Raiders’ three-point stance: Three takeaways from the Raiders’ 42-28 loss to the Colts

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — In the battle between two of the NFL’s most promising quarterbacks, Andrew Luck got the better of Derek Carr as the Indianapolis Colts traveled to the West Coast and defeated the Raiders 42-28 on Sunday in front of 54,372 fans at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Sunday in Week 8.

Oakland finished with 347 yards of total offense and was 4-of-8 on third downs, but  couldn’t overcome running back Doug Martin’s (13 carries for 72 yards) fumble late in the fourth quarter in Oakland’s territory that was recovered by Indianapolis.

The Colts would capitalize on the game’s only turnover by adding another touchdown that put the game away for good for Indianapolis.

With the loss, Oakland’s streak of 16 straight wins in which they scored 21+ points in a game is snapped.

Checkout my three takeaways from Oakland’s sixth loss in their last five games:

Derek Carr quieted his critics, for now.
With Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper traded away for first-round draft picks in separate trades that pretty much cemented the Raiders were heading for a rebuild, the talk of trading Carr was growing louder by the moment.

For the first time this season, it appeared that Carr looked completely comfortable operating in the pocket. Carr finished the game completing 21-of-28 passes for 244 yards and accounted for all four of Oakland’s touchdowns (3 passing, 1 rushing). He finished the game with a blistering 136.6 passer rating and for the first time this season, wasn’t sacked in a game.

Carr tossed touchdowns to tight end Jared Cook (4 catches for 74 yards), and wide receivers Brandon LaFell (3 catches for 39 yards) and Seth Roberts (2 catches for 42 yards).

Running back Jalen Richard was Carr’s leading receiver, catching eight passes for 50 yards. Richard and the aforementioned Martin are expected to be the lead running backs with Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve with a groin injury.

I think its pretty safe to say that Carr won’t be going anywhere and will stay put once Tuesday’s NFL trading deadline at 1:00 p.m PT passes. Reports surfaced early Sunday that the organization “reassured” that Carr wasn’t going to be traded.

Colts’ offense looked effortless.
After throwing four touchdowns in last week’s 37-5 victory for the Colts over the Buffalo Bills in Indianapolis, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck threw three touchdowns against the Raiders. Sunday’s game marked the fifth straight game that Luck has thrown three or more touchdowns.

All three of Luck’s scores went to tight ends, as Jack Doyle (6 catches for 70 yards), Eric Ebron (3 catches for 37 yards) and Mo Alie-Cox (1 catch for 26 yards) each had a touchdown reception. Alie-Cox’s touchdown was a thing of beauty, catching it with one hand to give the Colts a 7-0 lead on the team’s first possession of the game.

Indianapolis racked up 461 yards of total offense, picked up 28 first downs, converted on 9-of-13 on third down, and dominated the time of possession holding onto the football for 36:30 to just 23:30 for the Raiders.

The game featured three punts, one by Indianapolis and two by Oakland.

Second-year running back Marlon Mack has established himself as the Colts’ lead ball carrier. Mack led a Colts’ ground game that rushed for 222 yards, their second straight game rushing for 200 yards this season. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Colts haven’t had back-to-back 200-yard rushing games in a season since 1985.

Mack, who finished with a career-high 132 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, has rushed for 100+ yards in back-to-back weeks after rushing for 126 yards on 19 carries (previous career-highs) and a touchdown last week against the Buffalo Bills.

Backup running back Nyheim Hines carried the ball 11 times for 78 yards.

Adam Vinatieri becomes the NFL’s all-time scorer, passing Hall of Famer Morten Andersen.
Vinatieri set the record as the NFL’s top all-time scorer in the first half. He kicked a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter to tie Morten Andersen with 2,544 points and then added a 25-yarder late in the second to set the record .

Vinatieri scored three more points, giving him 2,550 for his career.

Oakland (1-6) doesn’t have time to dwell on this latest loss, as they will play their Bay Area rival the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on Thursday Night Football at 5:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon. San Francisco lost a tough game to the Arizona Cardinals, 18-15, on Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale dropping the 49ers to 1-7 on the season.

The Colts (3-5) enter their Bye Week on a high note after their victory.

Raiders return home to host Colts in Week 8 following Bye Week

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — Returning from their Bye Week, the Raiders return to action in Week 8 as they will welcome the visiting Indianapolis Colts to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Sunday. Kickoff for the game is at 1:05 p.m. PT. It will be the first true home game for the Silver and Black since their Week 4 win over the Cleveland Browns 45-42 in overtime on Sept. 30.

The Raiders (1-5) are looking for back-to-back wins over the Colts after defeating Indianapolis 33-25 in Oakland on Christmas Eve in 2016. That was also the game where quarterback Derek Carr broke his fibula and was lost for the rest of the season in which Oakland, who were 12-3 at the time and heading into the playoffs for the first time since their Super Bowl season of 2002, prior to Carr’s injury.

Oakland (1-5) entered their Bye Week after losing to the Seattle Seahawks 27-3 in London, England in Week 6. Carr completed 23-of-31 passes for just 142 yards, but was sacked six times in the game. Oakland’s offense managed just 185 yards total and was just 4-of-12 on third downs.

Defensively, rookie defense end Arden Key made his first start of his career and recorded his first sack, but Oakland’s defense was gashed for 369 yards of total offense by Seattle.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 222 yards and three touchdowns (one interception by Raiders cornerback Daryl Worley, who was making his first start of the season for Oakland).

But the week off for Oakland would be an eventful one, as the team unexpectedly traded wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday. News of the trade was first reported by ESPN’s Josina Anderson. Dallas is sending Oakland a first-round pick in 2019 for the wideout, who has just 22 catches for 280 yards and one touchdown this season in six games.

The former first-round pick by Oakland in 2015 was in the NFL’s concussion protocol after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit against the Seahawks. In his first two seasons in the NFL out of Alabama, Cooper had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and was named to the Pro Bowl after each season.

With the team already dealing away star defensive end Khalil Mack to Chicago a week before the season for a 2019 first-round pick, and including their own (which could be in the top-five if the season continues to spiral downward), Oakland has three first-round picks in 2019.

You add the fact the team placed running back Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve with a groin injury, the Raiders will feature Doug Martin and Jalen Richard in the backfield the rest of the way. Richard’s career-high 31 receptions rank sixth among all running backs in 2018.

Indianapolis (2-5) drubbed the Buffalo Bills 37-5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 7.

Quarterback Andrew Luck completed 17-of-23 passes for 156 yards and four touchdowns. Luck has been hot in his last four games, throwing 15 touchdowns over that stretch. The Colts dominated the time of possession, controlling the game for 33:19 to Buffalo’s 26:41 and was nearly unstoppable on third downs, converting 7-of-13 chances (53 percent).

Second-year Marlon Mack rumbled over Buffalo’s defense, rushing the ball 19 times for 126 of the Colts’ 220 yards, the most rushing yards in a game for Indianapolis since 2007 per the Elias Sports Bureau.

Rookie linebacker Darrius Leonard was all over the field against the Bills, racking up 17 combined tackles (12 solo, 5 assisted). In six games this season for the Colts, the second-round pick in 2018 has recorded double-digit tackles in four of them including a career-high 19 combined tackles (15 solo, 4 assisted) in a 21-9 win over Washington back in Week 2.

Indianapolis’ defense sacked Bills quarterback Derek Anderson twice and intercepted him three times. The Colts limited Buffalo on third downs (2-of-9 for 22 percent).

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will travel to Santa Clara to take on their Bay Area rival, the San Francisco 49ers for Thursday Night Football, while the Colts will head home to host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday in an AFC South battle.