Andrew Luck started the game hot, completing every pass until the final attempt of the first quarter. This incomplete pass led to the Colts settling for a field goal, which gave them a 10-0 early lead.
On the first drive of the second quarter, the Raiders offense got things going. Derek Carr started spreading the ball around and led an efficient drive that ended with a long touchdown pass to Seth Roberts. I couldn’t help but notice the absence of Malik Hooker on that play.
Defensive penalties started to pile up in second quarter, providing Oakland’s offense with ideal situations on early down — and opportunities to continue pushing the ball down field. The second Carr passing touchdown, to Jared Cook, was another example of testing Indy’s deep zones — where Hooker typically roams.
Ultimately, the story of the first half ended up being about two offensive drives that stalled in the red zone, settling for field goals., and a defense that is sorely missing its deep coverage.
Colts are down at the half 13-14.
KEEP CATCHING THE DAMN BALL
While Dontrelle Inman was unable to make a leaping catch in the end zone, it is difficult to kill him for it. It would have been a pretty incredible finger tip grab. Speaking of incredible grabs, Mo Alie-Cox picked a pretty incredible way to score his first touchdown.
DIAL UP THE PRESSURE
The Colts have been unable to get much going in terms of pressure. In fact, defensive neutral zone infractions have aided the Raiders offense. Derek Carr has the hard count working in his favor and it is keeping the defensive line a bit gun shy off the snap.
For a second straight game, the offense has remained balance. In fact, the ground game has produced 107 yards on 20 plays for an average of 5.1 yards per carry. Andrew Luck and the passing offense have generated 108 yards on 20 passing attempts.
It doesn’t get a whole lot more balanced than that.
Ryan Kelly left the game early with a hand injury and was immediately listed as questionable to return. The Colts were fortunate to see him return to the game in the first half and seem to have dodged a bullet.
SET THE TONE EARLY
A long first quarter drive for a touchdown is precisely the the team needed to do on the road. It is unfortunate that they had to settle for a field goal on the second drive and third offensive scoring drives. The game is very much in reach but Indy had a chance to take control and keep putting pressure on the Raiders. On the road, you have to score touchdowns when you get inside the 20 yard line.