IND-OAK grades: Mack shines as Raiders lose Carr to injury
Oakland Raiders 33, Indianapolis Colts 25
Here are the highest-graded players and top takeaways from Oakland’s 33-25 victory over Indianapolis, which officially knocked the Colts out of playoff contention.
Quarterback grade: Derek Carr, 82.5
Carr plays well before leaving with injury
This game will not be remembered for the result, but for Derek Carr’s broken fibula suffered late. Prior to the injury, Carr looked to have bounced back from two below-par games the last two weeks. Against the Colts, Carr had all day to pass, as he was only pressured on 5 dropbacks (out of 32) and even when he was pressured he completed 75 percent of his passes for 12.8 yards per attempt. Carr wasn’t the most accurate on deep passes over 20 yards, completing just 3-of-7 passes for 91 yards.
Top offensive grades:
QB Derek Carr, 82.5
C Rodney Hudson, 78.7
HB Jalen Richard, 77.0
WR Amari Cooper, 76.7
T Menelik Watson, 75.2
Rushing attack holds off Colts
Losing Carr is a huge damper on the Raiders season, but the team still gets to go to the playoffs and if it is going to do any damage in the playoffs it will need to rely on the offensive line and the running game to take the burden off the shoulders of backup quarterback Matt McGloin. Against the Colts, the running game dominated a poor run defense in the second half. The Raiders used three running backs; the only runner who seemed to struggle was starting RB Latavius Murray. Backups DeAndre Washingon and Jalen Richard combined for 165 yards on 18 carries as they where able to use their shiftiness to create lanes when the point of attack was broken down and showed how the Raiders can rely on their runners to take over in the playoffs.
Top defensive grades:
ED Khalil Mack, 86.2
S Reggie Nelson, 83.6
ED Bruce Irvin, 74.3
LB Perry Riley, 73.0
CB David Amerson, 69.6
Khalil Mack shows no mercy on Christmas Eve
If the Colts offensive linemen thought that Khalil Mack would give them a bit of a breather in the spirit of Christmas, they most certainly thought wrong. Mack was unstoppable as a pass-rusher, racking up nine total pressures (eight hurries and one hit) on 33 pass-rush attempts, and it would have been more had Andrew Luck not gotten rid of the ball as quickly as he did on a few occasions. Mack has been a force of nature this season and, prior to Week 16’s Sunday/Monday games, he sits as our No. 1-ranked edge defender for the season with an overall grade of 93.8.
Quarterback grade: Andrew Luck, 74.1
Luck brilliant when given time
Andrew Luck was a very different quarterback Saturday afternoon when he was under pressure compared to when he wasn’t. When given a clean pocket to throw from, Luck completed 14-of-15 passes for 190 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions, giving him a 141.0 passer rating when kept clean. While under pressure though, Luck was able to connect on just 5-of-14 passes for 98 yards, a touchdowns and two interceptions, putting up a 45.2 passer rating. Luck faced pressure on half of his dropbacks on Sunday, the highest rate among all quarterbacks entering Saturday evening.
Top offensive grades:
WR T.Y. Hilton, 80.8
G Joe Haeg, 80.7
TE Jack Doyle, 79.5
QB Andrew Luck, 74.1
C Ryan Kelly, 72.5
Jekyll and Hyde on Colts offensive line
Rookie’s Joe Haeg and Ryan Kelly had good games, with both contributing positively as run-blockers – especially Haeg, who finished the game with an 87.8 run-blocking grade – while each allowed two pressures in pass protection. Meanwhile, Anthony Castonzo, Jonotthan Harrison and Le’Raven Clark combined to allow 12 pressures between them. Luck threw both of his interceptions while targeting Hilton, but Hilton wasn’t to blame for either of them; all in all Hilton hauled in 4-of-9 targets for 105 yards (and a two-point conversion), while Jack Doyle brought in 5-of-7 targets for 46 yards. Eight of Hilton and Doyle’s combined nine catches resulted in Colts’ first downs.
Top defensive grades:
LB Antonio Morrison, 84.8
LB Edwin Jackson, 81.6
DI Henry Anderson, 80.4
CB Darius Butler, 72.3
ED Akeem Ayers, 67.9
Henry Anderson stands out on bleak Christmas Eve for Colts defense
The Colts defense had very few players who stood out. The linebacker pair of Antonio Morrison and Edwin Jackson showed they both have potential as run-stopping linebackers as they combined for 7 stops against the run. The other performance that was head and shoulders above everyone else was the play of Henry Anderson, who is in his second season in the NFL and still trying to get back to his play from last season (prior to his ACL tear). He played significantly more snaps Saturday than he had in any other game this season and rewarded the Colts with consistent play against the run as he was too strong for tight end Clive Walford. This was an encouraging sign that next season Anderson might be able to get back to first-year play where he was able to be one of the best rookies in 2015.
PFF Game-Ball winner: Raiders ED Khalil Mack. 86.2
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