The Bye is over so now it’s back to the grind of this 2018 NFL season. This game against the Indianapolis Colts in Oakland started out with the Raiders kicking off to the Colts. Indianapolis showed off why they are leading the league in 3rd down conversion percentages with 3 of them on their drive. They eventually scored with an absurd 1 handed touchdown catch by former basketball player Mo Allie-Cox. The opening drive score made it 7-0 Indianapolis.
Oakland’s offense went 3 and out on their opening drive after Jordy Nelson slipped on the 3rd down play. Again the Raiders defense just could not stop Andrew Luck and the Colts offense without giving up points. They did finally stop them on a 3rd down play though when they knocked down a pass on 3rd and 2 in the red zone. It was Luck’s first incomplete pass of the day and forced an Adam Vinatieri field goal to make the score 10-0 Colts.
The field goal from Vinatieri tied Morton Anderson’s all-time NFL points record so just one more point from the man who won the Tuck Rule game for the Patriots and he will have scored more points than anybody else in NFL history.
The Raiders narrowly avoided a second straight 3 and out but Derek Carr managed to throw a first down pass to a double covered Jared Cook while the pocket collapsed on top of him. The great play kickstarted the Oakland offense as they got a nice receiver screen to Brandon Lafell for a 1st down, followed by another first down by Dwayne Harris and then got their touchdown on a 31 yard pass down the seems to a wide open Seth Roberts on the next play after that. The touchdown made the score 10-7 Colts.
Indy’s offense went no where on their next drive thanks to Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley. He came up with a big pass deflection to force a 3 and out from Indy so the Colts had to use their punter for the first time of the game. That got the ball back to the Raiders offense who continued their strong momentum from the last drive. They went 69 yards in 7 plays and scored on another pass down the seam, this one a 25 yarder to Jared Cook. That touchdown gave the Raiders the lead 14-10 after starting the game down 10-0.
Unfortunately the Colts brilliantly switched up their game plan and proceeded to gash the Raiders repeatedly with the run game. The Raiders defense came up big in the red zone again though to force another Colts field goal. The chip shot field goal made the score 14-13 and set the All-Time points record for Adam Vinatieri. The Raiders kneeled out the remaining clock so Oakland went into the locker room with that 14-13 lead.
Oakland got the ball first in the 2nd half and their offense was still clicking better than we’ve seen from them almost all season. This drive featured 4 straight 1st down plays (catches by Lafell and Seth Roberts, followed by first down runs from Doug Martin and Jalen Richard) which helped them get into the red zone very quickly. They capped off the play yard drive with a 4th and goal QB sneak by Derek Carr for his first ever (How the hell did it take so long?!?) rushing touchdown. The play was originally ruled short but was overturned on review and made the score 21-13.
Indianapolis once again took advantage of the Raiders porous run defense with a 49 yard run to start out their next drive. They scored on 3rd down after that on another ridiculous jumping catch from a tight end. This time it was Eric Ebron on a 20 yard reception for the TD on the 4 play, 75 yard drive. They went for 2 and got it on a wide receiver screen to tie the game at 21.
The Oakland offense wasn’t bothered by the Colts quick score though, they kept their hot streak going again. They slashed right through the Indy defense with a mix of runs and passes that included a 30 yarder to Jared Cook followed by an 11 yard Doug Martin run on the next play to get down to the Indianapolis 11. They got their touchdown on 3rd down after that on a pass to Brandon Lafell with Carr getting away from two defenders to throw the dart to Lafell. The touchdown gave the Raiders the lead again at 28-21.
Back and forth we go though because the Raiders defense just can not get off the field without giving up points. The biggest play on the drive was a 34 yard completion to T.Y. Hilton on a 1st and 20 play down to the Oakland 15. They got their touchdown on a 3rd and goal run through the middle of the defense right after Erik Harris dropped an interception in the end zone the play before. The touchdown run from Marlon Mack tied the game once again, 28-28.
The back and forth ended on the Raiders next drive along with Derek Carr’s 17 straight pass completions. Unfortunately that streak ended on a 3rd down pass that Carr just lofted over the receivers head. Making things worse, Johnny Townsend did yet another dud of a punt in his terrible rookie season, this one only netted 24 yards after a nasty bounce backwards on the kick. The Colts started at their own 43 yard line and quickly decimated the Raiders defense for another TD to retake the lead 35-28. This TD was an NFL record 3rd different TE of the Colts to score, this time it was Jack Doyle. Doyle had 4 catches for 52 yards and the TD on the drive.
The first play of the Raiders next drive Doug Martin fumbled the ball and Indianapolis recovered it at the Oakland 28 with 5:16 left in the 4th. They took advantage of the turnover and eventually scored on another goal line touchdown run from Marlon Mack. That made the score 42-28 Indianapolis, they have out scored Oakland 21-0 in the 4th quarter.
The Raiders got the ball back with 3 minutes to go but down 2 touchdowns. They couldn’t get in rhythm on the drive and turned the ball over on downs back to the Colts. Indianapolis then ran out the rest of the clock with Jon Gruden choosing not to use his 2 remaining timeouts to delay the inevitable. Raiders lose 42-28.