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2018 Colts Preview: Colts/Raiders, Week 8

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts (2-5) hope to build some momentum into the bye week after their lopsided win over the Buffalo Bills last week. Standing in their way this week are the Oakland Raiders (1-5), who hope to get their own win to quiet some of the noise surrounding them.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

  • Sunday, Oct. 28, at 4:05 p.m. ET
  • Oakland, Calif.; Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
  • TV: CBS — Andrew Catalon (play-by-play) and James Lofton (color)
  • To find out what games will be on in your area, check here
  • Radio: WFNI “1070 The Fan” and WLHK “HANK FM” — Matt Taylor (play-by-play), Jim Sorgi (color) and Caroline Cann (sideline)

ALL-TIME SERIES

  • Raiders lead, 6-8 (1-1 in the playoffs). The Colts are 3-2 against the Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Colts have won four of the last five dating back to 2004.
  • Last game — Week 16 of 2016. The Raiders won, 33-25.

COACHING STAFF

Colts:

  • HC Frank Reich
  • OC Nick Sirianni
  • DC Matt Eberflus
  • STC Bubba Ventrone

Raiders:

  • HC Jon Gruden
  • OC Greg Olson
  • DC Paul Guenther
  • STC Rich Bisaccia

LAST WEEK

Colts:

  • Won vs. Buffalo Bills (2-5), 37-5 (home)

Raiders:

  • BYE (Lost in Week 6 vs. the Seattle Seahawks [3-3], 27-3 [London])

INJURY UPDATE

Colts:

  • S Clayton Geathers (neck): QUESTIONABLE — Full participant Wednesday, did not practice Thursday and Friday
  • WR Ryan Grant (ankle): OUT — Did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • S Malik Hooker (hip): QUESTIONABLE — Did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • RB Marlon Mack (ankle): QUESTIONABLE — Limited participant Wednesday, did not practice Thursday, full participant Friday
  • DE Jabaal Sheard (abdomen): QUESTIONABLE — Did not practice Thursday, full participant Friday
  • TE Erik Swoope (knee): OUT — Did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • RB Robert Turbin (shoulder): OUT — Did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • K Adam Vinatieri (right groin): QUESTIONABLE — Did not practice Wednesday, limited participant Thursday, full participant Friday
  • DT Jihad Ward (ankle): OUT — Did not practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (placed on Injured Reserve)

Raiders:

  • DE OG Kelechi Osemele (knee): QUESTIONABLE — Did not practice Wednesday and Thursday, limited participant Friday
  • CB Daryl Worley (ankle): QUESTIONABLE — Limited participant Friday

STORYLINES/THINGS TO WATCH

  • Familiar Faces — There are several players in this game who have previous stints with the other team first. The Colts have former Raiders Denico Autry, Mike Mitchell and Jihad Ward. The Raiders have former Colts Johnathan Hankins and Rashaan Melvin. All except Mitchell were with the other team last season.
  • Record Watch For Adam Vinatieri — Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri needs five points to pass Morten Andersen (2,544) for the most points in NFL history. However, he has been nursing a groin injury that flared up on him in last week’s game and caused him to miss two extra points.
  • Continue Establishing The Run Game — The Colts have had success on the ground over the last game and a half, running for 107 yards in the second half against the New York Jets in Week 6 and then 220 yards against the Bills in Week 7. Starting running back Marlon Mack’s availability is up in the air, but the Colts have been most effective this season when establishing the run. If Mack can’t go, it’s up to Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines to carry the load.
  • No Amari Cooper, Marshawn Lynch For Oakland — The Raiders traded starting wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys for a first-round pick earlier this week. They also placed starting running back Marshawn Lynch on Injured Reserve with a groin injury. With the loss of those two, it takes away of a lot of their offense, so we’ll see what the likes of Jordy Nelson, Martavis Bryant, Doug Martin and Jalen Richard can do in their place.
  • Momentum Heading Into Bye Week — The Colts were all over the Bills from start to finish last week, winning 37-5. After starting the season 1-5, if they can go into the bye week at 3-5 with two consecutive wins, it could do a lot for their mojo moving forward as they handle the majority of their home and divisional matchups in the second half of the season. Colts head coach Frank Reich addressed the subject earlier in the week: “It’d be great. We dug ourselves a hole early in this season. Last week we took a step, a step of getting out of that hole. This is an important week. Like you said, going into the bye would mean a lot, but I think it would just mean a lot to us as a team, as an organization to go into the bye winning two games in a row.”

INTRIGUING MATCHUPS

  • Colts WR T.Y. Hilton vs. Raiders CBs — Hilton moves around a lot, so there’s not likely one corner he’ll be matched up with, and the Raiders don’t typically have any of their corners shadow opposing receivers. Hilton has experience against Melvin from the latter’s time in Indianapolis, but overall Melvin and his fellow corners, Leon Hall and Gareon Conley, have struggled as a unit.
  • Colts TE Eric Ebron vs. Raiders Back Seven — Likewise, Ebron could take advantage of his matchups with Marquel Lee, Tahir Whitehead and Marcus Gilchrist. Lee (51.8), Whitehead (44.6) and Gilchrist (49.6) all have very rough grades in coverage and have a tall task ahead of them with Ebron. Perhaps we see more cornerback coverage on him rather than linebackers and safeties.
  • Colts LG Quenton Nelson vs. Raiders DT Maurice Hurst — This is a battle of two highly talented rookies. Nelson was widely considered the best offensive lineman in the 2018 NFL Draft, and Hurst was considered the best defensive tackle by many before a heart condition was discovered. Both players have played well this season, making this a fun matchup to pay attention to.
  • Colts RT Braden Smith vs. Raiders DE Arden Key — The rookie battles between the Colts’ offensive line and the Raiders’ defensive line don’t end at Nelson vs. Hurst. Smith was initially supposed to be right guard but has performed quite well at right tackle instead, ranking second among all rookie offensive linemen, according to Pro Football Focus. Raiders rookie defensive end Key is making some noise as well, as his combined 15 sacks/hits/hurries/pressures ranks fourth among rookie edge defenders, per PFF.
  • Colts DE Kemoko Turay vs. Raiders LT Kolton Miller — Another battle of rookies! Miller, the Raiders’ starting left tackle has had an up-and-down ride this year, and now he must prepare for a matchup between one of the league’s most productive rookie edge rushers in Turay. Turay is tied for first among rookies in hurries (16) and fourth in hits (4).
  • Colts LB Darius Leonard vs. Raiders TE Jared Cook — Without Cooper, Cook is likely to remain Oakland’s top passing target. Leonard has done a nice job at pretty much everything this season, but he’s especially been able to keep plays in front of him in coverage. Cook has always been one of the more athletic tight ends in the league and can make plays after the catch. We’ll see if Leonard can help keep Cook in check.

REFEREE ASSIGNMENT

BETTING LINE

LEADERS

Colts:

  • Passing — QB Andrew Luck (1,948 yards)
  • Rushing — RB Marlon Mack (249 yards)
  • Receiving — TE Eric Ebron (357 yards)
  • Touchdowns — TE Eric Ebron (6)
  • Tackles — LB Darius Leonard (79)
  • Sacks — DL Margus Hunt, LB Darius Leonard, Jabaal Sheard (4.0)
  • Interceptions — CB Kenny Moore II (2)

Raiders:

  • Passing — QB Derek Carr (1,783 yards)
  • Rushing — RB Marshawn Lynch (376 yards)
  • Receiving — TE Jared Cook (400 yards)
  • Touchdowns — RB Marshawn Lynch, WR Jordy Nelson (3)
  • Tackles — LB Tahir Whitehead (43)
  • Sacks — DE Bruce Irvin (3.0)
  • Interceptions — CB Gareon Conley, CB Rashaan Melvin, S Reggie Nelson, CB Daryl Worley (1)

COMPARING 2018 STATS

Colts:

  • Total offense — 17th (370.1 YPG)
  • Scoring offense — 10th (27.0 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 13th (267.4 YPG)
  • Running offense — 22nd (102.7 YPG)
  • Third down offense — Tied 1st (50%)
  • Red zone offense — 9th (64.3%)
  • Total defense — 21st (374.9 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — 24th (26.4 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 19th (264.0 YPG)
  • Sacks — Tied 4th (21)
  • Running defense — 17th (110.9 YPG)
  • Third down defense — 21st (41%)0
  • Red zone defense — 7th (45.8%)
  • Time of possession — 30th (28:16)
  • Turnover margin — 12th (+2)

Raiders:

  • Total offense — 16th (373.5 YPG)
  • Scoring offense — 28th (18.3 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 10th (281.0 YPG)
  • Running offense — 25th (92.5 YPG)
  • Third down offense — 20th (38%)
  • Red zone offense — 28th (45.0%)
  • Total defense — 26th (398.5 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — 29th (29.3 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 22nd (66.7 YPG)
  • Sacks — 32nd (7)
  • Running defense — 27th (131.8 YPG)
  • Third down defense — 28th (46%)
  • Red zone defense — 13th (52.2%)
  • Time of possession — 6th (32:17)
  • Turnover margin — 29th (-5)

NOTES AND QUOTES

  • This week, the Colts made the following moves: Elevated wide receiver Steve Ishmael to the active roster from the practice squad, placed defensive tackle Jihad Ward (ankle) on Injured Reserve and signed safety Rolan Milligan to the practice squad.
  • Quarterback Andrew Luck needs to throw one touchdown Sunday to pass Dan Marino, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan (30) for the eighth-longest consecutive streak of games with a touchdown pass in NFL history. With one touchdown run, Luck will pass Bert Jones (14) for the second-most among quarterbacks in franchise history.
  • Hilton needs one 150-yard receiving game to tie Marvin Harrison (11) for the most in franchise history. Hilton also needs one receiving touchdown to pass John Mackey (38) for the eighth-most in franchise history.
  • Tight end Jack Doyle needs the following to advance in the franchise record books among tight ends: one reception to pass Coby Fleener (183) for the fifth-most, one touchdown reception to pass Pat Beach and Reese McCall (12) for the eighth-most, and three first down receptions to pass Dwayne Allen (84) for fifth-most.
  • Aside from the all-time scoring record, Vinatieri needs three made field goals from 40-49 yards to pass Gary Anderson (161) for the most from that distance in NFL history. With one made field goal from 50-plus yards, Vinatieri will tie Phil Dawson and John Kasay (42) for the fourth-most from that distance in NFL history. Vinatieri needs one game played to pass David Lee and Ray Donaldson (184) for the 10th-most games played in franchise history.
  • Colts wide receiver Dontrelle Inman on potentially playing in Oakland for the last time: “It is a crazy place, The Black Hole. I love playing in The Black Hole. The fans are crazy, for sure. The costumes, there’s no place that can compare to the costumes that you see in Oakland. It gives you a little more edge. It gives you a little for excitement and humbleness to it. You’re in this place where — it’s different. It’s different. Sad to see the Raiders leave ‘cause you always look forward to pulling to the stadium, all you see is the smoke from the grills, (and) the fans showing you no love whatsoever. I’m gonna miss that for sure.” Asked if Halloween week should be interesting for the Colts in Oakland, Inman said: “Every week is Halloween week in Oakland.”

NEXT WEEK

Colts:

  • BYE

Raiders:

  • San Francisco 49ers (1-6) (away)

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