After two unforgettable wins, the Las Vegas Raiders sagged Sunday in a 23-20 loss (it wasn’t as close as the score indicated) at the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday:
Let’s take a look at the key aspects of the game:
What it means:
The Raiders are officially out of playoff contention. They were eliminated at the same point of the season last year when they went 6-11. It was fun against AFC West rivals, the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs in the past two games, but the Raiders were flat and outplayed for much of this game by the Colts are still in playoff contention. The Raiders fell to 1-4 in early starts this season. Now, it’s all about draft order in Las Vegas. They entered the week in the No. 13 slot. The Raiders will have a losing season for the 16th time in the past 21 seasons and now have gone 21 seasons without winning a division title, which is tied for the second longest streak in the NFL.
The Raiders never truly seemed to be in the game. They were down by double digits at couple of different points and the Raiders cut it within three points with a touchdown in the final minute. They could not recover the onside kick. Ball game.
Backup tight end Cole Fotheringham hurt his hamstring in the second quarter. The Raiders are banged up at the position. Austin Hooper was the only other active tight end Sunday. Left tackle Thayer Munford injured his knee in the third quarter, Defensive end Malcolm Koonce was shaken up in the fourth quarter,
Munford starts again:
The Raiders are easing left tackle Kolton Miller back in as Thayer Munford started for him at left tackle again. Miller has been active the past two games but hasn’t started. He missed four of the previous five games with a shoulder injury. Munford did get hurt in the third quarter, though and Miller went in to play.
Raiders’ cornerback Jack Jones, who was a hero in the past two games with interception returns for scores, was offsides on a missed field-goal attempt in the fourth quarter. The Colts converted the next try to take a 10-point lead with 3:11 to go. The Raiders came into the game as the least penalized team in the NFL, but they struggled with flags Sunday.
No big start on D:
The Raiders entered the game forcing 3-and-outs in nine of their first 15 games, which led the NFL. Yet, on third and five on the first drive, the Colts hit a big 54-yard pass play and then scored a touchdown. Las Vegas allowed just 19 points on opening drives this season, which was tied for the fifth best in the league, according to The Associated Press.
What’s next: The Raiders host the Denver Broncos next weekend.