The 8-6 Indianapolis Colts come into Oakland on Sunday to take on the 7-7 Raiders. At least, what is left of the Colts. It is a testament to the Colts organization that they are in first place despite have over 10 players placed on injured reserve this season. The Colts still have Peyton Manning under center, though and you can never count his team out of a game.
The Colts are coming off of a huge win against their division rival Jacksonville Jaguars and they catapulted back into first place in the AFC South. Still, they are one loss away from being back in second and out of the playoffs.
The Raiders playoffs may already be dashed when they take the field on Sunday. The Chiefs will play before them and if they win, they will eliminate the Raiders from contention. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact this has on the Raiders. No matter what circumstances they face, you can count on them running early and often.
The Colts run defense has been their weakness all season. They are currently 32nd in yards allowed per carry. They did, however, stymie the Jaguars running game last week. They will undoubtedly try to stack the box and make the Raiders beat them over the top. At least, this is how I would attack the Raiders.
Passing could be a scary proposition for the Raiders. The Colts feature the best pass rushing DE duo in the league with Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney combining for 17.5 sacks this season. The Raiders have struggled to protect the passer all year and the majority of those struggles have been at the Tackle position. This will be an area to keep an eye on the injury of Langston Walker. Walker suffered a concussion last week and he has not yet been cleared to play.
Other injuries we will keep an eye on for you will be, Richard Seymour and Shane Lechler's hamstring issues. Check back here as we will update the betting lines, playoff scenarios, matchups and injuries.