The Las Vegas Raiders have gotten strong performances from their defense over the past three weeks, a trend they hope to keep going this Sunday in Indianapolis. The Raiders are riding a two-game winning streak heading into their matchup with the Colts, and thanks to the wins over Los Angeles and Kansas City, they have kept their slim playoff hopes alive.
The Colts are also looking to solidify their spot in the AFC Playoffs, as a win on Sunday would move their potential to make the playoffs to nearly 80 percent. To beat the Raiders, they will have to do a much better job offensively than they did in Week 16, where they lost to the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 29-10.
Despite getting Jonathan Taylor back, the Colts offense was stagnant in that one, scoring a touchdown on their first drive, and then failing to get back into the end zone from then on. A big reason for the struggles of the offense, and in particular, Gardner Minshew in that matchup was the fact he was without Michael Pittman Jr.
Atlanta dodged a bullet with Pittman missing that one, but the Raiders may not be so lucky.
Raiders likely to face Pittman Jr. on Sunday
Pittman missed the Falcons game after taking a nasty hit from Damontae Kazee of the Pittsburgh Steelers the week before. While still in concussion protocol to start the week, Pittman was described as 'progressing well,' a sign that he could be ready to go by the time this matchup rolls around on Sunday.
The former USC Trojan is enjoying an outstanding fourth season in the NFL, and has already racked up over 1,000 receiving yards. That would make the second time in his first four years that he has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark, and his 99 catches match the career-high mark he set last season.
There is no doubt that Pittman is a special player, and getting him back will go a long way in the Colts beating the Raiders in front of the home crowd. However, the Raiders secondary has something special going right now, so even if Pittman does play, they should be able to hold their own against him.