NFL Week 17: Which 3 Raiders Defensive Players Need To Step Up?

Well, Raider Nation, somehow, someway, the Las Vegas Raiders are still in playoff contention. If they can win out in these last two games, they’ll likely be in the postseason for only the second time since 2003.

In Week 17, they meet the Indianapolis Colts, who boast a dynamic running game and a very opportunistic defense. A victory by the Raiders could put them in the playoffs going into the last week of the year. With that being said, this could be the biggest game for the Raiders in years. The running game is the biggest weapon for the Colts, so here are the three defensive players who need to step up for the Silver and Black.

Solomon Thomas

Thomas has consistently flashed on film and in the games. Luckily for the Raiders, he has revitalized his career in Vegas and has been a force to be reckoned with. His numbers currently sit at 33 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, and two pass deflections. His presence in the locker room and the opponent’s backfield has not been missed. This week, one of the premier running backs in the NFL, Johnathan Taylor, sits across the way. So, Thomas will need to cause disruption and, at the very least, slow down Taylor. It is a tall task to ask for. However, it is one that will be sorely needed.

Quinton Jefferson

As he constantly got into the backfield against the Denver Broncos, Jefferson showed exactly how much of a force he could be. He had countless pressures, picked up a sack, and was flying around the field trying to make plays. With 43 total tackles, four sacks, and five tackles for loss, as well as two forced fumbles, Jefferson has shown his value. If he can duplicate that performance against the Colts, it would go a long way toward placing the team in a great place to succeed.

Denzel Perryman

What can be said about Perryman that hasn’t been said this year already? A late-training camp trade with the Carolina Panthers brought Perryman over, and only an injury temporarily slowed him down. Perryman has delivered big shots and caused fans to jump out of their seats with some hits. He currently leads the NFL with 138 total tackles. He returned from injury last week and should be ready to go for this matchup. The Raiders will rely on him to have a big game and give the team a chance to pull off the upset, just like the other two.

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*Top Photo: AP Photo/John Locher

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