Running Back DeAndré Washington
The Oakland Raiders returned home and also returned to the win the column as well, beating the Indianapolis Colts 33-25 Saturday afternoon at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
With the win, the Raiders now boast a 12-3 record, and with a win by the Denver Broncos tomorrow night, the Silver and Black can clinch their first AFC West title since 2002.
The Raiders will wrap up the 2016 regular season next Sunday on the road against the Broncos, but before we look ahead to that matchup at Sports Authority Field, let's take a look at five takeaways from the win over the Colts.
1. Derek Carr is out indefinitely
There's no point in sugar coating it; the Raiders were dealt a big blow in the fourth quarter of Saturday's win when Derek Carr was sacked by Trent Cole, breaking his fibula on the play.
Carr was immediately removed from the ballgame, and Head Coach Jack Del Rio confirmed No. 4's injury during his postgame press conference.
"Derek had a break of his fibula, and [will] require surgery," said Head Coach Del Rio. "We're going to try to get it done tomorrow, and so he'll be out indefinitely. Once he's healed and ready to go, we'll go, but until then he'll be healing. It was a good win, but a tough setback to have our quarterback go down like that, unfortunate."
Matt McGloin played out the final 11:07 for the Silver and Black, finishing the Week 15 win with two completed passes for 29 total yards.
With no timetable for Carr's return, the former Penn State Nittany Lion figures to handle the quarterbacking duties going forward, beginning next Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
2. The run game just kept on rolling
Let's look on the bright side, not only did the Raiders beat the Colts, the Silver and Black dominated he line of scrimmage, running for an impressive 210 yards on the ground.
Both DeAndré Washington and Jalen Richard enjoyed impressive outings against the Indianapolis defense, Washington in particular, who ran for a career-high 99 yards and two touchdowns.
"We saw some things on film that we liked, and we were able to kind of execute it today," Washington said. "It felt good. I think it just came with the preparation. Those few weeks I was out, man, I was just hungry to get back out there and [keep] attacking as if I was playing, so I think that helped me out today."
"I thought we ran it very well today," added Del Rio. "The line did a good job of moving people and the backs hit it hard. DeAndré [Washington] got his first score and then he got another. I think he was right at the century mark. Just under it maybe. It was a good performance running the ball."
Over the past month, the Raiders trio of running backs have really begun to find their stride, and going forward, particularly without Carr under center, the group will need to keep up their high level of production.
3. Andre Holmes had a day
The veteran wide receiver enjoyed one of his best days of 2016 Saturday afternoon, finishing the Week 16 win with three catches for 33 yards and a touchdown, as well as showing off his usual impressive skills on the Raiders coverage teams.
Holmes now has 12 career receiving touchdowns, which ties him with Marcel Reece for the second-most receiving touchdowns by an undrafted player in franchise history.
"I've been feeling really, really good all season, and I just want to go out there and make plays to help the team win," Holmes said postgame. "I love doing that, and that's what I was able to do today."
The Raiders certainly don't have a lack of playmakers on the offensive side of the football, but give credit to the guys like Holmes and Seth Roberts, they almost always seem to make the most of their opportunities, and Saturday's effort did not deviate from that trend.
4. The defense was able to force a trio of turnovers
Defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., likes to say that turnovers come in bunches, and that certainly looked to be the case against the Colts, as his defense forced three turnovers, resulting in 21 points for the Silver and Black.
Both Reggie Nelson and Nate Allen came away with interceptions of Andrew Luck, and TJ Carrie secured a fumble that was forced by Malcolm Smith.
The Raiders defense has no doubt had its share of ups and downs this season, but as of late the group has been playing improved football, and as the team heads into the postseason, they'll have to keep that trend going.
Andrew Luck did finish the game with 288 passing yards, but for most of the day, the Raiders defense was able to hold him in check and make his life difficult.
5. The Raiders are another step closer to the AFC West crown.
In the aftermath of Derek Carr's injury I know that it's probably hard right now to look at the positives from today's game, but here's something that will make Raider Nation happy; with Saturday's win, the Raiders are now yet another step closer to securing their first division title since 2002.
Boasting a 12-3 record, the Silver and Black locked up a spot in the postseason last week, but now, with a loss tomorrow night by the Kansas City Chiefs, the Raiders will officially win the AFC West.
Since taking over the head coaching duties in Oakland, Head Coach Del Rio has stressed that the team's goal each season is to win their division, and now his group is even closer to that goal.
That being said, the players on the team still know that even with a division title within their grasp, there is still a lot on the table for the Raiders, even with Derek Carr going down.
"I think everybody – we've been through everything," cornerback David Amerson said. "We've been through a lot, from last year to this year. We've seen it all, played through it all, so I don't think there's any challenges that we're not ready for."