The Raiders (1-5) are back from their bye week and host the Indianapolis Colts (2-5) at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. Here’s a breakdown by position:
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck missed the 2017 season with a shoulder injury and got off to a slow start this season. But he has regained his form in the past month. Luck is second in the league with 20 touchdown passes. He’s thrown 15 in the last four games. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has had a rough week with reports saying he’s losing the locker room because of his poor play this season.
The Colts’ running game finally woke up last week with 220 rushing yards against the Bills. Marlon Mack led the way with 126 yards on 19 carries. The Raiders placed their lead back, Marshawn Lynch, on injured reserve this past week. Doug Martin is expected to get the bulk of the carries.
The Raiders also lost their lead wide receiver this past week but not to an injury. Amari Cooper was traded to the Dallas Cowboys for a first-round pick. Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant will see an increase in targets. T.Y. Hilton ignited the Colts’ offense last week after missing the previous two games to injury.
The Raiders’ two worst games offensively have come with left guard Kelechi Osemele sidelined. He’s questionable to play because of a knee injury. The Colts’ offensive line has stepped up in the past month to give Luck plenty of time to operate.
The Raiders are ranked last in sacks with seven. They are led by rookie defensive tackles Maurice Hurst and P.J. Hall. The Colts are tied for fourth most in sacks with 21.
Darius Leonard is the front-runner to win Defensive Rookie of the Year for the Colts. The second-round pick out of South Carolina State is first in the NFL in total tackles with 79. The Raiders still haven’t received much production from their starting linebackers.
Former Raider Mike Mitchell took home Defensive Player of the Week honors for his standout game against the Bills. Safety Malik Hooker is having a solid sophomore year for the Colts, but he was ruled out for Sunday with a hip injury. Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is still looking for two cornerbacks to step up and become full-time starters.
The Raiders signed their fifth kicker of the season when they added rookie Daniel Carlson this past week. At age 45 and season 23, the Colts’ Adam Vinatieri is still one of the NFL’s top kickers. He’s made 12 of 14 field-goal attempts.
The Raiders had to win at least one of these matchups. They’re playing at home after a bye week. That could be a benefit against the Colts, who are traveling across the country.