Behind Enemy Lines: Week 17 preview with Raiders Wire

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The Indianapolis Colts (9-6) are just about set to host the Las Vegas Raiders (8-7) at Lucas Oil Stadium for a Week 17 matchup that will have plenty of playoff implications.

Before we get to the regular-season home finale for the Colts, we caught up with Raiders Wire editor Marcus Mosher to get a look at what Indy might be up against as they pursue a playoff berth with a win on Sunday. Be sure to follow Marcus and Raiders Wire for all of your Raiders needs in Week 17.

Check out our Behind Enemy Lines as we asked Marcus five questions about the matchup:

With Jon Gruden gone, what kind of coach do the Raiders need to bring in this offseason?

Marcus Mosher: I really think they need to bring in a coach with previous head coaching experience and someone who can make the Raiders a functional organization. They don’t need to go for a big “splash” hire, but bringing in a proven coach like Dan Quinn or Todd Bowles would make a ton of sense. Neither of those guys are offensive-minded guys, but they would bring a toughness and respect level back to a franchise that needs it.

Derek Carr started out the season on a tear but has come back down to earth a bit. What's behind that?

MM: It’s really as simple as Darren Waller and Henry Ruggs III have been out of the lineup for much different reasons. Without those two on the field, defenses have been able to stop the run and force Carr to throw to lesser receivers. Hunter Renfrow is having a nice season, but he isn’t a true No. 1 receiver. Their biggest goal this offseason has to be to find Carr some playmakers on the outside.

What makes Maxx Crosby such a dangerous pass rusher?

MM: He’s one of the best athletes in the NFL at the position and he’s got a non-stop motor. However, what’s made him even better this season is that he’s improved his hand technique under defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. Now, he can win without having to rely on his motor and athleticism. He’s pretty close to the total package when it comes to being an elite edge rusher.

Which players might be flying under the radar but deserve more love?

MM: Fifth-round pick Nate Hobbs has been a fantastic slot cornerback for the Raiders this season. Not only does he rarely give up any big plays from the slot, but he will tackle. He’s not afraid to stick his nose in the run game and almost always brings down receivers if he allows a catch.

Final score, prediction?

MM: I think this game is going to be closer than most anticipate, especially with it being in Las Vegas. The front four for the Raiders has been excellent this season and they should be able to get to the quarterback early and often in this one. Special teams could be a factor in this one and no team in the NFL has a better kicker-punter combination than the Raiders. However, look for the Colts to win a fairly low-scoring game on Sunday. I’m taking the Colts 20-17 over the Raiders.

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