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FSM Recap: Raiders vs Colts – Game 16 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Raiders (7-9) | Indianapolis Colts (9-7)

The Raiders and Colts squared off in Indianapolis with playoff implications for both teams. The Raiders offense got off to a slow start, and the Colts took advantage as they hung to beat Las Vegas 23-20, ending the Raiders playoff hopes.

 

Raiders vs Colts | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: AJ Mast/AP

It’s the time of the year when playoff implications are involved in nearly every game. That was the case for the Raiders when they took on the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon.

The Raiders needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. If the Raiders were to win out, they had a chance to win the AFC West, provided the Chiefs lose one of their next two games. They were also playing for Antonio Pierce, who is trying to keep the head coaching job permanently.

The Raiders had to play their best football after an emotional win against the Chiefs on Christmas Day. Could Aidan O’Connell and the Las Vegas offense stay locked in against the Colts? Or will the Colts‘ offense be able to move the ball against the Raiders‘ stingy defense?

The game against the Colts was a microcosm of the Raiders’ season. The offense was non-existent in the first half, with the defense holding down the fort. In the first half, the Raiders looked slow, sluggish, and out of sync. Coming off an emotional win, there is typically a letdown, and on Sunday, that was the case for the Silver and Black.

That’s been the story for us this year,” wide receiver Davante Adams said. “It’s been more about us beating ourselves. Not being able to covert in situations that we should, or having those penalties. Obviously, that makes it a lot harder. It’s definitely frustrating.

The Raiders have the 63-21 win over the Los Angeles Chargers and the 20-14 win at Arrowhead Stadium in the past two weeks. But Sunday’s loss was an example of what this 7-9 team has been much of the season, and it showed that raw emotion and defensive scores (the Raiders had four defensive touchdowns in the past two games) are difficult to sustain.

Very difficult when the Raiders play the Raiders,” said interim coach Antonio Pierce. “We’ve been pretty good as far as being focused, pre-snap. That didn’t happen today, on both sides of the ball, and again, it kind of cost you in a game that came down to three points.”

Three false start penalties prevented rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell from getting his teammates into the end zone more than once in the first 59 minutes.

(We beat) ourselves early on with penalties — just everyone involved, including myself,O’Connell told reporters after the game. “Just not as good communication as we needed early on and execution. It’s hard to overcome those things in the NFL.”

Raiders cornerback Jack Jones extended a late Colts drive with two miscues, a pass interference call on third-and-8 with a throw headed out of bounds, and an offside call that negated a field goal attempt that bounced off the right goal post. Colts kicker Matt Gay delivered on his second chance, making the 45-yarder to give Indy a 23-13 lead with 3:11 to play.

Obviously, something happened for them to make the call,Pierce said, referring to the offside penalty before discussing the other call. “The official didn’t think the ball was too far out of bounds. He felt like he interfered while the ball was in the air. I don’t want to second-guess the officials.

 

Raiders vs Colts – 1st Quarter:

 

Raiders vs Colts | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: AJ Mast/AP

The Raiders kicked off to the Colts to start the game. It didn’t take long for Indianapolis to get on the board as they went on a 6-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by a Jonathan Taylor 5-yard touchdown run. The Colts had an early 7-0 lead as the Raiders offense was getting ready to get the ball for the first time in the game.  

The Raiders offense started their drive at the 25-yard line. O’Connell wanted to get Davante Adams going early in this game, and his first pass was to the All-Pro wide receiver for a 1-yard gain. 

Las Vegas went on a 12-play, 54-yard drive that ended with a Daniel Carlson 40-yard field goal to cut the Indianapolis lead to 7–3. 

The team’s defense stepped up as each team forced the other to punt on their next possessions. 

 

Raiders vs Colts – 2nd Quarter:

 

Raiders vs Colts | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: AJ Mast/AP

The Raiders offense was shooting themselves in the foot throughout the first half. Miscues such as false starts and delay of game penalties contributed to the team’s sluggish start.

But Colts quarterback Gunther Minshew started cooking in the second quarter. The Colts went 90 yards on just six plays as Minshew hit Pierce for a 58-yard touchdown pass to give the Colts a 14–3 lead over the Raiders. 

Indianapolis went into the locker room with a 14–3 halftime lead. The Raiders went in searching for answers on the offensive side of the ball, and they needed to find them quickly if they wanted to keep their playoff hopes.

 

Raiders vs Colts – 3rd Quarter:

 

Raiders vs Colts | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: AJ Mast/AP

The Raiders received the ball to start the second half. They won on a 5-play drive that ended with an AJ Cole punt. But on the punt, the Raiders caught a break when the Colts were charged with roughing the kicker. 

The Raiders took advantage of the penalty as that drive ended with O’Connell hitting Davante Adams for a 4-yard touchdown to make the score 14–10 Indianapolis.

The Colts came right back and went on a 12-play, 56-yard drive that ended with the field goal to extend their lead to 17–10 over the Raiders.

 

Raiders vs Colts – 4th Quarter:

 

Raiders vs Colts | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: AJ Mast/AP

The Raiders punted on their next possession, as time was starting to run out on their season. To make matters worse, the Colts went on a 9-play, 61-yard drive that ended with another field goal to give them a 10-point lead, 20–10 over the Raiders.

But once again, the Raiders showed their resiliency as they went on their own 11-play, 60-yard drive that ended in a Daniel Carlson 33-yard field goal to once again make it a one-score game, 20–13. But the Colts responded yet again, this time going seven plays and 48 yards in just under a minute and a half as they kicked another field goal to extend their lead to 23–13.

The Raiders were looking for a miracle, and it seemed like they may have got one when they went 75 yards on nine plays and scored a touchdown when O’Connell hit Adams once again for a touchdown. The score was 23–20, and all left was for the Raiders to recover the onside kick, something they haven’t done this season.

With 45 seconds left in the game, Carlson attempted an onside kick, and the ball took a perfect bounce, touching a player as it gently floated through the air. The Raiders attempted to dive at the ball, but a player jumped on top of it just before the Raiders could secure it, and Indianapolis walked away with the 23–20.

The loss eliminated the Raiders from making the playoffs. The Raiders will now take on the Denver Broncos next week for their final game of the year as they will then turn to look to hire a permanent general manager and head coach to start their off-season.

 

The Raiders return home to the Death Star to take on the Denver Broncos on Sunday, January 7th. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:25 p.m. Thanks for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news today.

 

Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas sports news about Las Vegas Sports teams.

-Joe Arrigo   Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on X, Threads, and Instagram: @JoeArrigoFSM

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