Earlier this week Frank Reich was fired as the head coach of the Colts signaling the end of his tenure in Indianapolis. But will Indianapolis rebound with renewed enthusiasm this week or is this team too disjointed to give the Raiders a run for their money?
Indianapolis Colts vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Sunday, November 13, 2022 – 04:05 PM EST at Allegiant Stadium
New Head Coach for the Colts
One would think a 3-5-1 (3-6 ATS) record would put a team hopelessly out of playoff contention but when said team resides in the AFC South, it’s never too late to say adieu to the postseason.
And that’s what we have here in the Indianapolis Colts, a team that recently fired their head coach and replaced him with a beloved former player, Jeff Saturday, whose coaching resume includes a stint at Hebron Christian Academy, a college prep school, and…
Yup, that’s it. If you’ve ever coached in the high school ranks then maybe there’s a pro team waiting for a guy like you. But for the here and now, it’s flat-out weird. And now the Friday Night Light’s coach must somehow get acquainted with his players, as well as the offensive and defensive schemes while becoming intimately familiar with the nuances of his opponent on Sunday.
Oh, and delivering a rousing speech to his new charges wouldn’t be a bad touch either, but he might not have enough time to get to know all of his players’ names. In case you missed it, the Colts were trounced, 26-3, at Foxboro last Sunday which closed the curtain on Frank Reich’s coaching career in Indianapolis.
McDaniels Safe for Now
Speaking of coaches on the proverbial hot seat, Josh McDaniels would be a likely candidate for the unemployment line had he not just signed a multi-year contract with Las Vegas in the offseason. Unless his difficulties on the field are eclipsed by any moral transgressions off of it, McDaniels will have free rein the rest of this season and perhaps all of next.
But watching a 17-point lead melt like butter in a blast furnace (for the 3rd time this season) and getting shut out in the second half culminating in a 27-20 loss to the Jaguars in Jacksonville last week, has undoubtedly left the Raiders’ brass second-guessing their head coach, one who crashed and burned within 2 years of his lackluster reign in Denver.
The Raiders enter this matchup in worst shape than the Colts. They are 2-6 straight-up (3-5 ATS) and have lost 3 of their last 4. But if there is any silver lining it has to be the chemistry between Derek Carr and his former Fresno State teammate, Davante Adams.
Carr repeatedly and successfully targeted Adams resulting in the 5-time Pro Bowler grabbing 10 catches for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns in Sunday’s loss to the Jags.
Colts vs. Raiders: Game Prediction
At this point, I usually begin talking about the matchups and analyzing anything that is even remotely germane to the game at hand. But the carnival atmosphere surrounding the Colts coupled with Josh McDaniels becoming a living legend at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in losing not 1, not 2, but 3 games in which his team held identical 17-point leads makes it incumbent on me to tell you that this entire game is a wild card.
But let’s assume Jeff Saturday is a typical coaching retread that will steer this franchise through these perilous waters until the Colts can get their hands on the latest big coaching thing next season. And since we’re deluding ourselves, let’s also pretend that Davante Adams isn’t publicly questioning his coach’s change in strategy when holding a big lead.
The Better Team
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down to the bare basics. The Raiders have a bona fide quarterback in Derek Carr, an All-Pro receiver in Davante Adams, and a powerful force in the backfield with Josh Jacobs. Maybe they’ll even get lucky and welcome tight-end, Darren Waller, back for this one.
As for the Colts, their offense is, quite frankly, rather offensive. They rank 27th in total yards, 30th in rushing yards, and dead last in points scored, averaging a paltry 14.7 points per game.
The only thing Indianapolis has going for them is a reasonable defense, but reasonable is being ranked 13th in points allowed which is far from spectacular. And it certainly isn’t nearly good enough to keep the Colts in this game considering their anemic offense.
I believe McDaniels has to seriously be considering changing what’s broken because he’s not a stupid guy and if his players are starting to second-guess him publicly, imagine what the inside of that locker room must sound like. He is on the precipice of losing control of this team and it may be too late.
But fortunately, the scheduling gods put the Colts on their slate at the right place at exactly the right time. The more I think about it, the more I like the Raiders in what should be a low-scoring affair.
Score Prediction: Raiders 24 - Colts 13
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