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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.