Video Credit: NFL

New FSM Essential Game Recap: Raiders vs Colts – Week 14

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Las Vegas Raiders (7-6)  |  Indianapolis Colts (9-4)

 

 

The Las Vegas Raiders playoff hopes took a big hit on Sunday as the Indianapolis Colts ran all over the Raiders to a 44-27 win in Sin City.

 

The Raiders’ play on defense was offensive. The Colts did what they want when they wanted to the Silver and Black. This was the eighth time in 13 games that Las Vegas’ opponent has scored more than 30 points. The Raiders have also allowed 41 more points than they’ve scored this season, despite the Silver and Black now being 7-6 on the season and still in the AFC wildcard playoff hunt.

On Sunday, however, Colts rookie running back Jonathan Taylor amassed 150 yards rushing, meaning that the Raiders have allowed 418 yards on the ground in the past two games and opponents will keep running at them for the rest of the season. Also, the Raiders had no sacks and just one quarterback hit against Indianapolis. Maxx Crosby is leading Las Vegas with six sacks, but he hasn’t had a sack in the last four games.

 

Raiders vs Colts
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Raiders

The same issues are persisting since Paul Guenther took over as defensive coordinator, and on Sunday night the Raiders announced that Guenther was fired with Rod Marinelli taking over the defense on an interim basis.

In a press release, the team said “The Raiders have relieved Paul Guenther of his duties as defensive coordinator. Defensive line coach Rod Marinelli will serve as interim defensive coordinator for the remainder of the 2020 season.”

 

 

Even the Colts couldn’t believe what they were able to do against the Raiders defense.

 

Raiders vs Colts
Photo Credit: Colts.com

“It’s hard to put up those numbers in this league, but we did it today, and we have the personnel to do that,” Colts Head Coach Frank Reich said after the game. “We have the personnel to be dominant in the run game and we have the personnel to be dominant in the pass game.”

Indianapolis racked up 456 total yards, including a whopping 212 on the ground, in its highest-scoring performance in its three seasons under Reich, and its biggest since 2014 overall. Their offensive superlatives prompted the Raiders to fire Guenther less than three hours after the final whistle.

While the Colts (9-4) haven’t clinched their second playoff berth in Reich’s three seasons, they appear to be in elite form as they head down the postseason stretch.

“I believed that we can be that good, but obviously this was a big day,” Reich said.

 

 

The Raiders offense was able to put up points, but the lack of defense and turnovers hurt the Silver and Black.

 

Raiders vs Colts
Photo Credit: Indianapolis Star

Derek Carr passed for 316 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Raiders (7-6), who have lost three of four after a strong start to their relocation season. “When you need a win against a team you’re battling with for a playoff spot and you don’t get it, it really rips your heart out,” Carr said.

Foster Moreau and Nelson Agholor delivered TD catches in the first half, but the offense couldn’t keep up while Indianapolis marched up and down the field to little resistance. Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden’s decision to fire Guenther means he will no longer have the defensive coordinator he’s worked with since Gruden’s return to NFL sidelines.

“We were in a situation where we had to score a touchdown every time we had the ball, it seemed,” Gruden said. “You get to the point where you second-guess everything you’re doing offensively every time you punt. It’s tough right now, but you have to stay confident that your players are going to put it together.”

Las Vegas has three games remaining against the Chargers, Dolphins and Broncos. To have a reasonable chance of making the playoffs, the Raiders would need to win all three of those games. Even in that event, they may need some help from other teams, a la Cleveland beating Baltimore on Monday night to help increase the Raiders’ postseason chances.

 

You can watch next week’s game on Thursday against the Chargers with kick-off scheduled for 5:25 PM PT on Fox and the NFL Network.

 

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Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Twitter: @JoeArrigo

 

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