INDIANAPOLIS – The best team on the Colts schedule in 2016 will be playing for quite a lot this Saturday.
A 4:05 p.m. ET kick out in Oakland will see the Raiders, still in line for the AFC's No. 1 overall seed, take on a Colts team simply trying to keep minimal playoff chances alive.
The NFL's surprise team of the 2016 season is Jack Del Rio's squad.
Quarterback Derek Carr is in the MVP talk with plenty of skill talent around him to compile the league's sixth ranked offense. The Raiders are very balanced---also sixth in rushing yards per game and in passing yards per game.
Playing behind the best pass protecting line in football, Carr has been outstanding in his third NFL season.
Carr has thrown 25 touchdowns and six interceptions with the receiver duo of Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper pacing the offense.
The offense has played an obvious major role in Oakland's 11 victories, eight of which have been by one possession.
A plus 15 turnover ratio, the NFL's best, has come with a defense finding some takeaways, even if the yards given up on that side of the ball has Oakland near the bottom of the league.
The Raiders rank 30th in total defense, but their pass rushing duo of Kahlil Mack and Bruce Irvin have a combined 18.0 sacks. That pair is reminiscent of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis when the Raiders need to finish off a game.
Oakland does a tremendous job in getting off to fast starts and capping those as well. The Raiders have outscored opponents by 63 points in the first and fourth quarters combined this season.
Saturday will be quite the environment out in Oakland.
With future stadium talks up in the air, there's a possibility Saturday is the final home game at the Oakland Coliseum for the Raiders.
2016 Record: *11-3, 1st in the AFC West.Head Coach: Jack Del Rio, 2nd season as Raiders head coach and 11th season as NFL head coach (86-83 overall in the regular season, 1-2 in the postseason).2016 NFL Rankings: Offense – Overall, 6th (377.8); Rushing, 6th (118.2); Passing, 6th (259.6). Defense – Overall, 30th (375.9); Rushing, 25th (116.9); Passing, 25th (259.0).2016 Leading Passer:* Derek Carr (336-of-529 comp., 3,705 yards, 63.5 pct., 25 TDs, 6 INTs, 95.2 rating).
2016 Leading Rusher: *Latavius Murray (175 carries, 737 yards, 12 TDs).2016 Leading Receiver: Michael Crabtree (77 receptions, 866 yards, 8 TDs).2016 Leading Sacker:* Khalil Mack (11.0).2016 Turnover Breakdown: Plus 15 (1st in the NFL).2016 NFL Draft Results: In trying to bolster the defensive talent, the Raiders spent their first three picks this past year on that side of the ball. Safety Karl Joseph was the pick at No. 14 overall. Defensive ends Jihad Ward (Illinois) and Shilique Calhoun (Michigan State) followed in the next two rounds. In Round Five, the Raiders chose Texas Tech running back DeAndre Washington, who has added 325 rushing yards on 4.8 yards per carry this season.2015 Review:The foundation to get back into the playoffs began last year for the Raiders. In Jack Del Rio's first season in Oakland, the Raiders finished 7-9 and saw young talent emerge on each side of the ball. The team had six Pro Bowlers with Derek Carr cementing himself as the future at quarterback in Oakland. Charles Woodson's Hall of Fame career did come to a close after an All-Pro season in 2015 with the Raiders.Last time in Playoffs: 2002 season. Lost in Super Bowl XXXVII, 48-21, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Last time in Super Bowl: *2002 season. Lost in Super Bowl XXXVII, 48-21, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Super Bowl Championships: Three. 1976 season (XI), 1980 season (XV), 1983 season (XVIII).2016 Pro Bowl Selections:* QB-Derek Carr, WR-Amari Cooper, DE-Khalil Mack, RB-Latavius Murray, FB-Marcel Reece, S-Charles Woodson.