Raiders: 3 Keys to victory against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 17
Key #1: Contain Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor has been nothing short of spectacular this season. The Wisconsin product is closing in on 2,000 total scrimmage yards and has already scored 19 total touchdowns. At present, he boasts the second-best odds to win the NFL MVP award, tied with Tom Brady and trailing only Aaron Rodgers.
If Taylor were to be named MVP, he would be the first running back to win the award since Adrian Peterson in 2012.
Following the Colts’ loss to the Titans on Halloween, Taylor has rushed for over 100 yards in six out of seven games. In those matchups, the Colts are 6-0. Indianapolis pretty clearly goes as their star running back goes.
For the Raiders to stand a chance of winning on Sunday, their first priority has to be containing Jonathan Taylor. While completely shutting down the 22-year-old MVP candidate seems unlikely, Las Vegas cannot allow Taylor to blow by the 100-yard mark on Sunday or they will stand no chance.
Luckily for Las Vegas, their rush defense looks to be much improved after a rocky start to the season. Two weeks ago, the Raiders held the Browns’ prolific rushing attack to just 89 yards on 24 carries, and were even more impressive last week against the Broncos, allowing an eye-opening eight yards on 14 carries between Denver’s two potential 1,000-yard rushers.
If the Raiders can repeat their impressive defensive performances on the ground from the last two weeks, Las Vegas will put themselves in a great position to win the game.