Interim head coach Jeff Saturday is officially 1-0 after the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 25-20 in Week 10. Indianapolis improves to 4-5-1 and snaps a three-game losing streak.
NEW-LOOK COLTS OFFENSE PROVIDES MUCH-NEEDED SPARK
Coming into the game against the Raiders, the Colts had by far one of the league’s worst offenses. The numbers proved it. Many wondered how interim head coach Jeff Saturday and new offensive play-caller Parks Frazier would fare in their respective roles.
Indianapolis’ offense responded with one of its finest performances of the season. The Colts’ offense amassed 415 total yards and moved the ball with great success for much of the game.
Quarterback Matt Ryan, who has missed the last few weeks with a shoulder injury, was reinserted as the starter and went 21-for-28 with 222 passing yards, one touchdown and a career-long 39-yard run as well. Ryan helped orchestrate his fourth game-winning drive and fifth, fourth quarter comeback. Running back Jonathan Taylor also returned to in-game action as well and gashed Las Vegas’ run defense for 147 rushing yards and a touchdown while averaging 6.7 yards per attempt.
The Colts were also much better this week on third down, converting 6 of their 11 attempts. Ultimately, Sunday’s performance against Las Vegas may be what Indianapolis needed to help boost the team’s confidence going forward.
BIG DAY FOR COLTS’ GROUND GAME AND PASS-CATCHERS
The Colts’ pass-catchers stepped up in a major way in Indianapolis’ victory. Wide receiver Parris Campbell, who’s continued to play a significant role in Indy’s offense, had seven receptions for 76 yards and a key 35-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to help extend the Colts’ lead.
Wideout Michael Pittman Jr. caught seven passes for 53 yards, and tight end Kylen Granson had four receptions for 57 yards. Running back Jonathan Taylor also had himself quite the performance, rushing for 147 yards and a 66-yard touchdown on an average of 6.7 yards per attempt.
Part of the reason Indianapolis was able to find so much success against Las Vegas was due to the protection provided by the offensive line. Indy’s unit only surrendered one sack and was excellent in both pass protection and paving running lanes for Taylor all game long.
COLTS’ DEFENSE COMES UP WITH KEY STOPS TO HELP SECURE WIN
Just as the unit has done for much of the 2022 season, the Colts’ defense again came to play against Las Vegas, holding Vegas’ offense to just 20 total points. Quarterback Derrek Carr did find some success against Indy’s secondary at times Sunday (248 passing yards, two touchdowns).
The Colts’ defensive line held Raiders’ running back Josh Jacobs to 3.7 yards per attempt and only 78 rushing yards. In total, Indy’s top-end rush defense surrendered just 77 rushing yards and gave up an average of 3.2 yards per attempt.
Defensive tackles Grover Stewart and DeForest Buckner also deserve a ton of credit. Both have been playing at an All-Pro level this season, and they each were disruptive in both the running game and as pass rushers. Stewart recorded a sack while Buckner had 0.5 a sack, which brings his total to five on the season.
A key red zone stop late in the fourth quarter, courtesy of cornerback Stephon Gilmore, helped seal the win for the Colts. While Indy’s defense did struggle at times, they ultimately came away with stops when it mattered most, and the unit deserves credit for their performance.