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Ballers & Busters for Raiders Week 17 loss to Colts

After a big win at Arrowhead over the defending champion Chiefs in Week 16, a trip to Indianapolis to face Gardner Minshew and the Colts seemed like a very winnable game for the Raiders.

It isn’t really that simple, though. The Raiders beat the Chiefs thanks to a couple of defensive TD’s. They can’t rely on that every week.

By half time, the Colts had scored off two big catches and the Raiders offense managed just a field goal. The Colts didn’t need to score a touchdown in the second half and still pulled out the win.undefined

Top Baller: WR Davante Adams

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – DECEMBER 31: Davante Adams #17 of the <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/las-vegas/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Las Vegas Raiders;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Las Vegas Raiders</a> reacts to a touchdown during the third quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 31, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Adams made the biggest plays on every one of the Raiders’ scoring drives including scoring both of the team’s touchdowns.

His 24-yard catch on their opening drive converted third and eight and put them in field goal range. In the third quarter, he caught the touchdown on third and goal from the four to make it a 14-10 game.

His consecutive catches of 13 and 14 yards put the Raiders inside the 20 and would have probably put them in the end zone had Aidan O’Connell not been late on the back shoulder throw.

The final drive for the Raiders he had catches of 16, 17, nine yards, and the touchdown on the fade from a yard out. He finished with 13 catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns.

Top Buster: CB Jack Jones

Dec 31, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/34008" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Alec Pierce;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Alec Pierce</a> (14) runs for a touchdown while Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Jack Jones (18) defends in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Let me start out by saying he was not offsides on the missed field goal that cost the Raiders a legitimate shot at tying the game. He did, however, keep that drive alive with a pass interference on the right sideline that put them in field goal range in the first place.

Jones also gave up the first catch of the game. It went for 50 yards and the Colts scored the touchdown three plays later. That’s seven points in a three-point loss.

Ballers: DE Maxx Crosby, DL Adam Butler

Dec 31, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby (98) in the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 31, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby (98) in the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The second Colts drive was a three-and-out. On third-and-10, Butler set up the stunt, Crosby came on the rush up the middle, and when Minshew stepped up into the pocket, Butler broke from his block and made the sack.

The first drive of the second quarter saw Butler make a run stuff for no gain. Crosby was held a couple plays later and then got pressure to get the stop on a short pass.

Crosby added a forced fumble in the third quarter. Then on the Colts’ final drive, he got a pressure for an incompletion and got into the backfield to make the final tackle for a loss.

Busters: T Jermaine Eluemunor, G Greg Van Roten

Las Vegas Raiders guard Jermaine Eluemunor (72) walks the sidelines before an NFL football game against the <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/tennessee/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Tennessee Titans;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Tennessee Titans</a> Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Nashville. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

The Raiders’ first drive stalled just outside the red zone. They converted a third and 18 to reach the 22-yard-line. And on first down, Eluemunor was flagged for a false start. Two plays later, Van Roten gave up a run stuff, leading to a third and long and the Raiders couldn’t pick it up.

Van Roten gave up another run stuff on the next possession, leading to a three-and-out. The next drive started with Van Roten giving up a QB hit on an incompletion and ended with Eluemunor being flagged again for a false start. This time with the team going for it on 4th-and-one and causing them to instead punt it away.

The final Raiders possession of the first half, Aidan O’Connell held onto the ball a bit too long for Van Roten to keep from getting beaten by DeForest Buckner and he sacked O’Connell.

Busters: LB Robert Spillane, LB Divine Deablo

Dec 31, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight end <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/30112" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Mo;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Mo</a> Alie-Cox (81) catches a ball while Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Divine Deablo (5) defends in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

After the 50-yard catch put the Colts inside the 20, Spillane and Deablo were both blocked on a 10-yard run that put them in first and goal at the five. Then Deablo was blocked on the next play to give up the touchdown.

It was still a one-score game in the fourth quarter. That changed when the Colts went on a long drive. It started with a 15-yard run in which Spillane was blocked. Then on third and one, Deablo was blocked on a three-yard pitch run. The next play Spillane and Deabloe were both blocked on a 27-yard run that put them in field goal range.

Spillane would give up an 11-yard run to start out the Colts next and final drive that put the Colts lead back at two scores. And that was the dagger.

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire