Oakland Raiders @ Indianapolis Colts Preview

Steve Ovenden (@happyhappysteve) believes Marlon Mack will be key for the Colts against the Raiders

Week four sees the Raiders visit the Colts in what should be an interesting match-up.  The Colts will be wanting to extend their win streak to three whilst the Raiders will be looking to avoid a third straight defeat.  A second home game for the Colts in front of a lively Lucas Oil crowd will hopefully inspire them to get the win.

Injuries look like they might have a significant part to play for the Colts.  It has been confirmed this week that Safety Malik Hooker is out with a knee injury and is looking likely he will be out for the next couple of weeks.  T.Y. Hilton is another key player missing practice this week after re-aggravating a quad injury. His game ended in the second quarter against the Falcons and although the quad has been feeling better during the course of the week, he is looking likely to may miss Sundays game.

Corner Pierre Desir has also missed a lot of practice due to a hamstring injury.  With the passing threat of Derek Carr, Desir and Hooker’s absence could be quite significant.  Other notable absentees not practicing this week are centre Ryan Kelly (illness) and Linebacker Darius Leonard (concussion).

Although the injury list doesn’t make pleasant reading, some positives can be taken into the game.  More reps could possibly be put on tight end Eric Ebron and running back Marlon Mack.  Both players have been really stepping up in the last couple of weeks and could give Jacoby Brissett some different options especially if T.Y is missing.

The run game is getting stronger in Indy and that is largely down to Mack.  The young back passed 1500 career yards last week as he ran for 74 yards and a touchdown from 16 carries, including the game winning points, should give the 23-year-old a lot of confidence going in to the game.

Brissett has to be happy going into the match with the Raiders after putting up some good numbers against the Falcons – 28 of 37 for 310 yards and two touchdowns.  He will certainly want to keep moving forward with that form.

Adam Vinatieri finally got back to some of his future Hall Of Fame form by making all five of his kicks last week.

Indy will want a win this week and a good performance to go with it to take some confidence into the next game.  Week five will see a difficult road trip to Arrowhead stadium to take on a very impressive Patrick Mahomes and his Kansas City Chiefs.

Ones to watch

Colts: Running Back Marlon Mack – with no T.Y a confident Mack will eat up yards as more emphasis will be put on the run game.

Raiders: Tight End Darren Waller – looking to continue good form after his 267 receiving yards through the first three games of the season became a Raiders franchise record.

Prediction

Colts 24 – Raiders 21

Last Times The Teams Met

Colts 42 – Raiders 28 (@ Oakland)

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