The Oakland Raiders beat up on the Indianapolis Colts Saturday, Dec. 24, winning an important game to keep first place in the AFC West. The Raiders played host to a Colts team that needed a win to stay in the playoff race. The final score was 33-25 in favor of the Raiders, helping the team remain the No. 2 seed in the NFL playoff standings and eliminating the Colts from postseason contention.
After a scoreless first quarter, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr really got to work in the second quarter. He completed three touchdown passes, hooking up with Andre Holmes, Clive Walford, and Jalen Richard to take a 19-7 lead into halftime. Two extra point kicks by Sebastian Janikowski failed, but the additional points didn’t matter much in the final score.
It got even better for the Oakland Raiders in the second half, as the team opened the third quarter with two rushing touchdowns by DeAndre Washington. At that point, the Raiders had a comfortable 33-7 lead, which ended up being enough points to put this game in the win column. The Colts did make it interesting at the end, though, cutting into the deficit to at least make the Raiders work for the victory.
The final stat lines were pretty good for the Oakland Raiders. Derek Carr finished with 228 passing yards and three touchdowns, while DeAndre Washington had 99 rushing yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries. Jalen Richard added another 66 rushing yards on just six carries, with Latavius Murray notching 40 rushing yards on 15 carries. The defense also filled up the stat sheet, with Nate Allen and Reggie Nelson each accounting for an interception on the day.
The updated NFL standings now have the Raiders at 12-3 and one-and-a-half games ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs for the division lead. The Chiefs play against the Denver Broncos later on Saturday, with the game potentially deciding which team wins the division. If the Chiefs lose to the Broncos, then the Raiders become the 2016 AFC West champions. If things aren’t settled in the final Week 16 results, then either a Raiders victory over the Broncos or a Chiefs loss to the San Diego Chargers in Week 17 would also give the division to Oakland.
A late report by ESPN relays what could be some really bad news for the Oakland Raiders. NFL analyst Paul Gutierrez states that Derek Carr may have suffered a severe injury to his right ankle. The injury took place on a fourth-quarter sack by the Indianapolis Colts, leading to Carr grabbing his ankle. Matt McCloin replaced him at quarterback to finish out the game.
Another report by NFL.com states that Derek Carr has suffered a broken fibula in the victory. Carr has now been ruled as out indefinitely, putting the Raiders in a very difficult position moving forward. The job may now belong to backup quarterback Matt McGloin, who happened to look really good during preseason games. He will get his first real test in Week 17, but Raiders fans are likely hoping that the Chiefs lose on Saturday night to ensure the Week 17 game is meaningless to the overall standings.
The final game of the regular season comes on Sunday, January 1, for the Raiders. The team will head out on the road to play the Denver Broncos at 1:25 p.m. PT in an important game for the NFL playoff standings. It could also be a decisive opportunity to win the AFC West and raise another banner at the stadium. The Oakland Raiders have a great shot at clinching a first-round bye and then hosting a playoff game for the first time in over a decade.
[Featured Image by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]