Text and photos by R. Mascardo
OAKLAND — The Oakland Raiders defeated the Indianapolis Colts 33-25 at the homefront.
But the loss of quarterback Derek Carr to a broken fibula is a crushing blow to championship aspirations. Colts OLB Trent Cole sacked Carr, twisting his lower right leg. Carr sat on the turf for an eternity.
The entire offensive line kept Carr mostly clean. Colts could not muster any sustain pressure, despite rotations and various blitz packages.
The Raiders’ line opened up big holes for their backs to scamper through. RBs DeAndre Washington ran for 95 yards on 12 carries while Jalen Richard and Latavius Murray tallied 66 and 40 yards respectively. The nature of this line is to batter, manhandle and dominate opposing defense.
For the first half, defensive coordinator Ken Norton’s scheme confused Indianapolis, limiting the Colts to seven points. In the second half the scheme dissolved.
When forced to strictly rely on the passing game to close the distance, Andrew Luck carved up the Raiders’ defense time and again with patience and pinpoint accuracy.
Carr has been the driving force for the Raiders’ 12-3. Carr had 25 touchdowns and six interceptions this season, heading into Saturday’s game. Oakland is in first place, but the 10-4 Kansas City Chiefs are right behind them and own the tie-breaker.
Last week the Raiders clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2002. But the good vibes for this season faded away when their quarterback was helped off the field.
While 12-3 is an outstanding accomplishment, Raider Nation turn its life to bac-up quarterback Matt McGloin. There is a sense of impending doom and gloom.
NEXT: The Raiders travel to Denver, closing out 2016 facing the Broncos with a win and Oakland clinches a first round bye