1) Historic season for Derek Carr
While Derek Carr is already the Raiders career passing yards record holder, he's on the verge of claiming another Raiders passing record this year.
Carr is 327 yards away from breaking the record for the most passing yards in a single season by a Raider. The current record holder is Rich Gannon, who has held the record since his 2002 MVP season.
If Carr does indeed set a new record in Indianapolis, it also means there's a good chance the Raiders could pick up a pivotal Week 17 victory. The Silver and Black are 6-0 this year in games where Carr has thrown for over 300 yards.
2) Moment for Madden
Prior to the game Sunday, the Raiders will be able to get a moment of silence for their Hall of Fame coach.
John Madden passed away at the age of 85 on Dec. 28. His passing has been felt not only around the league, but across the entire world of sports and entertainment. In response, the NFL announced that all teams will observe a moment of silence pregame in remembrance.
"Nobody loved football more than Coach," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement Tuesday. "He was football. He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others. There will never be another John Madden, and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today."
3) Guessing game on defense through the week
There have been several players on defense that has been in and out the past couple of weeks due to COVID-19. However, it looks like the Raiders defense is getting closer to full strength with the upcoming matchup.
So far this week Roderic Teamer, Brandon Facyson and K.J. Wright have been activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Interim Head Coach Rich Bisaccia said Friday that "we fully anticipate" getting back Denzel Perryman, Casey Hayward Jr., Darius Philon and Cory Littleton off the Reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Sunday. With several players' statuses unknown throughout the week, defensive coordinator Gus Bradley did his diligence in game planning around those players in hopes they would return.
"That part is difficult because you hope you get them all back, and even the guys that you get back will be back on Saturday," Bradley said Thursday. "So, I think you game plan with the idea that what can we put in, that anybody that's available can go out there and execute at a high level. Even the guys that missed a whole week of practice. And it's a challenging week for that, but fortunately we got Zoom and they are involved in all meetings. And the guys that are out really do a good job studying and preparing. We talk about practices, that's where we make us and build our mentality for the week."
4) Limiting the turnovers
The last time the Raiders played the Colts, they were handily defeated 44-27 inside of an empty Allegiant Stadium during a COVID-impacted season. The tables will now be turned a season later with the Raiders on the road. When asked about what the Raiders offense can change against this tough Colts defense, ball security was offensive coordinator Greg Olson's biggest point of emphasis.
"First and foremost, we've got to secure the football. I believe we had three turnovers in that game last season," said Olson. "So, securing the football. Even the previous two wins that we had, we got to do a better job of taking care of the football. They lead the league in creating turnovers. So, we are very aware of that, and ball security has been a big emphasis for us leading into this week."
5) Best out of five
In Carr's time with the Raiders, he's split the four games he's played against Indianapolis – the Raiders taking two and the Colts taking two.
Carr has been able to find success against the Colts through the air with 981 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and a 69.6 percent completion rating against them in his career. That's all in the past for Carr, though, as he's fighting to get to the first playoff game in his career.
"At the end of the day, like we always talk about, nobody cares. The fact of the matter is that we have two games left against two really good football teams and we need to win them," said Derek Carr. "And if we do and we can get in, I think that would be pretty remarkable. I think that would be pretty amazing. But it falls in line with what our plans were at the beginning of the year and despite all the adversity to be able to still stare your goals in the face and have an opportunity to obtain them, it's pretty cool, not going to lie. It is pretty cool.
"But none of it matters unless we take care of business on the road here against the Colts."
6) Moreau continuing to get shine
Moreau has been making the most out of his bigger role in the offense recently, as he's racked up at least four catches and 65 receiving yards in the past two games.
View photos of past matchups between the Raiders and the Indianapolis Colts as the Silver and Black prepare for their Week 17 matchup.