The Oakland Raiders will play their final home game of the regular season this Saturday, finishing out the home slate on Christmas Eve against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, Dec. 24 at 1:05 p.m. Following a two-game road trip, the Raiders will take on the Colts at the Coliseum, marking the first matchup between the two teams since the 2013 season opener in Indianapolis. The game will also mark the final contest of the year against AFC South opponents, going 3-0 so far against the Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans. Last week, the Raiders won a divisional game against the San Diego Chargers, 19-16, and the Colts defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 34-6.
Here is this week's Game Preview, presented by 95.7 The Game.
Date:Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016Kickoff:1:05 p.m. PTSite:Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (1966)Capacity/Surface:56,055/Overseeded BermudaRegular Season:Raiders lead, 7-6
Postseason:Series tied, 1-1
By virtue of the team's victory in San Diego, the Raiders got their 11th win of the year and clinched a playoff spot. Oakland's defense turned in one their best performances of the season, holding the Chargers to 263 total yards. LB Bruce Irvin paced the unit, recording six tackles, a season-high two sacks and one forced fumble. DL Denico Autry had a strong game on the defensive line, tallying a sack and one tackle. DE Khalil Mack continued his dominating campaign, totaling six tackles and consistently pressuring QB Philip Rivers. S Reggie Nelson added his team-leading fourth interception of the year, sealing the win late in the fourth quarter. On offense, QB Derek Carr led another fourth-quarter comeback, throwing for 213 yards on 19-of-30 passing with one touchdown. WR Michael Crabtree posted six receptions for 60 yards and one touchdown, leading the team in receiving. RB Latavius Murray led the rushing attack, recording 13 rushes for 81 yards. K Sebastian Janikowski was perfect on the afternoon connecting on all four field goal attempts, including the 44-yard game-winner with 3:47 remaining. The Raiders will wrap up the regular season next week in Denver against the Broncos on New Year's Day, while the Colts host the Jaguars to finish out their regular season.
The Raiders defensive effort last week in San Diego was a continuation of what the unit has been doing as of late. Since Week 7, Oakland's defense ranks seventh in the NFL in total net yards allowed per game, surrendering just 324.1 yards per game. The unit has not allowed more than 382 total yards or 283 passing yards in any of those eight contests. The Raiders are also tied for first in the NFL in turnover differential since Week 7, posting a +10 margin.
Play-by-play: Jim Nantz
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Overview: Now in his fifth year as the Colts head coach, Chuck Pagano entered his 2016 campaign with a .641 winning percentage, fourth best amongst active head coaches. Including the playoffs, his .629 winning percentage ranks third in Colts history among head coaches through their first four seasons. After a 1-3 start to the season, Pagano has the Colts in third place in the AFC South at 7-7.
Offense: A familiar face will return to the Bay Area this weekend, as Stanford product QB Andrew Luck leads his 11th ranked offense (361.1 yards per game) and seventh ranked passing offense (258.9 yards per game) into Oakland. Luck has had another fantastic season in just his fifth year in the NFL, tossing for 27 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions, and is on pace for his second 30-plus passing touchdown season. WR T.Y. Hilton ranks second in the NFL, first in the AFC with 1,248 receiving yards this year and is tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns (six) with WR Donte Moncrief. The bell cow in the backfield for the Colts is RB Frank Gore, who currently has racked up 891 yards, on pace for his ninth career 1,000-yard season.
Defense: Although the defense ranks 29th in yards per game, they define what it means to bend but not break, as they rank fourth in both red zone efficiency (46.7%) and goal-to-goal efficiency (60.9%) on the year. Seventh-year OLB Erik Walden is having his best season as a pro yet, and is tied for the 10th most sacks in the NFL this season with 10 after only recording three in 2015. S Mike Adams leads the team with four takeaways (two interceptions and two fumble recoveries) and also sits with the second most tackles on the team (67). Since Week 13, only three teams have allowed fewer points than the Colts' 38.
An exclusive look at the past matchups between the Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts. The two teams have met 15 times previously, with the last matchup having occurred in 2013.
• Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie (director of football operations and pro personnel) and Assistant Head Coach/offensive line Joe Philbin (offensive coordinator, offensive line coach, tight ends/assistant offensive line and assistant offensive line) spent nine years together with the Green Bay Packers, winning Super Bowl XLV together in 2010.
• Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio (defensive coordinator/interim head coach Weeks 10-13, 2013) coached Colts S Mike Adams for two sea- sons (2012-2013) and Colts ILB Nate Irving for three (2012-2014) with the Denver Broncos, making it to Super Bowl XLVIII in 2013.
• Raiders special teams coordinator Brad Seely began his coaching career in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts (1989-1993), serving as their special teams/tight ends coach during his five-year span.
• Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino served on Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio's staff from 2006-09 with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Raiders offensive line coach Mike Tice and assistant quarterbacks coach Jake Peetz also spent time with Monachino in Jacksonville.
• Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson (director of player personnel) assisted in the scouting and drafting of Raiders S Nate Allen when the two were in Philadelphia together. Allen was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft by Grigson and the Eagles.
• Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano served as the Raiders' defensive backs coach for two seasons (2005-06). In 2006, the Raiders led the NFL in pass defense, allowing just 150.8 yards per game, and ranked third in total defense, surrendering only 284.8 yards per contest.
• Colts defensive line coach Gary Emanuel earned an internship/fellowship role with the Raiders in 2001.
• Colts QB Andrew Luck played his college football at Stanford (2009- 2011) before becoming the number one overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Luck was a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist in 2010 and 2011 and was named the Maxwell Award Winner for the National Player of the Year, Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year and Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons (2010-2011).
• Raiders QB Derek Carr and Colts OLB Chris Carter spent two seasons together (2009-2010) at Fresno State before Carter departed for the 2011 NFL Draft and was selected in the fifth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
• Raiders WR Amari Cooper and Colts G Ryan Kelley spent three seasons together (2012-2014) at the University of Alabama, and won the 2013 BCS National Championship over the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
• Raiders TE Clive Walford and G/C Jon Feliciano spent four seasons together (2011-2014) with Colts WR Phillip Dorsett and Colts TE Erik Swoope, while spending three seasons together with Colts QB Stephen Morris (practice squad) from 2011-2013.
• Colts DT David Parry played four years (2011-2014) at Stanford while appearing in 40 games (23 starts), posting 91 tackles (43 solo), 6.5 sacks and two passes defensed. In 2014, was a Burlsworth Trophy semifinalist, which is given to the most outstanding college football player that began his career as a walk-on.
• Colts DT Henry Anderson played at Stanford from 2011-2014 before departing for the 2015 NFL Draft, where he was selected in the third round by the Colts.
• Raiders DT Darius Latham is a native of Indianapolis, Ind., where he attended North Central High School before playing his college ball at Indiana University (2013-2015), where he played in 35 games (20 starts). • Colts LS Matt Overton is from Tracy, Calif., and attended Tracy High School.
• Colts RB Robert Turbin is a native of Oakland, Calif. Turbin attended Irvington High School, where he was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year and received all-league honors as a defensive back during his senior season.