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Raiders-Colts Week 17: 5 things to watch

Keys to a road win

Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts
Michael Pittman
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders play at the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at 10 a.m.. Here are five keys to a Raiders’ win:

Make plays in defensive passing game:

The Raiders (who played great against Patrick Mahomes in Week 16) have played a parade of backup quarterbacks or low-level starters this season. That continues this week as they face Gardner Minshew, who is playing because Colts first-round pick Anthony Richardson is out for the year. Minshew is not great, but he is spunky and top receiver Michael Pittman is having a monster season. The Raiders’ secondary has to make sure Pittman doesn’t take over.

Stop the ground game:

Jonathan Taylor has been hurt, but he should be able to play and he’s dangerous. The Raiders have to make sure the Colts don’t get rolling on the ground.

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Aidan O’Connell
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Smart quarterback play:

Aidan O’Connell doesn’t have to take over games, but if he can play smart, clean football, it will give the Raiders a strong chance to win. O’Connell, who struggled at Kansas City, is playing to show he should be the starting quarterback in 2024. A good game in Indianapolis will help O’Connell’s cause.

Get takeaways:

The Raiders’ defense has gotten pretty good at takeaways and they need to find a way to get it done n this game. The Colts are a solid team and they’re playing for their playoffs chances. This will be a hard-fought and likely be a close game. The Raiders may not have to score two defensive touchdowns for the third straight game, but takeaways will give the Raiders a chance to win this game.

Play smart overall:

The Raiders have cut down greatly on penalties this season and that’s need to be part of their approach in this game. Because the Colts are going to be focused on getting to the playoffs and because it should be a close game, the Raiders have to play a smart game. The fewer the mistakes the better.