INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts and Oakland Raiders squared off in the middle of the season last year, but this is a much, much different Raiders team than the Colts faced just nine months ago.
With the assistance of new general manager Mike Mayock, head coach Jon Gruden has a potentially potent offense at his disposal featuring several new key pieces. Their defense is a still a work in progress, but the team has taken steps to add young talent on that side of the ball as well.
This time, however, the Colts host the Raiders in Week 4 action at Lucas Oil Stadium in what will be the Colts' second consecutive home game.
- Sunday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. ET
- Indianapolis; Lucas Oil Stadium
- TV: CBS
- Raiders lead, 8-7 (teams are 1-1 in the playoffs). The Colts have won five of the last six matchups dating back to 2004.
- Last game — Week 8 of 2018. Colts won, 42-28.
- HC Frank Reich
- OC Nick Sirianni
- DC Matt Eberflus
- STC Bubba Ventrone
- HC Jon Gruden
- OC Greg Olson
- DC Paul Guenther
- STC Rich Bisaccia
KEY NEW FACES
- DE/LB Ben Banogu
- WR Parris Campbell
- WR Devin Funchess
- DE Justin Houston
- CB Rock Ya-Sin
- S Johnathan Abram/Lamarcus Joyner
- WR Antonio Brown/J.J. Nelson/Hunter Renfrow/Tyrell Williams
- OL Trent Brown/Richie Incognito
- LB Vontaze Burfict/Brandon Marshall
- DE Clelin Ferrell
- RB Josh Jacobs
OTHER SIGNIFICANT CHANGES
- Overall, this was a pretty quiet offseason for the Colts for a change. It was about building onto and shaping the current roster rather than shaking things up or making sweeping changes. Former starting receivers Ryan Grant and Dontrelle Inman both departed in free agency, and veterans Mike Mitchell and Al Woods also were not re-signed by the team. Offensive lineman Matt Slauson retired following a 10-year career.
- As previously mentioned, the Raiders replaced former general manager Reggie McKenzie with former NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, who has had a focus on building the team with strong character first. They selected four players who played in January's College Football National Championship game, showing they want players who know what it takes to be successful.
- As you can see, the Raiders made a ton of player personnel moves this offseason. That includes a loaded group of receivers, a first-round running back in Josh Jacobs to replace Marshawn Lynch, and a nice pair of safeties in Lamarcus Joyner and Johnathan Abram to pair with Karl Joseph.
- The Raiders parted with some veterans, trading offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele to the New York Jets, as well as releasing offensive tackle Donald Penn and wide receiver Jordy Nelson.
EARLY STORYLINES/THINGS TO WATCH
- Can The Colts Run Wild Again? — The Colts crushed the Raiders on the ground in last year's matchup to the tune of a season-high 222 yards. Marlon Mack led the way for the Colts with 132 yards and two touchdowns while Nyheim Hines also chipped in a career-high 78 yards. The Colts' offensive line, running backs and blocking personnel are all essentially the same as last year, and Oakland's defensive front isn't drastically different. Don't be surprised if the Colts put up another big game on the ground in this one.
- Colts' Secondary Faces Diverse Receiver Corps — Between Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, J.J. Nelson, Hunter Renfrow, Ryan Grant and Marcell Ateman, Oakland's receiving corps can throw a lot of different things at you, from speed, size, power and route running. The Colts' cornerbacks and safeties will need to make sure they keep things in front of them, and the linebackers will need to be on high alert as well.
- Last Time Colts Face "Oakland" Raiders? — Starting in the 2020 season, the Raiders are making their migration to Las Vegas from Oakland, marking the final time that the Colts face the "Oakland" Raiders — unless, of course, they meet in the postseason this year.
- First Quarter Of The Season — NFL coaches measure the season in quarters, and with this being the final game of the first quarter of the season, how will the Colts sit at this point? They will have played two road games to start the season against the Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans, respectively, followed by a tough NFC South matchup at home against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3, and then this being their second AFC West matchup in the fourth game.
- Colts TE Eric Ebron vs. Raiders S Johnathan Abram — The rookie Abram is as hard-nosed as they come on the football field, and he developed a reputation in college for being a pest to his opponents. He jaws with opponents and he backs it up with hard hits. Abram vs. Ebron could be a matchup of two great players who love to talk.
- Colts LB Darius Leonard vs. Raiders RB Josh Jacobs — We all know how Leonard plays with all-out effort, or as a "maniac," but what many of you may not know is that Jacobs plays the running back position the exact same way. Watching these two go at each other for potentially 20 touches for Jacobs will provide a show.
- Colts CB Kenny Moore II vs. Raiders WR Antonio Brown — "Mr. Big Chest" is primarily an outside receiver, but he's able to be moved around the alignment into the slot as well. Moore II guards both the slot and the boundary, so it makes sense for this to be a common matchup while Pierre Desir matches up with Oakland's Tyrell Williams. Many still consider Brown to be the best receiver in the NFL, so it'll be a big test for Moore II, who can continue to build his reputation.
- Favorite: Colts (-8.0)
- Over/Under: N/A
- Passing — QB Andrew Luck (4,593 yards)
- Rushing — RB Marlon Mack (908 yards)
- Receiving — WR T.Y. Hilton (1,270 yards)
- Touchdowns — TE Eric Ebron (14)
- Tackles — LB Darius Leonard (163)
- Sacks — DL Denico Autry (9.0)
- Interceptions — CB Kenny Moore II (3)
- Passing — QB Derek Carr (4,049 yards)
- Rushing — RB Doug Martin (723 yards)
- Receiving — RB Jalen Richard (607 yards)
- Touchdowns — RB Doug Martin (4)
- Tackles — LB Tahir Whitehead (126)
- Sacks — DT Maurice Hurst (4.0)
- Interceptions — CB Gareon Conley (3)
COMPARING 2018 STATS
- Total offense — 7th (386.2 YPG)
- Scoring offense — 5th (27.1 PPG)
- Passing offense — 6th (278.8 YPG)
- Sacks allowed — 1st (18)
- Running offense — 20th (107.4 YPG)
- Third down offense — 1st (48.6%)
- Red zone offense — 5th (67.1%)
- Total defense — 11th (339.4 YPG)
- Scoring defense — 10th (21.5 PPG)
- Passing defense — 16th (237.8 YPG)
- Sacks — Tied-19th (38)
- Running defense — 8th (101.6 YPG)
- Third down defense — 23rd (41%)
- Red zone defense — 11th (55.1%)
- Time of possession — 18th (30:05)
- Turnover differential — Tied-13th (2)
- Total offense — 23rd (336.2 YPG)
- Scoring offense — 28th (18.1 PPG)
- Passing offense — 18th (234.4 YPG)
- Sacks allowed — Tied-26th (52)
- Running offense — 25th (101.8 YPG)
- Third down offense — 19th (37%)
- Red zone offense — 22nd (53.5%)
- Total defense — 26th (381.4 YPG)
- Scoring defense — 32nd (29.2 PPG)
- Passing defense — 19th (240.8 YPG)
- Sacks — 32nd (13)
- Running defense — 30th (140.6 YPG)
- Third down defense — 30th (46%)
- Red zone defense — 17th (59.7%)
- Time of possession — 10th (30:59)
- Turnover differential — 26th (-7)
- Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri became the NFL's all-time leading scorer in these teams' matchup last year. Although he holds just about any meaningful kicking record there is left to hold, he'll be knocking on the door of more history in the 2019 matchup. With four games played, he will tie Rohn Stark and Jeff Saturday (197) for the fifth-most games played in Colts franchise history. With eight converted field goals from 30-39 yards, he will tie Gary Anderson (181) for the second-most made field goals from that distance in NFL history, and with three converted field goals from 50-plus yards, he will tie Matt Prater (46) for the third-most made field goals from that distance in NFL history.
- The Raiders must like what the Colts have going on, because they have several former Colts currently on their roster: OL Denzelle Good, WR Ryant Grant, DT Johnathan Hankins, CB D.J. Killings, CB Tevin Mitchel and TE Erik Swoope