What We Saw: Week 8
Colts vs. Raiders
Andrew Luck plays the short-game and produces
Just 239 yards for Andrew Luck might not sound great, but three touchdowns sure does. This was a pretty evenly-balanced game between the run and pass, and much of what Luck was throwing was short-yardage stuff, he didn’t take too many shots deep. Lucky for him (no pun intended), the Raiders defense is terrible, and he was able to pick apart their secondary with ease.
Marlon Mack is the man
I think there’s not really any doubt that Marlon Mack is really talented, and the Colts gave him 25 carries in this game, which is really awesome to see. He ended up with 132 yards and two touchdowns on those 25 carries. Again, the Raiders defense is bad, and that certainly helped, but Mack did what a good running back is supposed to do—run all over a bad defense. It’s also worth noting that Nyheim Hines got 11 carries and ended up with 78 yards. While Mack is the back to own, Hines is still very talented and could be flex-worthy depending on the matchup.
Not much from the receivers
With three touchdowns from Luck, you’d expect the Colts receivers to have a nice day, but this was a pretty tight-end dominated game from a passing perspective. T.Y. Hilton saw five targets and only caught one for 34 yards, which makes me wonder if he’s still hampered by his hamstring injury or if this was just an off day for him. Dontrelle Inman saw the most targets of the wide receivers at seven and caught six of them for 52 yards, not a bad day in PPR. And while he only had one target and one catch for a touchdown, I was impressed by Mo Alie-Cox‘s catch. He went up high and caught a tough ball. There’s no fantasy value there but just worth noting.
It’s all about the tight ends
Jack Doyle is back and he saw plenty of work, with six catches for 70 yards and a touchdown on seven targets, tied with Inman for the team lead. As long as he’s out there, he’ll likely be a TE1 week in and week out. Eric Ebron also caught himself a touchdown, though had just three catches for 37 yards. He’s likely going to be a touchdown-dependent tight end with Doyle back, but man does Ebron make for an excellent red zone target. He used all of his size to catch his one touchdown, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of that even with Doyle playing.
Derek Carr Shows Improvement
Carr looked struggled to complete a pass over five yards last week in London, but he returned to form against the Colts. Carr completed 21 of his 28 attempts for 244 yards and three touchdowns in a losing effort. Carr was 7/10 on passes deeper than five yards, which may not seem like an impressive stat, but is for Carr right now. Carr lost his top two skill players this week with Amari Cooper being traded and Marshawn Lynch hitting the IR. With Cooper and Lynch no longer available, Carr leaned on running back Jalen Richard and tight end Jared Cook in the pass game. Carr target Richard eight times and connected each time while Cook caught four of his five targets. It is going to take Carr some time to adjust to new targets, so Richard and Cook are going to be his primary targets for the next few weeks. Carr did find Seth Roberts and Brandon LaFell in the end zone as he posted his second three touchdown game of the season. Even more important, Carr did not throw an interception for the second straight week,
The Doug Martin Era Begins
Well, maybe not the era, but it was a good start to Martin’s time as a starter in Oakland. The former Buccaneer carried the ball 13 times for 72 yards and caught both of his targets for 17 yards. Martin added a 29-yard rush into a solid first start in Oakland. Martin’s rushing total on Sunday was his highest since November of 2016. It remains to be seen if Martin will be a viable option through the rest of the season.
Oakland’s Defense is Really, Really Bad
The Raiders got torched by Andrew Luck and Marlon Mack on Sunday. Luck completed his first nine passes and threw for 239 yards and three touchdowns as the Colts put up 42 points in Oakland. Mack ran for 132 yards and Nyheim Hines added 78 yards to lead the Colts to 222 total rushing yards. It was expected that the Riaders would miss Khalil Mack, but this defense would be bad without the All-Pro linebacker. Oakland did not get a sack on Sunday and only hit Luck once on his 30 plus dropbacks. It’s going to be a long second half for the Raiders’ defense.