Ballers & Busters for Raiders Week 10 vs Colts

Many of you have probably already moved on from the Raiders loss to the Colts last Sunday. Normally Ballers & Busters comes out early in the week, but coming down with a vicious cold on Monday put a kink in that for me, so here we are the day before their next game.

Better late than never, right? For posterity?

The way the Raiders got their two wins this season were by putting together a full four quarters. In most of their six losses, they were shut down for a full half of football. Whether that was a slow start or a late collapse. This one was a bit of both.

In the end they were still shut down for a half of football. It was simply split up between the first and fourth quarters. Hence, the slow start AND a late collapse. They were decent in between, but that won’t get it done.

Ballers

DE Maxx Crosby

As is often the case, Crosby was the best player on the field in Silver & Black. He had a run stop for no gain on the Colts’ final drive of the first quarter to hold it to a field goal.

Then he ended the Colts’ first drive of the third quarter by sacking Matt Ryan on third and one. The 14-yard loss resulted in a 48-yard field goal attempt that missed off the right upright. The play energized the offense and they drove for a touchdown and their first lead of the game at 14-13.

The Colts’ first drive of the fourth quarter was a three-and-out with Crosby making the run stop on third and nine. Once again, the offense responded with a go-ahead score. Even though in both instances, their lead didn’t last long.

P AJ Cole

Cole was launching rocket shots all game long. His punts traveled 50, 67, 61, 54, and 62 yards for an average of 58.8 yards per punt. Only one of his punts was returned past the 20-yard-line.

TE Foster Moreau

The first touchdown of the day for the Raiders was Moreau making a diving grab with a defender draped all over him. But it was also Moreau who got the Raiders in scoring range in the first place. He made the longest catch of the game for the Raiders at that point, taking a short pass for 21 yards. Then with the Raiders at the Indianapolis 36, he laid the key block to spring Josh Jacobs on a 22-yard run.

In the third quarter, the Raiders went on their second TD drive with Moreau perhaps making the key play on the drive. On second and 20, Moreau caught an 18-yard pass. They converted the third and two and scored the TD two plays later.

It’s a shame his day ended with a ball hitting both his hands in the end zone on what would’ve been the game-winning touchdown. But the moment the ball got there, it was swatted out by LB Bobby Okereke.

RB Ameer Abullah

Abdullah would’ve had an even bigger day than his four catches for 33 yards had Derek Carr not missed him wide-open over the middle late in the first quarter leading to a three-and-out.

As it stood, Abdullah had several third-down catches, converting on two, and putting them in 4th and one on the other which they converted.

He also returned a kickoff to the 38-yard-line.

WR Davante Adams

Finished with nine catches for 126 yards and a touchdown. Much of his yards came on his touchdown from 48 yards out.

Probably his most impressive catch came on the Raiders’ final drive. On third and eight, he took the pass in the right flat, broke a tackle, and dragged defenders for several yards to pick up the first down. Later in the drive, he made a catch, broke a tackle, and took it for 16 yards to the 19-yard-line.

Honorable Mention

CB Sam Webb – Kept most catches in front of him. Finished with a team-leading two pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Busters

HC Josh McDaniels, DC Patrick Graham

This crack team faced off against a Colts squad led by a head coach whose only coaching experience was in high school. And they got run out of their own building.

The offense had three possessions in the first quarter and didn’t manage a single first down out of it. They had a net ONE YARD of offense combined on those three possessions. It seems a team could accidentally do better than that over three drives.

McDaniels’s offense at least had more of an excuse considering former Raiders DC Gus Bradley was calling the Colts’ top-ten defense. Graham had no such excuse. And as poorly as the Raiders defense has been playing, Bradley’s presence only stood to remind these players of how good they once had it.

On the Colts’ first TD drive, the Raiders’ defense had a moment that made you wonder which of these teams was coached by someone with NFL coaching experience and which was not. On first and goal from the one, the Raiders were flagged for having too many men on the field. Then even after that, and before the play could be run, they STILL needed to call a timeout. Then the Colts scored the touchdown on the next play anyway.

In the third quarter, the Raiders managed to come back to lead 14-13. That least lasted one play. On the second play of the Colts’ next drive, Jonathan Taylor found a big hole on the line and then had just one man to beat to go 66 yards for the score. It was simply too easy.

The Raiders again managed to re-take the lead early in the fourth quarter. This lead lasted a bit longer. A bit later, the Colts would mount another drive. They lined up in third and three and Matt Ryan took off running. He would go 39 yards through mostly open field before being stopped. It was the 37-year-old’s longest run of his career. In fact, he had never even had 39 yards rushing in any full game in his career. Two plays later, the Colts scored the go-ahead touchdown.

Afterward, the locker room was in utter disarray as they are clearly lost. Derek Carr was crying at the podium, and though he wouldn’t call out the coaches, it was on a question about whether there’s a disconnect with McDaniels that Carr got the most choked up and complained that it seems not everyone on this team is as passionate about the Raiders as he is. Makes you wonder.

WR Keelan Cole

Carr threw for Cole on the game’s first third down. Despite the DB right behind him, Cole didn’t fight for the ball and it was knocked down.

The next Raiders possession began with Cole missing his blocking while somehow also being flagged for holding with Josh Jacobs getting stopped for no gain. Cole would again be late to his blocking assignment a bit later, causing another run stuff at the line.

On the final drive for the Raiders, Cole dropped a pass, which, had he caught it, would’ve been his only catch of the game. Instead, he had zero catches on two targets. So, no catches along with poor blocking. Not a good combo. His only contributions were two punt returns of nine and eight yards.

G Alex Bars, C Andre James

Josh McDaniels likes to talk about self-inflicted wounds when the offense can’t get going. Often times that surrounds the offensive line.

That started with James being flagged for ineligible man downfield on the second possession. Later, James would miss his block on third and two to give up a run stuff for no gain. The Raiders went for it on fourth and two and didn’t convert for a turnover on downs.

The next drive, on consecutive plays, Bars gave up a run stuff for one yard and a run stuff for a loss. Bars would give up another run stuff for a loss on the next Raiders drive.

And the drive after that, James was again flagged for ineligible man downfield. And the drive after that, Bars gave up another run stuff for no gain. And that drive after that Bars gave up a pressure that led to a sack on third down. And the drive after that the game was over.

Solid work, fellas.

LB Luke Masterson

He gave up a five-yard run and missed a tackle on a seven-yard run on the Colts’ first TD drive. Then he was blocked on a 13-yard run to put them in field goal range on their next drive.

After the Raiders finally got on the board late in the second quarter, Masterson gave up a 13-yard catch, a seven-yard run, and a nine-yard run on the ensuing drive to allow the Colts to quickly move into field goal range to score before the half.

After the Raiders took a 14-13 lead in the third quarter, Masterson bit inside on the run, allowing Jonathan Taylor to get a huge hole on the cutback run and go 66 yards to the house.

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire