Rolling on to the Raiders
Colts must build
upon strong finish from last week.
written by Stephen Conway
were signs of rust last week in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium.
While the Colts seemed to move the ball at will, two costly turnovers
prevented them from jumping to an early lead. Where the Colts of old
might have folded under the noise and relentless pressure applied by
the Chiefs, these Colts didn't panic at all. Instead, the defense
stepped up, stopping the Chiefs' running game dead in its tracks and
the offense regained its composure, finishing with a hard fought 27-14
most encouraging sign of all was the fact that the Colts seemed to
improve as the game progressed. Sloppy play and costly penalties were
replaced by hard nosed running by Edgerrin James, well thrown passes
from Peyton Manning and an overall solid defensive attack.
key, of course, is to build upon this success. This week, the Raiders
will challenge the Colts to play well for all four quarters.
Oakland is coming off a lackluster 9-6 win over divisional opponent
San Diego. After only one week of play, the Raiders sit alone atop the AFC
West. The Raiders have the potential to become a playoff team
this year. They have several impact players at key positions.
Rich Gannon (QB) is coming off a Pro Bowl season, Tim Brown (WR) is a
perennial all-pro and gamebreaker, and Cornerbacks Eric Allen and
Charles Woodson have established themselves among the best in
term success is built one week, one game at a time. For the Colts,
this means playing at a consistently high level and challenging
themselves to improve. The Colts cannot afford the mental breakdowns
that plagued them in the first half last week. They would like nothing
more than to go into the bye week next week 2-0, before facing
Jacksonville the following week on Monday Night Football. The Raiders
are certainly worthy opponents, but the Colts' larger enemy throughout
the year may well be complacency. After the physically and emotionally
draining win in Kansas City, we'll see how well the Colts are able to
reload and keep on rolling.
Breakdowns of the key matchups on offense, defense, and special teams.
The Raiders simply don't have enough weapons to stay with the Colts
for four quarters. Their cornerbacks may prevent our wide receivers
from breaking out for large gains, but Manning has several other large
and talented targets. Look for both tight ends Ken Dilger and Marcus
Pollard to be more active in the offensive strategy this week.
Defensively, the Colts may struggle containing Gannon and the passing
game, but I expect our ability to stop the run to allow more blitzing
on obvious passing situations. The Colts, pumped up by the wild and
growing crowds at the Dome, will roll to a big victory.
21 Raiders 10
where: RCA Dome