It seems that with each new week, the Las Vegas Raiders find ways to disappoint. They topped a blowout loss to the lowly Saints with a blown 17-point lead over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The good news is, the Raiders get to battle at home against an Indianapolis Colts team that might be the only squad in worse shape than the Silver and Black. Here are three bold predictions for this Sunday’s crucial matchup.
Bold Prediction No. 1: The Raiders’ new linebacker group shows up
The Raiders’ linebacker unit is undoubtedly shorthanded after the loss of Blake Martinez and Denzel Perryman’s questionable tag. If Perryman can’t go, the unit would consist of Jayon Brown, Darien Butler, and Luke Masterson. The team could sprinkle in some Curtis Bolton or Reggie Ragland as well, but it would be an inexperienced group. The last time Raider Nation got a dose of this specific core was in the preseason, when Masterson flashed. In three games, Masterson totaled ten solo tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception. As the club looks more and more to the future, it will be helpful to gauge the young linebackers in full action. Don’t be surprised if this unit seizes its opportunities.
Bold Prediction No. 2: The emergence of Foster Moreau
The Raiders will be without Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller once again in what seems like the cherry on top of a disappointing season. Foster Moreau is the next man up, as he will be a trusted outlet for Derek Carr. Davante Adams and Mack Hollins can still draw plenty of attention, leaving Moreau as a safety blanket who can get open underneath when needed. On top of being an asset as a blocker, Moreau has five or more targets in his last three games. If Carr feels the pressure, which can be assumed, he could find help in the fourth-year tight end. Look for the duo to connect for 75+ yards and a touchdown at home against Indianapolis.
Bold Prediction No. 3: The Raiders win in a convincing fashion
It is hard to believe that this has become such a bold prediction, but that’s where we are at. The Colts are without their starting quarterback, their biggest asset on defense in Shaq Leonard, and are now playing under interim coach Jeff Saturday. For any other team, this week would be a cakewalk. For the Raiders, however, there seems to be no such thing. Josh McDaniels and Carr have certainly been far from the solution, but it can’t get any worse, right?
After dropping two stinkers to the Saints and Jaguars, the Colts will be where the Raiders draw the line. McDaniels absolutely has to win the coaching battle and the quarterback duel, for that matter. If those two things can happen, the Raiders should secure their third win handily. The Raiders aren’t technically out of the race, but there will need to be some miracles along the way.
*Top Photo: AP Photo/Rick Scuteri