The Indianapolis Colts (3-5-1) will hit the road to take on the Las Vegas Raiders (2-6) at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday.
It has been quite the week for the Colts, who fired former head coach Frank Reich and hired Jeff Saturday to be the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
The Colts and Raiders are both two of the worst teams in the AFC but Vegas has the latter as strong favorites while the experts around the league also side with the home team taking this game.
Here’s how the Colts Wire staff sees this matchup shaking out:
Kevin Hickey: Raiders 17, Colts 13
AP Photo/Mark Zaleski
This is probably going to be an ugly game in Vegas. The Colts are ushering in the Jeff Saturday era with the worst-scoring offense in the NFL led by the most expensive offensive line in the league. How Saturday’s debut will go is a mystery to everyone.
We shouldn’t expect much change in terms of scheme on the offensive side of the ball even with Parks Frazier now becoming the youngest play-caller in the NFL. The Raiders offense is certified bad, boasting the 32nd-ranked pass defense, according to Football Outsiders DVOA.
The return of Jonathan Taylor could wind up making this a bad prediction because he alone could score two touchdowns. But the offense is still bad even after firing Frank Reich so we shouldn’t expect a massive explosion.
When it comes down to it, the Colts simply haven’t shown they can be the dominant offense we thought and unless Taylor takes over, Indy continues to build toward their premium draft pick.
Follow Kevin on Twitter (@KevinHickey11)
Cody Manning: Colts 21, Raiders 17
AP Photo/Mark Zaleski
The Indianapolis Colts are looking to get rejuvenated by the addition of Jeff Saturday and it appears to work in the first game. Jonathan Taylor looks like himself for the first time since Week 1. He goes over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. The defense takes advantage of the Las Vegas Raiders missing Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. They lock up the run game and double-team Davante Adams to make it a long day for the offense. It’s a back-and-forth battle but somehow after this week the Colts pull it off and beat the Raiders 21-17.
Follow Cody on Twitter (@CodyTalksNFL)
John Alfieri: Raiders 27, Colts 24
AP Photo/Zach Bolinger
A wild week has led to this. Jeff Saturday will make his head coaching debut against the Las Vegas Raiders, with Sam Ehlinger as his starting quarterback…for now. Matt Ryan is healthy enough to earn the backup job and my prediction is he won’t stay in that role for long.
Ehlinger is inexperienced, but as an interim head coach looking to make a splash, I could see Saturday pulling the second-year QB for the veteran Ryan. That move will help make this game closer than it should be.
The Colts will fall behind early but bounce back in the second half once they stop the run and get after Derek Carr. Expect Jonathan Taylor to have a big game in his return, with Deon Jackson out and Jordan Wilkins filling in as RB2. However, in the end, the Colts comeback will fall short, and the long slide to April’s draft will continue.
Follow John on Twitter (@alfierijohn)
Nick Melillo: TBD
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Follow Nick on Twitter (@CircleCity21)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
1. John (3-6)
2. Cody (3-6)
3. Kevin (3-6)
4. Nick (2-4)