Raiders vs. Colts

3 Key Matchups Worth Watching vs. Colts

In Week 10 of the NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts play the Las Vegas Raiders. Both teams have fallen short of the preseason expectations, and they are now far closer to the number one overall pick than a postseason spot. But let’s set aside all of their problems and analyze three crucial matchups between these two teams that are going to be worth watching.

Colts vs. Raiders – Matchup No. 1: Rock Ya-Sin vs. Michael Pittman Jr. 

This week, Ya-Sin faces his former squad and hopes to continue his strong season. This time around, Ya-Sin will meet Pittman Jr. as an opponent, not a practice opponent. We are in for a good matchup because both players are now at the top of their positions for their respective teams.

Pittman Jr. is four inches taller and nearly 40 pounds heavier than Ya-Sin in this game, which is the largest mismatch between the two. Pittman Jr. therefore has the advantage if things turn physical. So, Ya-Sin will need to be cautious about the types of battles he engages in with Pittman Jr. The already pitiful Colts’ offense will suffer even more if Ya-Sin can keep Pittman Jr. in check. If Ya-Sin takes Pittman Jr. out of the game, then the rest of the Raiders’ defense can focus on stopping Taylor.

Colts vs. Raiders – Matchup No. 2: Andre James vs. DeForest Buckner 

James will have plenty on his plate this Sunday. Mostly because Buckner is one of the few game-altering defensive tackles in the league. Derek Carr becomes flustered while under pressure, so James cannot allow Buckner to run loose throughout their match. As the Colts’ leader in sacks and forced fumbles, Buckner excels at practically everything. Additionally, he is fourth in tackles for a loss and sixth overall in tackles. The Raiders will probably use double teams a lot against Buckner, but James must prevail whenever they go one-on-one. James’ contests with Buckner will be essential to the Raiders’ offensive success.

Colts vs. Raiders – Matchup No. 3: Linebacker Corps vs. Jonathan Taylor

It’s not ideal that the Raiders’ linebackers are severely injured when Taylor is expected to start after coming back from an injury. Since the Colts will be attempting to slow down the game for Sam Ehlinger and his backup, Deon Jackson, is out, Taylor will probably receive a lot of carries. Blaze Martinez has retired, Divine Deablo is on injured reserve, and Denzel Perryman’s availability for the match is uncertain. Since it looks like all three are going to be out, Taylor will need to be contained by Jayon Brown, Darien Butler, and Luke Masterson.

The Colts’ poor offensive line and Taylor’s decline from last year’s form are both positives for the Raiders. However, the Raiders can’t let up because Taylor is still Taylor, despite the difficulties. Taylor must be kept from getting loose in the open field by Brown, Butler, and Masterson. Their tackling and ability to read gaps will be tested against Taylor. So, this week is the perfect opportunity for those three linebackers to prove their value.

*Top Photo: Sharp Football Analysis

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