NFL Picks Week 16: The Indianapolis Colts' Keys To Victory Against the Raiders

James Evens@JamesEvensCorrespondent IDecember 24, 2010

NFL Picks Week 16: The Indianapolis Colts' Keys to Victory Against The Raiders

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 19: Donald Brown #31 of the Indianapolis Colts runs against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    The Indianapolis Colts go into Oakland this week in a do-or-die situation.  They must win this game to have a shot at winning the AFC South and making it into the playoffs, as the wild card is basically off the table at this point.

    The Colts must do something that only Houston and Miami have done this season: win at Oakland.  The game is big for both teams and has a real playoff feel to it.

    Here are a few keys for the Indianapolis Colts if they are going to win this game.

    James Evens is a Purdue student and Basketball/Football Featured Columnist for the Boilermakers, along with being a Writing Intern at Bleacher Report.  Follow him on Twitter or like him on Facebook.

Contain Darren McFadden

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    OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 19:  Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders runs with the ball during their game against the Denver Broncos at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 19, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Darren McFadden has been a surprise out of Oakland this season.  He has rushed for 1,112 yards and seven touchdowns.

    He is a big threat out of the backfield and must be stopped.  If the Colts defense can stop him like they did Maurice Jones-Drew last week then they will be fine, if not, it could be a long day for the Colts.

Pressure Jason Campbell

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    MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07: Robert Mathis #98 of the Indianapolis Colts reacts after a play against the New Orleans Saints during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Image
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    Jason Campbell hasn't had too great of a season for the Raiders, but it's important not to let him get comfortable in the pocket.

    Getting pressure on the quarterback will be important and is a definite key to success for the Indianapolis Colts in this one.

Establish The Running Game

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 19: Donald Brown #31 of the Indianapolis Colts runs as he is pursued by Tyron Brackenridge #37 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.   The Colts defeated the Jaguars 34-
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    This is the key to the Colts offense.  They will be facing a fairly weak rushing defense, and be able to run the ball will be key in this one.

    The Raiders have a pretty tough pass defense and could cause a lot of problems for Peyton Manning and the Colts if they cannot run the ball.

    Just a few big runs will be sufficient to make those safeties creep up and allow Manning to do work, son.

Force Turnovers

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    INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 01:  Matt Schaub #8 of Houston Texans fumbles the ball while being tackled  by Dwight Freeney #93 of the Indianapolis Colts during the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 1, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyon
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Colts have two of the best defensive ends in the game.  They have the ability to strip the quarterback like no other.  The duo of Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney are the best duo in the league, and will need to create turnovers to win this one.

    Along with these two linemen, the Colts will need the secondary to step up and get a few interceptions.

Peyton Has a Big Day

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    NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 09:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass during the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans  at LP Field on December 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Colts won 30-28.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    If Peyton Manning can put up some big numbers, the Colts will able to out-match the Raiders.  No one can count out anyone in the NFL, so this should be a great matchup.

    If Peyton can get back on his game for some huge numbers, it would be a great advantage for the Colts.

Protect Manning

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    NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 09:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts gives instructions to his team during the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans  at LP Field on December 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Protecting Peyton Manning is essential for the Colts in this game.  If he can have all day to pick apart the Raiders secondary, it's going to be a great game for the Colts.

    Look for Manning to put up big numbers in Oakland.