A scoreless first quarter gave way to an onslaught of offense by both teams in the second. It began with an interception by Nate Allen off pressure on the blitz from Malcolm Smith to give the Raiders the ball with a short field.
After going 1-7 to begin the game, Derek Carr started to put it together, completing passes to Clive Walford, Amari Cooper, and Michael Crabtree to put the Raiders in first and goal at the 2-yard-line. Two pass interference calls on Vontae Davis had the Raiders in first and goal at the half yard line.
Carr lined up under center, which he had been doing off and on all game, and he threw the fade to Andre Holmes for the touchdown.
The Colts would answer quickly, gouging the Raiders defense on the ground with Frank Gore averaging 6 yards per carry. Then the Raiders secondary bit on the screen fake and Donte Moncrief got wide open behind them for the touchdown to tie it up at 7-7.
The pendulum swung right back to the Raiders offense, with Jalen Richard picking up 36 yards on three consecutive carries (12 yards per carry). Driven to the 5-yard-line, Carr found Clive Walford short, who spun out of a tackle attempt and trotted easily into the end zone for the score. Sebastian Janikowski missed the point after attempt to keep the score at 13-7.
No let up from the Colts offense on their following possession, driving to the Raiders’ 29-yard-line. Then Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack got pressure around the edges, forcing a bad pass from Luck and Reggie Nelson picked it off in the end zone.
Once again, the Raiders took advantage of the turnover, and once again drove for a late first half touchdown. Jalen Richard kept it going by ripping off a 19-yard run on first down. A 34-yard pass to Amari Cooper put the Raiders in scoring position. Then it was Richard again catching a short pass, breaking a tackle and scoring from 5 yards out. Janikowski’s point after attempt was blocked and the Raiders headed to the locker room up 19-7.
With momentum form the first half, the Raiders got the ball to start the second half and drove for another touchdown. This time it was DeAndre Washington who tagged in and began blowing past Colts defenders, running three times for 41 yards including a 22-yard touchdown run to make it 26-7.
Opportunistic Raiders defense showed up again on the ensuing Colts possession, with Malcolm Smith forcing a fumble on a Frank Gore run. TJ Carrie recovered to give the Raiders the ball at the Colts 38-yard-line.
In three plays, the Raiders were in the end zone again. And again it was a 22-yard run by DeAndre Washington up the middle. What was a scoreless game less than two quarters ago was now looking like a blowout with a 33-7 lead midway through the third quarter.
With a serious sense of urgency for the Colts, and the Raiders defense looking like they had already put it in cruise control, the Colts mounted a touchdown drive to make it a 33-14 game.
A long possession by the Raiders resulted in a fantastic special teams play. A Marquette King punt was headed for the end zone, but Andre Holmes leaned over the goal line to bat it back out and start the Colts at their own 4-yard-line and tilted the field position.
Then with 11:07 left in the game, Derek Carr dropped back to pass, scrambled around and was sacked. On the sack, his ankle twisted awkwardly, causing him to remain on the turf writhing in pain. He was eventually carted off the field and taken for X-rays.
The crowd of excited fans as well as an excited Raiders team was stunned. The Colts made a game of it, scoring a touchdown and a field goal to make it a one-score game late. A completion from Matt McGloin to Amari Cooper gave the Raiders the first down at the 2-minute warning and with no timeouts left, the Raiders kneeled out the clock.
They won the battle, but may have lost the war. We await the results of Carr’s X-ray to find out just how serious the injury is.
The Raiders improved to 12-3 on the season, still in line for a top seed and a first round bye in the playoffs. The Colts playoff hopes ended as they fall to 7-8.