JL Herrera

The Oakland Raiders will start the NFL season with a tough opponent when they visit the Lucas Oil Stadium to play the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Sept. 8.

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The Colts Preseason Record

The Colts went for a 2-2 record for the 2013 NFL preseason, their biggest opponent being the New York Giants, who Indianapolis beat 20-12. On the other hand, the Colts also let the Buffalo Bills (not one of the strongest teams) score 44 points in week 1 of the preseason. Preseason, however, is not the same as the regular season. In the end, the Colts will come out with their guns blazing, so the Raiders will have to be ready for them.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 24: Andrew Luck #12 of  Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball during the preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 24, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Credit, Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Colts’ Offense

The Indy team has a nice set for their offense. Quarterback Andrew Luck had a good season last year as a rookie. A lot was riding on him as he tried to fill Peyton Manning’s shoes, but the kid held out and took the team to the playoffs. But even more is expected of Luck this year. The Colts will most likely try the passing game, which is the game that Peyton settled in Indy. However, the Raiders are still working on stopping the run, so expect to see a nice dosage of Ahmad Bradshaw, who had some success with the New York Giants before coming to Indy.

The Colts’ Defense

Indianapolis did not look great in the first week of the preseason against the Bills and allowed 44 points. For weeks 2 and 3, Indy picked up and only allowed 12 points against the Giants and 6 points against the Browns, who were undefeated until that point. Both the Giants and Browns were scoring high until they met the Colts.

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Coach Joe Pagano, who was hired to overhaul Indy’s defense for the 2013 season, is expected to improve the team, but so far, the Colts defense has been average.

Key Players

Quarterback Andrew Luck is the key player to watch. The kid has an arm and had a good report for the 2013 preseason. The matchup with the Raiders shall be interesting as the Silver-and-Black has a new set of cornerbacks to help soften the Luck threat. Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey will be another threat, since the he used to play for Oakland. Heyward-Bey would love to take down his old team! The other threat is veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne. This guy has the moves and did well right of the bat with QB Andrew Luck in the first year they played together.

How to Shut Down the Colts’ Key Players

Andrew Luck will face the new, revamped Raiders secondary defense. Veteran Charles Woodson, who came back to the Raiders after playing with the Packers, should provide nice passing coverage. Also, rookie DJ Hayden, who has had a nice preseason, should provide good coverage with his ire to be great in the sport. The same goes for Reggie Wayne, who will be facing a new Oakland secondary. Cornerback Tracy Porter will also be helping in the back, which should make things difficult for Wayne. As for Darrius Heyward-Bey, well, the Raiders know the way he plays, so it should be interesting to see him try to defeat a team that knows his every move.

The Outlook

The Indianapolis Colts will be favored since the Oakland Raiders are ranked as one of the last teams in the league. The Raiders also have a lot of fresh new faces that need experience on the field, and that is something that could make a team falter. In the end, it is going to be tougher for the Raiders than it will for the Colts, especially when the Raiders are going to be the visiting team.

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