplete, resulting in the Raiders’ third three-and-out in as many possessions: Time for another punt from Cole.

Finally, the Raiders would get a call to go their way. After Indianapolis’ initial offensive play, the Colts were flagged for an ineligible player downfield, pushing the ball back behind the sticks. On the next play, Ryan tried to WR screen to Campbell, which gained only a yard. Now facing 3rd & 11, the Colts’ line was able to give Ryan ample time to find Campbell again, this time over the middle for a 15-yard pickup. That 1st down conversion would conclude the opening period’s on-field action.

2nd Quarter


Raiders vs Colts
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

Flipping ends, the Colts began 2Q on the cusp of the Raiders’ midfield shield. Indy tried a short run with RB Zack Moss before going back to Taylor, who ripped off a 13-yard romp (his longest to this point). Next, Ryan completed a 7-yard pass to Pittman before Crosby stuffed Taylor again. On 3rd down, Ryan tried to go back to Pittman, but CB Sam Webb was there to defend the pass. Despite winning the down, LB Luke Masterson walked onto the field with an injury. Still within FG range, the Colts turned to K Chase McLaughlin to successfully convert a 47-yard attempt (which he did). Indy makes it a two-score game and now leads the Raiders 10-0.

Back with the ball, Vegas would finally manage to move the chains (for real this time). The Raiders would run the ball to midfield thanks to a dynamic ground attack from Jacobs. Next, Adams checked in with his first reception: A 7-yard catch onto the Colts’ side of the field. Next, RB Zamir White got in the game for a carry, only to be stuffed by Indianapolis’ front. Now facing 4th & 2, the Raiders tried a sweep-left with Jacobs, but CB Kenny Moore II flew up to foil the play in the backfield, turning the ball over on downs. Yes, the displeasure in this building is compounding and amplifying.

Right away, Ryan went back to Campbell for his fourth catch of the first half. With Campbell gaining 6 yards, Taylor was able to pick up the chains with a 5-yard run up the gut. Harnessing more momentum, Ryan moved the ball into Raider territory, zipping a pass to WR Keke Coutee, who had sights for the end zone, but CB Amik Robertson was able to jar the ball loose after the catch. Even better, Robertson was able to fall on the fumble, recovering the football when it seemed the Raiders might already be on their heels in this contest. Regardless, the Silver & Black offense is headed back on the field.

Staying simple, the Raiders handed off to Jacobs for a short gain. Next, Jacobs made a fine catch in the passing game, elevating over his defender on the sideline to make the play and move the chains. What followed was the Raiders’ longest play from scrimmage to that point, a 21-yard drag catch-and-run from TE Foster Moreau on play-action. Now on the Colts’ side of the field, Carr hit Adams in the flat before the All-Pro WR razzled-dazzled his way to a 1st down, breaking several tackles en route. But, of course, Adams’ electric reception would be negated by a holding call on RT Jermaine Eluemunor. On the next play, Carr tossed a ball to Abdullah, who fell one yard shy of the marker. Faced with another 4th (& 1) down, the Raiders stayed on the field for Jacobs to bully through the line, successfully moving the chains. Inside the red zone, the Raiders drew up a gimmicky toss-left to Jacobs, who took the ball down to the IND 5-yard line. From there, Carr completed a pass to Adams in the left flat, who would have been able to score if the ball had been thrown lower. Still, from the 4-yard line, Carr found Moreau through the traffic on a boot-right, coming down with the touchdown. With less than a minute left in the first half, the Raiders are finally on the board, trailing 10-7.

You’d like to think that Vegas would be able to keep the Colts off the board for the remaining 55 seconds of 2Q game time, but as we know, the Raiders have had major issues closing out halves. First, Ryan moved his offense quickly and completed a pass to Granson over the middle. Next, runs from Taylor pushed the Colts back into Raider territory. Then, with only three ticks left on the clock, Indianapolis’ kicker McLaughlin came out to convert his second 48-yard attempt of the day, extending the Colts’ lead before heading in, 13-7.

3rd Quarter


Raiders vs Colts
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Raiders

Having deferred their possession to the second half, Indianapolis started 3Q with the ball. The Colts began methodically, mixing in runs from Taylor with completions down field. Ryan was able to navigate his offense all the way down to the Raiders’ 16-yard line, but a timely sack from “Mad” Maxx Crosby pushed the Colts back to the edge of FG range. Now on 4th down, McLaughlin came out to attempt his third 48-yard field goal try of the day. However, the Colts kicker missed this time, doinking the ball off the right upright. With an eruption from the Raider Nation crowd, Vegas finally has the ball and the momentum.

The Raiders’ offense got back to work by starting with a couple of 6-yard runs from Jacobs, moving the chains. Next, Carr found his No. 1 target (Adams) for a 9-yard gain over the middle, rumbling into Colts’ territory. Adams followed the reception with another, picking up ten more yards on the next play. From there, the Raiders got Hollins back in the mix by handing off to him on a jet sweep, but the 8-yard gain would be negated (a theme all afternoon) after LT Kolton Miller was questionably flagged for illegal tripping. No worries, though, Las Vegas continued to move the ball into the red zone after another fantastic catch-and-run from Moreau. Now on the IND 17-yard line, Carr checked a pass down to Abdullah, who zig-zagged his way down to the 1. Two handoffs to Jacobs up the gut ensued, and the Raiders broke the goal line plane! With their second touchdown of the day, Las Vegas takes their first lead, 14-13. Obviously, this is still way too close for comfort …

Well, the Colts’ next drive ended almost as soon as it began. Typically, that should equate to something positive for the Silver & Black, but it was not that kind of drive. Instead, on the second play of the possession, Taylor blasted through the tackles into the open before hitting S Duron Harmon with a nasty cutback, zooming 66 yards to the endzone for a gut-punching touchdown. Snatching the lead right back, Indy is on top 19-14 (after failing on a 2-pt try).

With the air temporarily sucked out of the stadium, Adbullah took the ensuing kickoff back to the 40-yard line to restore some life for Las Vegas. However, the Raiders would again be penalized on their first play from scrimmage (an HB screen pass), calling C Andre James for a hold. Now facing 2nd & long, Carr connected with Jacobs on a pass over the middle for a 5-yard gain. Coming out in the gun on 3rd down, Carr was nearly intercepted after trying to force a ball to Adams on an out route. That would conclude the third quarter’s action; Time to separate the men from the boys!


4th Quarter


Raiders vs Colts
Photo Credit: KSNV

Now in 4Q and forced into another punt, Cole booted a ball that was downed at the IND 4-yard line by Abdullah in coverage, restoring a little more life to the Death Star.

Being that the Colts’ offense was backed up toward the south end zone (where the Black Hole was in Oakland), Raider Nation at Allegiant Stadium played their part in getting rowdy. The Raiders’ defense absolutely fed off this energy, flying around and stuffing Indy on three consecutive plays (two runs and a short pass). Then, in a flash, the Colts punted the ball right back to Vegas.

The Raiders’ offense returned to action only to produce no yards on 1st or 2nd down. Then on 3rd & 10, Carr delivered a dime deep middle to Adams, who made the catch and engaged his rocket boosters, zooming 48 yards upfield and diving into the end zone for an enthralling score! It may be tough to remember the offseason mindset, but plays like that are precisely why the Raiders acquired Tae. Unfortunately, the Raiders also failed their 2-pt try, leaving the score at 20-19. Yes, Vegas is ahead, but we’ve seen this story before.

Fortunately for Raider Nation, the two sides of the ball would finally complement each other (a trying issue all 2022). After Adams’ highlight reel touchdown catch-and-run, Vegas’ defense took the field with some added swagger, allowing Ryan and the Colts to pick up only a single 1st down on the drive. After several incompletions, Indy punted back to the Raiders. Can the Silver & Black add another score when they need it most?

This time, the answer would be “no.” As they have too many times this year, the Raiders went three-and-out in a spot where they needed to kill time or add points. But, of course, going three and out does neither. So in no time at all, the ball is back with Indianapolis.

Perhaps the defense could then pick up the slack for the offense’s expeditious series? Unfortunately, on par with other games this season, the Raiders could not make the plays when they needed to. Somehow, the not-so-mobile Matt Ryan booted out to the right without anyone noticing he still had the ball, slowly running downfield for a 39-yard gain well into Vegas territory. Now in position to slowly put the game away, Ryan completed a pass to Pittman on the cusp of the red zone, but Sam Webb forced a fumble that the Raiders nearly recovered. Still, in a pivotal spot, the Colts somehow came away with the ball, allowing their drive to extend. Of course, on the very next play, Ryan found Campbell on a post for a 35-yard touchdown reception, bouncing off tacklers on the way to the end zone. Favorably, the Colts missed the ensuing 2-pt conversion, putting the pressure on the Raiders, down 25-20.

With five minutes left of game time, the Raiders put the game all on the line for this final drive. Carr methodically moved the offense downfield by utilizing Adams, Jacobs, and Hollins (picking up numerous 1st downs). After about 12 more plays, the offense eventually found themselves all the way down at Indy’s 16-yard line. With enough time, the Raiders would eventually be faced with a 4th & 7 inside the red zone. Trying a fade along the left side, Carr shortly floated a touch pass to Adams, but former DPOY Stephon Gilmore got both hands up and deflected the pass without ever turning his head (can someone remind me when the NFL decided that was no longer a penalty?) Just like that, it was a turnover-on-downs, and another one-score loss for the Raiders (their sixth of that nature), dropping further into the pit at 2-7: Colts win 25-20.




Raiders vs Colts
Photo Credit: The Atheltic

More of the same: Lack of consistency. Yet again, the Raiders showed flashes of positive production on offense but could not score more than once in any individual quarter (getting shutout in 1Q). Obviously, we see explosive plays from Jacobs and Adams just about every week, but never when the game is on the line. Adams managed to catch nine passes for 126 yards with a thrilling score on Sunday, but clearly, the team will need more from the supporting cast in these moments. With Renfrow and Waller sidelined for multiple weeks, something has got to give for Carr and the offense.


Raiders of old? Too many penalties. Week 10 reminded me of some of the old Oakland Raiders teams I watched at the Coliseum while growing up. The Raiders drew ten penalties for 74 yards, negating several productive plays. Compare that to the Colts’ four penalties for 25 yards in their first game under a coach with no NFL coaching experience: Go figure. Given Vegas’ current struggles, losing the penalty battle makes obtaining victory nearly impossible.


The defense did not look a lick better. Sure, Patrick Graham’s group was dealt a curveball when the incoming Colts decided to fire Frank Reich, and more so when Indianapolis pulled the oopty-oop on the Raiders by handing the QB reins back to Matt Ryan (despite Saturday claiming Ehlinger was the starter a few days earlier) but allowing the 15-year vet to come off an injury and beat you with a 39-yard scramble in the fourth quarter is unacceptable. Not to mention, RB Jonathan Taylor regained last year’s form, gashing Las Vegas for 147 yards and a touchdown.


Anticipate more changes. In what has turned into a nightmare of a season, the Raiders will start to look less and less like the previous era of Silver & Black (for better or worse). In the last week, we have already seen pretty staggering changes (including releasing former 1st-rounder Johnathan Abram), but as the losses continue, expect some other notable aspects to fade away.


The Raiders will next travel to the Mile High for their second contest against the division rival Denver Broncos. Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 20, at 1:05 pm, with the game airing locally on CBS channel 8 (radio play-by-play on RNR AM920).


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-Gabe Santiago – Franchise Sports Media

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