If there were ever a regular season game with extreme playoff implications, this week’s Las Vegas - Indianapolis matchup is the perfect embodiment of it.
After two weeks on the road, the Raiders will return home and welcome the Colts to Allegiant Stadium.
Currently, Vegas is on the outside looking into the playoff scenario after losing two of it’s last three games.
Indianapolis holds onto that last playoff spot in this year’s expanded postseason field.
In addition, the Colts are currently tied with the Tennessee Titans atop the AFC South.
The Raiders more than likely will have to secure a wild card spot in order to reach the playoffs as the Kansas City Chiefs’ magic number is two.
However, Vegas holds the tiebreaker over the Baltimore Ravens for the eighth spot despite having identical records.
The Raiders will be looking for it’s first home win since Nov. 15 against the Denver Broncos, 37-12 and are now 2-3 from their new home field.
The Colts are 4-2 on the road.
This week’s test for Las Vegas may lie in handling the vaunted defense of Indianapolis.
The Colts allow the eighth fewest passing yards in the National Football League and are tied for fifth with 13 interceptions.
Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr has completed 68 percent of his passes, throwing for over 3,000 yards with 22 touchdowns and five interceptions.
His five interceptions are tied for the fifth-fewest in the league.
In addition, Indianapolis currently allows the sixth-fewest rushing yards in the NFL.
Good news for Vegas, starting running back Josh Jacobs is expected to return to the field after missing last week’s game against the New York Jets.
As of now he’s listed as questionable with an ankle injury.
So far this season, Jacobs has racked up 782 yards on 206 carries with a career-high nine touchdowns.
In addition to Jacobs, safety Johnathan Abram is listed as questionable as well after missing the Jets game as well with a knee injury.
News dropped earlier this week that Abram had been fined $80,000 on two tackles during the game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Nov. 29.
Both hits went unflagged during the contest.
Abram is expected to appeal.
Cornerback Isaiah Johnson is also listed as questionable with a groin injury.
More secondary issues may be on the horizon as safety Jeff Heath and cornerback Damon Arnette are out of Sunday’s contest with concussions.
Arnette’s injury is also listed as a potential neck injury as well.
Colts’ quarterback Philip Rivers has an 18-10 overall record against the Raiders in his career.
Rivers has 47 touchdowns against the Vegas franchise is his most against any other team in the NFL.
The Raiders currently lead the all-time series 9-7.
The last win for the Las Vegas franchise was Sept. 29, 2019 when the team won 31-24 in the two team’s last meeting.
Over the last seven games against the Colts, the Raiders have won two.
Vegas will be looking for consecutive wins against Indianapolis for the first time since 2000 - 2001.