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Raiders Mailbag: Can the Raiders defense contain Philip Rivers, Jonathan Taylor Sunday?

It's now or never for the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Silver and Black are trying to control their destiny for the playoffs, as they'll get the opportunity to go head-to-head with a team directly in their way. The Indianapolis Colts will be coming into Allegiant Stadium Sunday with the current seventh and last wild-card seed in their hands with the Raiders right behind them in the race.

A lot of you are concerned with what the Raiders need to do to pull out the win on their road to the playoffs. If any of you want more insight, @theleviedwards on Twitter and Instagram is where you can find me.

Debby Brascia asks…

"How will you prepare defensively for the Colts?"

The Silver and Black may not be too familiar with the Colts as a team, but they've had to face their new quarterback for 16 years now.

The Raiders will have to get after 39-year-old quarterback Philip Rivers. This is Rivers' first season playing with the Colts after his long stint with the AFC West foe Chargers.

If the Raiders want to stop the Colts, they must get after Rivers and not give him time in the pocket to make plays. Rivers' new offensive line is stellar behind All-Pro guard Quentin Nelson, but if the defensive line can create enough pressure to force a mistake, it will go a long way toward containing the Colts.

The last time the Raiders faced Rivers, they defeated the Chargers 24-17 and held Rivers to a 40.4 quarterback rating.

Fou Saetern asks…

"Raiders have been lacking on the run defense, what will they do different for the next game?"

The Raiders run defense has not been great statistically recently.

The past three games they've allowed an average of nearly 144 rushing yards per game, including 206 rushing yards to the New York Jets.

Still, they've shown they can get the job done when needed when players such as Clelin Ferrell, Maurice Hurst and Nicholas Morrow step up and stuff their gaps.

The Raiders will have their hands full against rookie running back Jonathan Taylor, who's ran for 609 yards and four touchdowns this season. The two-time Doak Walker winner has been proving his worth and working his way into the feature back position for the Colts, so expect guys like Ferrell, plus perhaps the new addition of Vic Beasley to get a chance to step up big in this game in efforts to limit Colts run game.

Shane Deshawn Brantley asks...

"Get Henry Ruggs involved in the offense early. He's a top pick! He's a threat."

Shane, this really isn't a question, but I feel you man.

Despite the miscues Carr and Ruggs had at the beginning of the game against the Jets, it's good to see Carr looking for his rookie receiver earlier and often. Ruggs' speed makes him a threat at all times, and as he continues to improve as a player, he will only be more of a threat.

The game-winning 46-yard touchdown was a work of art and shows the two are gaining chemistry. I also want to see Carr continue to get Ruggs more involved earlier in games, and god willing, if any more defenses give Ruggs a one-on-one in man coverage, Carr exploits it as much as he can.

View director of photography Michael Clemens' top picks of black and white photos from the Raiders' Week 13 victory against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

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