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Key Matchups: Week 4 Vs. Raiders

Throughout this weekly series I’ll be taking a look at the matchups that were crucial to the outcome of the game.

Oakland Raiders v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Colts Linebackers vs. Raiders Tight Ends

The Colts linebackers were abysmal covering the Raiders’ tight ends on Sunday. Walker and Okereke looked completely out of their element when asked to play zone coverage and the Raiders tight ends had an absolute field day. Derek Carr was 10/11 when targeting his tight ends and got 83 yards and a score. Sure, the Colts were without Darius Leonard, and Walker was forced to play out of position, but allowing those kind of numbers is inexcusable for a team with supposed playoff aspirations.

Like Kevin Bowen says, the coverage the Colts played here is horrible, especially considering the fact it was the 4th quarter, and if the Colts had stopped the Raiders there they would have had excellent field position. Instead, Foster Moreau was left wide open right in the middle of the field and got an easy first down. Taking a look at the play, Anthony Walker drifts right way too soon, leaving a huge opening on the middle that Carr took advantage of.

It seemed as if the Colts whole defense was trying to prevent the big play throughout the whole game, and trying to play “bend but don't break” defense, however, when the opposing team can get an easy 5/6 yards on every single down, preventing the big play does not matter that much anymore. With a match-up against Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce coming up, we have to hope that Darius Leonard is ready to go; otherwise, a few NFL records might be broken on SNF.

Denico Autry vs. Both Raiders’ Right Guards

With Raiders’ starting right guard Gabe Jackson out with a knee injury, Autry had a juicy match-up against veteran Jordan Devey. He failed to make a big impact on the game, even after Devey had to be replaced by Denzelle Good (former Colt) later in the game. Autry was a player I thought would have a breakout season after a solid last year. However, this has not materialized just yet, as even though he has his moments, he has been wildly inconsistent and tends to disappear at times.

Colts Receivers Vs. Jacoby’s Rockets

Despite many people claiming that this receiver group is horrible (even though it is certainly not very good without T.Y, a part of the blame has to be put on Jacoby repeating his old tendency of putting way too much zip on the ball on short, simple passes. Sure, NFL caliber receivers have to be able to catch a pass that hits them in the hands, but Jacoby looked like he got a bit rattled at times and threw the ball with more power than needed.

Trent Brown vs. Jabaal Sheard

This is a match-up that I think the Colts won, even though it was not that influential. I saw Sheard (albeit in limited snaps) going against a solid tackle while coming off a knee injury, and he played good football. He had a couple of nice run stops here and there and seemed to get pressure on Carr a few times. His return to form will be key for the Colts defense moving forward.