Photo credit: @newswire_nfl
By Jeremy Kahn
OAKLAND — After Andrew Luck threw his third touchdown pass of the afternoon, the Oakland Raiders got the ball back with a chance to tie the game late in the game; however, the Indianapolis Colts were having none of that.
Matthew Adams recovered a Doug Martin fumble that was forced by Darius Leonard at the Raiders’ 26-yard line, and the Colts and five play Marlon Mack put the game away with a one-yard run, helping the Colts complete 21-0 run on their way to a 42-28 victory over the Raiders before a crowd of 54,372 at the Coliseum on Sunday.
“It was a tough loss. They took control of the game offensively, they ran the ball repeatedly, they possessed the ball and made it tough on us. I thought we hung in there and fought,” said head coach Jon Gruden.
The Martin fumble was the only turnover of the game that saw the two offenses combine for 808 yards of total offense.
“Very disappointed. Both sides were playing hard, having a good game, offensively, defensively. To fumble like that in the end, it but a lot of went out there and played their hearts out. They put it all out there on the field. I’m really proud of ourselves,” said Martin.
Luck, who played his college football down the road at Stanford, threw three touchdowns, as he went 22-for-31 for 239 yards on the afternoon.
All three of his touchdowns went to three different tight ends, as Mo Alie-Cox, Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle were on the receiving end of the touchdowns.
The Luck touchdown pass to Doyle with 5:28 remaining in the game gave the Colts the lead for good, and then Mack put it away two minutes and 33 seconds later, as he scored from one yard out.
Luck’s first touchdown pass to Alie-Cox “was Michael Jordan esque,” according to Gruden, as the tight end made a fabulous one-handed catch in the end zone to give the Colts a quick 7-0 lead after their 11 play 75-yard opening drive.
As fate would have it, the six foot five inch Alie-Cox also played college basketball at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Mack ran for a career-high 132 yards and those two touchdowns. Just last week, Mack ran for a then career-high 126 yards in last week’s game versus the Buffalo Bills.
Derek Carr also threw three touchdowns, and ran for one, but the Raiders fell 1-6 on the season and face a short week, as they travel down interstate 880 to face the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on Thursday night.
After the Raiders were unable to get a first down on their first series of the game, the Colts drove the field and settled for a 26-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri, as the first quarter came to an end, giving the Colts a 10-0 lead.
Carr got the Raiders back into the game on their drive, as he found Seth Roberts for a 31-yard touchdown pass to cut the Colts lead down to 10-7.
Following a three-and-out by the Colts, Carr once managed to get the Raiders into the end zone, as he found Jared Cook for a 25-yard touchdown pass. The Raiders were helped out by three defensive penalties on the Colts defense.
The Colts cut the Raiders lead down to one, as Vinatieri kicked a 25-yard field goal and the veteran kicker made NFL history on that field goal.
Vinatieri passed Morten Andersen for most points scored in NFL history on the field goal, as the game was stopped and the entire Colts team came out to greet the 23-year veteran out of South Dakota State University.
Carr and the Raiders got all the way down to the Colts one-yard line, and on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line, Carr scored on a one-yard run that was originally ruled no good; however, there was a penalty and then Gruden challenged the call. The officials looked at it, and it was overturned, giving the Raiders a 21-13 lead.
It was the first NFL rushing touchdown for Carr, and it was the first one by a Raiders quarter since Terrelle Pryor scored on a 93-yard touchdown run against the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 27, 2013.
The duo of Luck and Mack drove the Colts right back down the field, as Mack gained 49 yards on a first down run, then after a Nyheim Hines six-yard run, Luck found Ebron for a 20-yard touchdown pass to cut the Raiders lead down to 21-19. The Colts went for two points on the ensuing conversion, as Luck found Chester Rogers for the two-point conversion that tied up the game.
Carr gave the Raiders the lead again on their possession, as the big play came when Carr found Cook for a 30-yard pass play to get the Raiders down to the Colts 22.
Martin then took over on the ground, as he carried the next two times for a combined 16 yards and then Carr gave the Raiders the lead, when he found Brandon LaFell for a six-yard touchdown pass.
Mack then tied up the game once again, as he scored from four yards out, four plays after Luck’s only completion of the afternoon to T.Y. Hilton that went for 34 yards.
After another quick offensive series by the Raiders, and an abysmal 25-yard punt by rookie Johnny Townsend gave the Colts great field position at their own 43-yard line.
Six plays later, Luck found Ebron for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown from 10 yards out.
After the Martin fumble that gave the ball back to the Colts, Mack put the game away, as he scored on a one-yard run.
Carr attempted to get the Raiders back into the game, but his fourth down pass to LaFell went incomplete and the Colts ran out the clock.
NOTES: Mack is just the seventh 100-yard rusher for the Colts in the seven seasons since Luck was drafted out of Stanford with the number one pick in the 2012 draft.
The second-year back out of the University of South Florida is the first Colts running back since Joseph Addai during the 2007 season to have back-to-back 100-yard games.
Raiders Offensive Lineman T.J. Clemmings was forced to leave the game with a knee injury in the second quarter. Former Raiders Safety Mike Mitchell left the game for the Colts in the second half with a calf injury.
UP NEXT: The Raiders travel to Levi’s Stadium for the first time ever, as they face the 49ers on Thursday night at 5:20 pm PT. This will be the first meeting between the teams since the Raiders’ 24-13 victory over the 49ers on December 7, 2014 at the Coliseum.
According to Pro Football Reference, there have been 784 prime-time games played in the NFL on November 1 or later and the matchup between the Raiders and 49ers will have a combined winning percentage of .133, the lowest winning percentage of any matchup in history.