On Sunday afternoon, the Las Vegas Raiders will host the Indianapolis Colts at Allegiant Stadium. There are several important matchups to consider when trying to determine a winner, but Josh Jacobs is likely the key to a Raiders victory in Week 14. Below is a breakdown of some Indianapolis Colts vs Las Vegas Raiders key matchups.
Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Run Blocking Keys to a Week 14 Victory
Josh Jacobs vs Colts Run Defense
If it was not obvious enough last week, the Raiders offense looks completely different (worse) without Josh Jacobs. Last week, they only managed to record 72 yards rushing on 25 carries. That averages out to an abysmal three yards per carry. As good as Devontae Booker looks in limited action, it is clear that he cannot be a feature back. The Raiders need Jacobs to lead their assault on the ground in Week 14. His ability to fight for extra yardage and make the first man miss is unrivaled on this team. When Jacobs is on the field, the offense runs much more smoothly like a well-oiled machine.
The Colts currently own the sixth best rushing defense in the league. They allow less than four yards per carry, and have not allowed a run longer than 31 yards on the season. Their defense is extremely well-coached. The Colts have impact players on all three levels of their defense that help contribute to their dominance in stopping the run. Las Vegas will need big blocking contributions from Alec Ingold if they hope to have success running the ball.
Raiders Run Blocking vs DeForest Buckner
It looks like Trent Brown will be returning to the starting lineup this Sunday. Just in time, too, as the Raiders will need all the help they can get in the blocking game. No offense to Brandon Parker, but Brown is just a different animal at the right tackle position. When healthy, there is not a better right tackle in the league. Combine that with the dominance of Rodney Hudson, and one can expect to see a lot of running lanes open this weekend. The Raiders run blocking will be pivotal to helping keep balance and efficiency on the offense.
What is there not to like about DeForest Buckner? He has 26 solo tackles, six sacks, and one forced fumble on the season. His PFF grade is an unsurprisingly high 89.6 as well. He can rush the passer, stop the run, and anything else you might want him to do on defense. When it comes to defensive tackles, this guy is the complete package. The Raiders will need to double-team him early and often if they hope to have any success running the football.
The Raiders are in control of their own destiny. Their next two games are against the teams directly ahead of them in the wildcard standings. The Raiders desperately need to win both of these games. A loss against either team would drastically diminish their shot at getting to the playoffs. A loss this Sunday, and that might all but be it for the Raiders in 2020.
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