After the Las Vegas Raiders squeaked out a victory in the final seconds last week, they’ll look to stay in the win column as they search for their eighth win of the season. Our staff of Silver and Black Today provide their predictions for the Colts vs. Raiders Week 14 contest.
Essentially, the playoffs have already begun for the Raiders. Another loss to their season would presumably end their playoff hopes. The Raiders currently sit on the outside looking in on the AFC playoff picture, but a win over the Colts would move them into the No. 7 seed.
Indianapolis enters this week’s Colts vs. Raiders matchup having won five of their last seven games. Plus, quarterback Phillip Rivers has tossed eight touchdowns to just two interceptions over his last four games. While the Raiders have plummeted of late, the Colts appear to be getting stronger as the season progresses.
The Week 14 injury report shows the Raiders are once again set to be without key contributors. Cornerback Damon Arnette (concussion/neck) and safety Jeff Heath (concussion), will both be out for Sunday’s game. Furthermore, safety Jonathan Abram (knee), running back Josh Jacobs (ankle) and cornerback Isaiah Johnson (groin), are all listed as questionable.
While the Raiders have significant injuries to overcome, they’re not alone. The Colts also have a sizeable list of players on this week’s injury report. Punter Rigoberto Sanchez (illness) is the lone player listed as out. However, offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (knee), defensive tackle Tyquan Lewis (hip) and linebacker Bobby Okereke (ankle), are all listed as questionable.
Here are our staff predictions ahead of Sunday’s Colts vs. Raiders Week 14 matchup inside Allegiant Stadium:
Scott Gulbransen, Founder/Publisher
As someone who owns a Raiders news website, and hosts a daily radio show on Raider Nation Radio 920, I want nothing more than Las Vegas to make the playoffs. Fans in Raider Nation deserve it, the suffering city of Las Vegas deserves it and it makes covering the team this late in the season a blast. That said, with so many uncertainties around injuries and an offense that seems to be out of gear, my gut doesn’t have a great feel for this game. I’d like to pick the Raiders in a close game, but the last two weeks have shaken my confidence. Either the Raiders win late by a field goal, or they aren’t able to seal the deal. Colts 34, Raiders 30.
Maurice Moton, Sr. Columnist
The Las Vegas Raiders have lost their way on the ground over the last three weeks, averaging 67 yards per game in that span. The offensive line has also struggled with heavy blitz schemes. The Indianapolis Colts field the seventh-ranked run defense. Justin Houston, DeForest Buckner and Denico Autry have 18 sacks combined. This isn’t the spot for a get-right game even if right tackle Trent Brown and running back Josh Jacobs suit up. Despite last week’s victory over the winless New York Jets, the Silver and Black lack an identity going into a crucial matchup. Colts 30, Raiders 23
Nick Cothrel, Staff Writer
The Raiders have shown this season they can beat anybody, but they’ve also shown they can lose to anybody. This game largely boils down to which Raiders team is going to show up. Will it be the team who beat the Saints and Chiefs, or will it be the team who lost to the Falcons, and needed a last-second miracle to beat the Jets? Another factor for the Raiders is the significant injuries that continue to pile up. Because of the Raiders’ inconsistent play and the relatively long list of injuries, I’m taking the Colts in this one. Colts 27, Raiders 24
Phil Robinson III, Staff Writer
I’ve followed this team for a long time, and as any veteran of Raider Nation will tell you: this is about the time of year that things go to the birds. Injuries have mounted, guys are all playing hurt and it shows in the quality of football being played. The Colts on the other hand are surging. That being said, I think the Raiders beat all the top competition they were going to face early in the season. The last two weeks have shown inconsistencies across both sides of the ball and shaken my faith in their ability to get this one done. Colts 31, Raiders 10
Noah Strang, Staff Writer
Have we finally arrived at the dreaded late-season collapse that Raiders fans know all too well? The last two weeks have completely turned the tide of the season and Las Vegas is entering the most crucial part of its schedule. Which Raiders team will show up? The one we’ve seen in the contests against the Chiefs, or the one who needs a miraculous last-second play to beat a winless Jets team? The Raiders may get some crucial players back this week but I think they come up just short against a strong Colts team. Colts 24, Raiders 21
Chaz Osborne, Staff Writer
If the Raiders win out, they’re in the playoffs, period. This is a week-to-week league. The Colts didn’t care that they were blown out by the Titans two weeks ago. They came back and beat a streaking Texans team that had won three of their previous four games. The same goes for the Raiders. Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong in Atlanta, and they came back to win an early start east coast game. Yes, the Raiders actually won that game in New York. It amazes me how much credit the Raiders get for losing to the Chiefs and how much criticism they received for beating the Jets. The Raiders aren’t looking back, but rather they’re focused on the task at hand and will show Philip Rivers the same courtesy they did last season. Raiders 30, Colts 27