What a tough Sunday for us Colts fans. This one stings. Even though the Colts where without an absurd amount of key players, this was a game we were supposed to win, and with the Chiefs waiting right around the corner, it would have been nice to go into that matchup standing at 3-1. Instead, the Colts played their worst regular season game in quite some time and lost 31-24 at home against Oakland.
MVP of the Game: Zach Pascal
The whole Colts team had a really bad game, but Pascal was among the few bright spots on Sunday. To the surprise of many, including myself, Pascal has been the best and most reliable wide receiver not named T.Y Hilton in this offense. He finished the game with 4 catches for 72 yards, including an amazing diving catch on a series where the Colts offense desperately needed a play like that. He also was his usual self in the running game and was a great blocker, something very valuable in the Colts run-first offense.
Dud of the Game: Interior D-Line
At first I was going to point out the entire D-Line as the Dud of the Game, but I liked the way Justin Houston and Jabaal Sheard played, specially considering Sheard was making his season debut. However, Denico Autry and Margus Hunt had another rough showing on Sunday. Margus Hunt was not a factor throughout the game and he actually finished with 0 tackles. He was moved like a rag doll by the Raiders offensive line and he continues to look way too stiff laterally, I do not understand how he is starting for this team, specially considering he has not been playing well since early last season. Autry does have his occasional pass-rushing win, but he too is a liability in the running game, and is better served as a pass-rush specialist. The worst part is how thin the Colts interior D-line is, and how there is little depth behind Autry and Hunt.
Play of the Week: Pascal’s diving catch
Zach Pascal had an amazing diving catch between two defenders that went for 23 yards on 3rd and 9 late in the 4Q. That play kept a touchdown scoring drive alive and was among the few good catches made by a receiver in Sunday’s game.
Worst Play of the Week: Whole first 4 drives
The Raiders were characterized as a team that starts strong before fizzling out, and that happened again yesterday, however, because of how good they were opening up the game they managed to hold on to the lead and escape L.O.S with a dub. The Colts defense allowed the Raiders offense to march on them at will in the first drive, then the Colts went 3 and out and Rigo had an awful 38 yard punt. The next play, receiver Trevor Davis (Raiders’ 6th best receiver) took an end-around 60 yards to the house. Just like that, the Raiders were up 14-0. The following drive, the Colts went 3 and out once again and punted the ball. Yikes.
Best Position Group: Offensive Line
For the second week in a row, the O-line takes home BPG Award. Brissett was not sacked and was hit just 3 times on an astounding 46 attempts. Despite the fact that the run-blocking was not as sharp as it has been, the line still had a solid game. However, the unit was not without its flaws, as the right side, specially Glowinski, struggled mightily at times.
Unsung Hero: The Crowd
Despite a rocky start, the Colts crowd was still loud, albeit mostly on 3rd downs, and caused plenty of problems for Derek Carr, who could not hear what Gruden was telling him through their communication system and could not audible because of the noise. On one of the most important drives of the game late in the fourth quarter, the Raiders offense had 3 penalties mainly because of the crowd noise. Kudos to the fans, and keep that energy up.
Rookie of the Week: Khari Willis
I absolutely love Khari Willis, and think that once Hooker returns, Willis should start alongside him in the place of Geathers. He was once again really solid in the running game and he seems to always have a play or two where he looks like he was shot out of a cannon and stops the ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage.