Post-Game Recap: Oakland Raiders vs. Indianapolis Colts

Dec 24, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) gestures before the snap against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 24, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) gestures before the snap against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Post-game recap of the Oakland Raiders Week 16 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts.

On Christmas Eve, Raider Nation already had a few items on their Christmas List crossed off, thanks to the Oakland Raiders clinching a playoff spot the previous week. On Saturday against the Colts, at least two other things were crossed off the list early in the game, as Mario Edwards Jr. made his season debut and Derek Carr took snaps under center.

Sitting at 11-3 on the season and atop the AFC West, Oakland needed a win to stay ahead of Kansas City for the division lead and on track for a first-round bye. The Raiders needed some help from the Jets (with a win over the Patriots) to gain ground on the #1 seed, but the Jets did Jets things and lost 41-3.

So without the ability to gain any ground, all Oakland could do was take care of business and stay a game up on the Chiefs with a win.

The Raiders won the coin toss and deferred, per usual. And like the defense has done so many times this season, they started the game with a stop. The only touchdown Oakland’s defense has surrendered on an opening drive this year came last week against San Diego.

For the first time in three weeks, Derek Carr ran a play under center — a play action throw downfield. The pass fell incomplete, but it was just great to see Carr back under center. The Raiders had to punt a few plays later.

Andrew Luck started Indy’s next drive with a 45-yard completion to tight end Erik Swoope, down to Oakland’s 30-yard line. The Raiders defense held tough, forcing the Colts to march out Adam Vinatieri (Raiders Public Enemy No. 2) for a 48-yard attempt. Except Chuck Pagano dialed up a fake, with holder/punter Pat McAfee attempting to take off with the ball. Daren Bates put a stop to that.

Oakland’s second offensive drive was made up of three straight incompletions. But when the Colts took back over, Malcolm Smith and Dan Williams laid a hit on Andrew Luck as the ball was being thrown, and Nate Allen came up with a diving interception.

The Raiders offense, unlike in recent weeks, was finally able to capitalize on the turnover. Carr led the troops on a 12-play, 54-yard drive that was capped by an Andre Holmes fade-route for the score. 7-0 lead.

Luck wouldn’t be outdone, leading his offense on a 9-play, 75-yard drive, with Donte Moncrief being all by himself on a 24-yard touchdown to tie the game. The Colts drew up a nifty fake screen play that the defense bit on, which led to Moncrief being wide open in the end zone. 7-7, tie game.

For the third drive in a row (and the second consecutive for the Raiders), a touchdown was scored. Jalen Richard was the star of the drive, picking up gains of 15, 12 and 9 yards on three straight carries. After that, Carr found Walford for a 5-yard touchdown, who spun off a tackle and walked into the end zone. The drive lasted 8 plays and went 79 yards, but unfortunately, Sebastian Janikowski missed his first PAT of the year. 13-7 lead.

The Colts offense was once again rolling, getting down to Oakland’s 29-yard line in a hurry. But on a shot to the end zone, newly selected Pro Bowl safety Reggie Nelson made a great play, coming down with an interception. It was the second turnover of the first half for the Raiders defense.

For the second time in the game, the Raiders offense capitalized on a turnover. Carr looked as good as he has in weeks, leading the offense 80 yards on 6 plays in just 55 seconds. A 34-yard completion to Amari Cooper was the highlight of the drive, which was capped by Carr’s third touchdown pass of the first half on a screen to Jalen Richard. Janikowski’s PAT was tipped and hit the right upright. 19-7 lead.

To start the second half, the offense picked up right where they left off. 7 plays for 77 yards later, and the Raiders had extended the lead to 26-7. DeAndre Washington had runs of 9 and 10 yards, before picking up 22 en route to his first career touchdown.

On Indy’s next drive, the Oakland defense would register their third turnover of the day — and the second in which Malcolm Smith was directly responsible for. He punched out the ball on a completion, which was recovered by T.J. Carrie.

And like had been the theme of the game, the offense once again found the end zone on the ensuing drive. After scoring his first career touchdown just a few minutes early, Washington decided to make another visit to the end zone. Coincidentally enough, it was once again a 22-yard gain that he scored on. 33-7, Oakland, and the rout was on.

The Colts didn’t just roll over and give up, however. Their offense finally got something going, marching 75 yards on 8 plays to bring the deficit to 33-14. Luck completed passes to five different receivers on the drive, and ended the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Robert Turbin.

With a comfortable lead and the game feeling like it was on cruise control, it all came crashing down for the Raiders. With 11 minutes to go in the game, Trent Cole sacked Carr — Derek’s ankle got stuck in the ground as he was being twisted down the ground. He immediately signaled the sideline clearly in pain, and he appeared to say “it’s broken” several times as he stared at his right ankle.

Carr was unable to put any pressure on his right leg, and had to be helped off the field. He was treated on the sideline by the training staff, with players and staff members alike circling around Carr and holding towels in the air around him, for privacy. An air cast was placed on his right ankle, and he was carted into the locker room.

The Raiders punted on the drive, and the Colts scored a touchdown the next time down — 33-22, Raiders after the two-point conversion.

Indianapolis put together another scoring drive, kicking a field goal, making it 18 unanswered points for the Colts. 33-25, Raiders.

That would prove to be the final score. Oakland moved to 12-3 on the season with a win.

In the post-game press conference, Jack Del Rio said that Carr has a break in his fibula and will have surgery tomorrow. Out indefinitely.

Carr was 20 for 30 for 228 yards and 3 TDs. The one sack he took was the play he was injured on.

The run game had 37 carries for 210 yards (5.7 YPC) and 2 TDs, both courtesy of DeAndre Washington, who led the way with 12 carries for 99 yards. Jalen Richard had 6 carries for 66 yards.

Crabtree had 7 catches for 90 yards. Amari Cooper had 4 catches for 72 yards.

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