Raiders walk-off Colts, one win away from breaking Playoff drought

  • January 03, 2022, 03:51 PM
  • Jordan Anders-McClain
Raiders walk-off Colts, one win away from breaking Playoff drought Michael Clemens//Las Vegas Raiders Quarterback Derek Carr (4) and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (13) celebrate the Raiders win in Indianapolis after the game-winning field goal.
With a playoff picture fading, the Raiders kept the dream alive by traveling to Indianapolis and defeating the Colts 23-20 in a walk-off field goal. As Las Vegas nearly avoided elimination, they could break the 5-year playoff drought by winning again next week.

“The thing that I thought that was really exciting about him [Derek Carr] today was he had some creative plays in some difficult situations.” Interim Head Coach Rich Bisaccia said in a press conference after the Raiders win. 

As far as getting ready for the game next week, Bisaccia added, “We’re gonna enjoy this a little bit, we got a flight home and we’ll come back to work tomorrow and reset and we’ll be excited to play a football game at home next week.”

With less than a 20% chance of making the wild card round, Derek Carr not only put together his 29th game-winning drive but threw 255 yards to avoid postseason elimination. Carr is now 72 yards away from breaking the record for the most passing yards in a single season by a Raider.

With a win last week over the Denver Broncos, Las Vegas increased their odds by nearly 10% of making it to the postseason. 

In jeopardy of completely being eliminated by a loss in week 17, going against the Colts’ Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr, it was not going to be an easy win.

It started on the opening drive, in seven minutes, the silver and black struck first as Josh Jacobs drove 2-yards into the endzone. Carson Wentz and the Colts, unable to answer back through the first quarter, the Raiders capitalized, adding a field goal to start the second quarter, extending their lead 10-0.

The Colts would ultimately get on the board by making a 46-yard field goal midway through the second to make it a one-score game. 

Raiders Daniel Clarson answered back with a 44-yard field goal, with two minutes remaining in the first half, Colts made it a three-point game as Jonathan Taylor ran it up the middle 1 yard to make it 10-13 at the half. 

Indianapolis on back-to-back possessions scored once again to open up the second half. T.Y Hilton was in the right place at the right time as the ball deflected off a player's helmet right into Hilton’s hands in the endzone. The Raiders trailed for the first time in the game 13-17. 

The silver and black go only five plays late in the third before Carr is picked off for the second time of the game. Carr goes cold through the third quarter after completing 83 percent of his passes and 91 yards in the first half. 

The Colts capitalized, on the second play of their drive, Taylor rushed 9 yards to become the franchise leader for most rushing yards in a single season with 1712 yards. 

Heading into the final 15 minutes, Carr and his offense began to find the rhythm again, a six-play 62-yard drive began with a deep pass to Zay Jones for 42 yards. A few plays later, Hunter Renfrow would put the Raiders back on top with an 11-yard touchdown run, marking his first career 1000 yard season. 

Renfrow with 7 receptions on the day, totals 99 receptions this season as he passes Jerry Rice for most catches by a wide receiver in a single season. He is 6 receptions short of becoming the franchise leader and passing Tim Brown who became the leader in 1997 with 104 receptions. 

Carson Wentz and the Colts slowly work down the field to kick a field goal that ties the game at 20 with less than two minutes left in the game. With a playoff berth dream a field away, Carr must put together the greatest two-minute drill to get past the Colts. 

On third-and-10, Carr connected with Renfrow for a 48-yard touchdown pass, but Renfrow was ruled down at the 24-yard line after a Colts defender touched his shoe, ruling him down by contact. With no hurry, the silver and black ran the ball 9 yards closer to take time off the clock, in Carrs’ 29th game-winning drive, he set up Clarkson for a field goal.

The pressure was on as Clarkson took the field with two seconds on the clock in hopes of a walk win over the Colts. Clarkson made it look easy, kicking a 33-yard field goal to seal the fifth Raiders’ victory on the final play of the game. 

“We’ve had to win the last two weeks, to make this one mean something,” quarterback Derek Carr said in a press conference after the game. “The next one is gonna be at home and it’s gonna be fun for the fans.”

The Raiders will be back at Allegiant Stadium in week 18 for the final regular-season game, where they will host the Los Angeles Chargers. 

Both AFC West teams are in the hunt for the final spot in this seasons’ playoffs and a spot in the wild card round. The game got flexed to NBC for a Sunday Night Football showdown, kickoff is set for 5:20 p.m.

Jordan Anders-McClain

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Eva Anders
Eva Anders January 03, 2022, 04:04 PM
Great read !!

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