Raiders vs jaguars
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

 

New FSM Game Preview: Raiders vs Colts – Week 10

Las Vegas Raiders (2-6) | Indianapolis Colts (3-5-1)

Franchise Sports Media

 

Raiders vs Colts
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

As we reach the Week 10 spot of the 2022 NFL calendar, the entire league is in a whirlwind. Two of the game’s all-time greats (Brady & Rodgers) are struggling mightily, the New York football teams are solid, Geno Smith has been a top-three quarterback and has Seattle buzzing, the hyper-talented Raiders are drastically underperforming, and the Colts have just fired their head coach in lieu of former All-Pro C Jeff Saturday. Yes, I was listening to “Ballroom Blitz” when I wrote that sentence.

As for the latter two situations in flux, Vegas and Indianapolis are currently near the bottom of the NFL barrel. The Raiders, coming off another one-score loss on the road, have just parted ways with another recent first-round pick in S Johnathan Abram. The Colts are essentially starting from scratch (especially when you consider their decision to ride with rookie-QB Sam Ehlinger).

Naturally, Sunday’s upcoming contest between the two AFC sides has all the potential to be tumultuous, but as always, the beat goes on. Ironically, if there was a team hurting worse than the Raiders right now, it’s probably the Colts.

UPDATE: LB Divine Deablo (arm), TE Darren Waller (hamstring) and WR Hunter Renfrow (ribs) have been placed in the Injured Reserve. Additionally, LB Blake Martinez has suddenly retired after leading the Raiders in tackles (11) last Sunday; I wonder if that rare Pikachu Pokemon card that Martinez recently sold for over half-a-million dollars had anything to do with it …

 

Previous contests:

 

HOF game: Raiders 27 – Jaguars 11
PRE1: Raiders 26 – Vikings 20
PRE2: Raiders 15 – Dolphins 13

PRE3: Raiders 23 – Patriots 6

WK1: Chargers 24 – Raiders 19 (L)
WK2: Cardinals 29 – Raiders 23 (OT)/(L)
WK3: Titans 24 – Raiders 22 (L)
WK4: Raiders 32 – Broncos 23 (W)
WK5: Chiefs 30 – Raiders 29 (L)
WK6: 
BYE
WK7: Raiders 38 – Texans 20 (W)
WK8: Saints 24 – Raiders 0 (L)
WK9: Jaguars 27 – Raiders 20 (L)

 

KEYS TO THE GAME:

 

Pervasive productivity

Raiders vs Colts
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Clearly, the Raiders’ most looming issue has been their inability to consistently put together a complete performance through all four quarters. For anyone who has been keenly watching, Las Vegas obviously has had stretches of success in every game, excluding the stinker in New Orleans. Especially on offense, the Raiders have shown periodical dominance, but as is common knowledge, a total effort is required to thrive in this league.

We’ve all heard the chatter and followed assumptions stemming from WR Davante Adams’ recent post-game comments, and McDaniels seems to have articulated an understanding between the two. The frustration is derived from losing combined with the aforementioned up-and-down offensive production (the Raiders had over 250 yards of offense and 20 points in the first half against Jacksonville and barely managed 70 yards en route to getting shutout in the second half). Against a Colts team that is bleeding themselves, Vegas can get on a hot streak. However, they’ll need to look out for All-Pro defenders LB Shaq Leonard and DT DeForest Buckner. There’s also a familiar face in DE Yannick Ngakoue on the other side.


Derailing the J-Train

RB Jonathan Taylor set the league on fire last season, bulldozing his way to 1,811 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns as a sophomore in the NFL. Fast forward to this year, and JT is learning a little more about how the other side of the pillow feels, ailing behind a struggling offensive line that is actually that highest paid in the league. When Taylor has been healthy in 2022 (ankle), he has not had the same productivity. Simply, we may not see him Sunday, and we may not see him at full strength at all this year.

The Colts also recently dealt away Taylor’s primary backup, Nyheim Hines. Given the struggles of Indy’s O-line and the growing pains of rookie Sam Ehlinger, it may be difficult for the Colts to establish a ground attack. If Taylor can’t go on Sunday, the Raiders’ defense may have their easiest challenge of the season. Given Vegas’ overall record, they obviously cannot treat it as such.


Shooting craps

On par with one of Las Vegas’ most beloved pastimes, Indianapolis’ game plan under Jeff Saturday will be unpredictable. Given his familiarity with the culture and relationship with Colts’ team owner Jim Irsay, it’s safe to say that some of who he was as a player will rub off into his preparation. As a former interior lineman, and considering the Colts’ struggles at that spot, the emphasis will likely be there. I mentioned that Taylor is not full strength, but we do know that Saturday prefers to run the ball even if Peyton Manning were on the field.


Coaching matchup

Raiders vs Colts
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Well, I started writing this preview on Sunday night and was completely ready to compare and contrast McDaniels’ coaching schemes with that of Frank Reich. Naturally, much has changed for Indianapolis between then and now. With no prior college or NFL coaching experience, here comes former All-Pro center Jeff Saturday. Of course, Saturday served as a member of the Colts for 12 seasons, snapping the ball to the great Peyton Manning (winning Super Bowl XLI along the way).

This sort of move is somewhat unprecedented, so despite McDaniels’ current struggles, it’s tough to give the edge to a recently-inserted first-time coach in the middle of a season. The one advantage Saturday may have? There’s no tape on him as a head coach. Still, I can’t imagine this move by the Colts went over particularly well with the players (and some other members of the coaching staff that Irsay passed over). I’m not sure what we’re in for this Sunday, but I give the edge to McDaniels.

 

INJURY REPORT:

Below are Thursday’s (Nov. 10) practice participation sheets for the Raiders and Colts. Remember, Deablo, Renfrow & Waller were placed on the IR and will be out at least four weeks.

Las Vegas – LB Darien Butler (Limited – Hip), QB Derek Carr (Full – Back), WR Keelan Cole (Full – Knee), LB Denzel Perryman (Limited – Hip/ribs).

Indianapolis – TE Mo Alie-Cox (DNP – Ankle), DB Tony Brown (Limited – Hamstring), RB Deon Jackson (DNP – Knee), QB Matt Ryan (Full – Shoulder), TE Jelani Woods (DNP – Shoulder), C Ryan Kelly (Full – Knee), LB Grant Stuard (Limited – Pectoral), RB Jonathan Taylor (Full – Ankle), DT DeForest Buckner (Full – Thumb), LB Shaq Leonard (DNP – Back/ankle).

 

WEATHER REPORT:

The Death Star (aka Allegiant Stadium) is a covered venue and climate-controlled. Outside on the streets of Paradise, Nevada, Sunday’s weather will be clear but chilly–We’re looking at a temperature in the mid-50s.

 

The Raiders are finally back at the Death Star, ready to host the Indianapolis Colts. Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 13, at 1:05 pm, with the game airing locally on CBS channel 8 (radio play-by-play on RNR AM920).


-Gabe Santiago – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Gabe on Twitter & Instagram at @gps_onthemic

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