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|Las Vegas Raiders
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QB Derek Carr’s 7-5 Raiders have been up and down all season, and against the 8-4 Colts defense, it might be one of those down weeks unless side-arm throwing QB Philip Rivers isn’t healthy enough to play.
Colts -2.5 (-110)
|Colts vs Raiders Information
|Indianapolis Colts vs Las Vegas Raiders
|Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, NV
|Sunday, December 13, 2020; 4:05 PM ET
|How to watch
It took their opponent’s QB to fumble the ball in the red zone to preserve the Indianapolis Colts’ Week 13 win over their divisional rivals, the Houston Texans, final score 26-20, and now they look slightly favored to take care of these Raiders in Vegas, that is if starting QB Philip Rivers is healthy enough to do so.
It took a last-second touchdown pass by Derek Carr to earn the Week 13 victory over the winless Jets, final score a close 31-28, and now the 7-5 Las Vegas Raiders must figure out a way to beat this defensively talented Colts team if they expect to make the final AFC cut for the playoffs.
These two AFC cross-divisional rivals have met each other 18 other times (including 2 postseason games), with the Las Vegas Raiders winning 10 of those games and the Indianapolis Colts winning the other 8 games.
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When it comes to taking down opposing quarterbacks, the Indianapolis Colts are right in the middle of the NFL pack with an average of 2.3 sacks per game this season after averaging 2.6 per game during all of 2019.
Currently, the two best sackers on the Colts defensive line are ends Justin Houston, who has 7.5 sacks and 9 tackles for loss, and Denico Autry, who has posted 6 sacks himself with 8 tackles for loss, with 45 total tackles between the two.
Carr is mobile and has a great arm if you give his receivers time to get open, so it will be up to Houston and Autry and the rest of Indy’s D-front to put the fear of sack into Derek’s mind for the entire sixty minutes of the ball game.
The Raiders’ passing attack ranks in the bottom half of the NFL, averaging less than 243 yards through the air per game, though their offense does put up almost 27 points every matchup, a total that is tough to outscore.
QB Derek Carr is playing well this season – he has completed 68.1 percent of his passes for 3,027 yards and 22 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions to help his team earn a 7-5 record and an on-the-bubble look at a possible postseason.
Hurting the Raiders is having two rookie receivers, and while Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards are both obviously talented, it will take them a lot more time to build chemistry with Carr and to get adjusted to running routes against professional defenses.
Seems silly that something as small as an injured toe could keep a veteran QB like Philip Rivers from playing in Week 14, but that is exactly what has him listed as questionable for this one, a game-time decision for him and head coach Frank Reich.
Rivers is suffering from something called ‘turf toe,’ which is technically called a plantar plate rupture, and it is painful enough that he had to wear a boot on his right foot after the game last week, though whether he will need offseason surgery on it remains in question.
Should Rivers not be able to go, backup Jacoby Brissett is most likely ready, though his 11-19 record as the Colts starter in the past could have Reich giving the starting nod to rookie QB Jacob Eason, whose NFL inexperience could put him at a huge disadvantage.
One of the keys to making this Raiders team tough to handle is the rushing attack of Josh Jacobs, who so far in 2020 carried the ball 206 times for 782 yards and 9 touchdowns on top of catching 27 passes for 175 more yards, the second-year player proving to have a constantly revving engine out of the backfield.
For Week 14, however, Jacobs is listed as questionable due to an ankle injury, and he will be a game-time decision for head coach Jon Gruden, though unless the foot is detached the tough former Alabama star will most likely play.
But even if he does, having a sore ankle could keep Jacobs from the fast cuts and foot quickness he is known for, something that he will have to battle the entire game while sharing snaps with Devontae Booker and Jalen Richard, his more than capable backups who have helped make the Raiders become a top ten rushing team this season.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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