We knew this would be a tough game and it was.
Let’s look at five keys to the Las Vegas Raiders’ 44-27 home loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday — and the subsequent playoff picture for Gruden, Carr and co.
Defense is awful:
We’re 13 games into the season and it is not getting any better. The Raiders defense is what it is ... and it is awful. This was the eighth time in 13 games that Las Vegas’ opponent has scored more than 30 points. The Raiders have also allowed 41 more points than they’ve scored this season, despite being 7-6.
On Sunday, Colts rookie running back Jonathan Taylor had 150 yards rushing, meaning that the Raiders have allowed 418 yards on the ground in the past two games and opponents will keep running at them for the rest of the season. Also, the Raiders had no sacks and just one quarterback hit against Indy. Maxx Crosby is leading Las Vegas with six sacks, but he hasn’t had a sack in the last four games. The same issues are persisting.
Philip Rivers gets last laugh:
This was Philip Rivers’ 29th game against the Raiders, the most of any opponent. If this was the final time the 39-year-old QB played against the Raiders, it was a good one. He threw for two touchdowns and didn’t have an interception. He was much better on Sunday than he was in two losses to the Raiders with the Chargers in 2019.
Johnathan Abram struggles:
The second-year safety had a rough day. He had another inexcusable personal foul and he was burned a few times. Abram has not been good in coverage this season and he often takes bad angles. Abram, a 2019 first-round pick who missed all but one game last season, is still learning and he has nice potential, but there are areas he needs to clean up.
Raiders didn’t finish enough drives:
The Las Vegas offense was solid Sunday against a good defense, but it had two long drives in the second half that stalled in the red zone and they had to settle for field goals. With this Raiders’ defense, that simply won’t work against good teams. It’s touchdown or bust for this offense.
Have to figure out to win in Vegas:
Road teams have won more than the home team in this crazy 2020 NFL season, so losing at home is a league-wide issue. But the Raiders need to find a way to win in their beautiful new home of Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The Raiders fell to 2-4 at home this season and they are 5-2 on the road. With two straight home games (Thursday against the Los Angeles Chargers and Dec. 26 against the Miami Dolphins), the Raiders have to figure how to win at home or there will be no playoffs for sure.