Week 17 brings a crucial AFC battle inside Lucas Oil Stadium, as the Las Vegas Raiders travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts. This matchup resembles the Week 17 matchup from two years ago, when the Raiders went to Indianapolis with their playoff hopes on the line and came away with a 23-20 victory.
For the Raiders, that would be the third game in a row that they have won this season, and would bump their playoff odds up to 30 percent heading into Week 18. To consider that they were 5-8 only a few weeks ago, and coming off a 3-0 loss out of the bye week, it would be another incredible run by this franchise in recent memory.
Here is our official game preview and prediction for this AFC battle.
Raiders at Colts 2023 Week 17: Game Preview
This matchup is a must-win for both franchises, as the Colts would be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss as well. The logjam of teams in the AFC at either 7-8 or 8-7 is a long one, and this game will go a long way in straightening things out heading into the final game of the season in Week 18.
Jonathan Taylor returned for the Colts last week against the Falcons, but the offense was stagnant even with him back in the lineup. Having Michael Pittman Jr. out in that game really hindered the passing attack, and in the end, they were on the wrong side of a 29-10 outcome.
For the Raiders, their win on Christmas Day was one of the biggest in recent memory for this franchise, and it might have won Antonio Pierce the full-time head coaching position in 2024. The Raiders have won two straight to keep their playoff hopes alive, but will need to win out and get a lot of help if they hope to be playing as a Wild Card team, or possibly even as AFC West champs.
Raiders at Colts 2023 Week 17: Game Prediction
The Raiders will go into this game as underdogs on the road, but that did not seem to phase them as they went into Kansas City and beat the Chiefs on Christmas Day. The truth is, this is a team playing for their head coach's future right now, and the defense is one of the best in the NFL all of a sudden.
The issue with the Raiders has been the passing game, as it has been nearly non-existent in two of the last three games. If they can get it going like they did in Week 15, where Aidan O'Connell threw for nearly 250 yards and four scores, they could be an unbeatable team down the stretch.
Indianapolis gets Pittman Jr. back for this one, so that is something to keep an eye on, as is the fact that Josh Jacobs is not likely to go. It will be a back-and-forth battle throughout, but in the end, I feel the Raiders defense will be too much for the Colts on Sunday.
Final Score: Raiders 21, Colts 17