Defensive End Khalil Mack and Linebacker Malcolm Smith
The Oakland Raiders cleared another hurdle in their quest to claim the AFC West crown Saturday afternoon, as they beat the Indianapolis Colts 33-25 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
The 12-3 Raiders – who clinched a playoff berth last weekend – are now just a Kansas City Chiefs loss away from winning the division for the first time since 2002. The Silver and Black will wrap up the regular season next Sunday on the road against the Denver Broncos, but before we shift our focus to Week 17, let's take a look at the playtime percentages from Saturday's win over the Colts, and see what we can learn from the numbers.
Carr exits early– With 11:07 left in the fourth quarter, the tune of Saturday's game quickly changed after Derek Carr was sacked, injuring his right leg on the play. Carr was removed immediately from the game, and during his postgame press conference, Head Coach Jack Del Rio confirmed that the Silver and Black would be going forward without their starting quarterback.
"Derek had a break of his fibula, and [will] require surgery," said Head Coach Del Rio postgame. "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."
In total, Carr played 63 offensive snaps (83%), finishing his day 20 of 30 for 228 yards and three touchdowns.
Watson enters the mix– The Raiders made a change at right tackle for Saturday's matchup with the Colts, inserting Menelik Watson at right tackle. The athletic lineman played all 76 offensive snaps, as did the rest of the starting offensive line of Donald Penn, Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson, and Gabe Jackson. Watson played well in his first start in just about a month, helping provide sound protection for Carr and McGloin, as well as paving the way for the Raiders trio of running backs.
Washington has a career day– The Raiders are fortunate enough to have a trio of running backs that are able to leave their imprint on the game, and Saturday it was rookie DeAndré Washington's turn. Washington just 25 snaps (33%), but he no doubt made the most of them, carrying the ball 12 times for 99 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also got involved in the passing game, catching one pass from Carr for 18 yards.
Smith paces the defense **– Once again, linebacker Malcolm Smith went the distance for the Raiders defense, playing all 55 defensive snaps in the 33-25 win. Not only did Smith lead the team with eight tackles, but he also forced a fumble that later resulted in a touchdown for the Silver and Black.
Edwards makes his return– It's been a long wait for Mario Edwards Jr. After injuring his hip in the Raiders preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals, the second-year defensive end has been working to get back on the field all season. The team activated him from the Reserve/Injured – Designated for Return List prior to the matchup with the Colts, and No. 97 returned to the field Saturday, playing 18 (33%) snaps, primarily in third down situations.
Allen records another takeaway– With rookie Karl Joseph still unable to hit the field, veteran safety Nate Allen once again was called into action Saturday afternoon at the OACC. Allen played all 55 defensive snaps, totaling seven tackles, one pass defensed, and one first quarter interception of Andrew Luck that the Raiders were able to turn into seven points. With the pick, Allen now has two on the year.