LAS VEGAS (AP/CBS13) — T.Y. Hilton caught two touchdown passes from Philip Rivers, Jonathan Taylor rushed for a career-best 150 yards and two scores, and the Indianapolis Colts solidified their spot in the AFC playoff race with a 44-27 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.
Derek Carr passed for 316 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Raiders (7-6), who have lost three of four after a strong start to their relocation season. Foster Moreau and Nelson Agholor made TD catches in the first half, but the offense couldn’t keep up while Indianapolis marched up and down the field to little resistance.
The loss distances Las Vegas further away from a playoff spot.
Rivers passed for 244 yards and Taylor had a key 62-yard TD run for the Colts (9-4), who racked up 456 total yards while scoring on seven of their first eight drives in their fourth victory in five games.
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) December 14, 2020
Safety Khari Willis clinched the win with a 53-yard interception return for his first career touchdown with 5:22 to play. Indianapolis stayed securely in one of the conference’s wild-card spots and remained atop the AFC South alongside Tennessee, which has a better divisional record for now.
Rivers, the longtime Chargers quarterback, made his 29th career start against the Raiders and beat them for the 19th time, both the most by any opponent in Raiders history. The Colts are now closing in on their second playoff berth in three years, and their first with the 39-year-old veteran at the controls.
Rivers isn’t the only quarterback picking apart this Raiders defense down the stretch, however: Las Vegas has given up 150 points in its last four games, with embattled defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s unit yielding an average of 399 yards per game in that stretch.
Only a last-second comeback against the winless Jets has prevented coach Jon Gruden’s team from going 0-4 since its 6-3 start to the season.
Both offenses started superbly at new Allegiant Stadium, where the Raiders dropped to 2-4.
Indianapolis took an early 10-0 lead on Hilton’s first TD catch, but Moreau eluded two defenders on a 47-yard catch-and-run TD shortly before Agholor’s 21-yard TD reception put the Raiders up 14-10 early in the second quarter.
Hilton’s 41-yard TD catch put Indianapolis back in front moments later, and Kenny Moore made a diving, one-handed, end-zone interception to ruin another strong drive by the Raiders.
A touchdown-saving tackle by Vegas’ Trayvon Mullen with 1 second left in the first half limited the Colts’ halftime lead to 20-14.
Taylor surpassed 1,000 yards from scrimmage in his rookie season in the third quarter on his long touchdown run, essentially outrunning the entire Raiders secondary. Taylor made his second TD run out of the wildcat, and Taylor Stallworth recovered Hunter Renfrow’s fumble on the Raiders’ next play.
Willis scored the Colts’ fourth defensive touchdown of the season with his interception return. Indianapolis’ defense also has three safeties.
Carr got his fifth career rushing touchdown with 55 seconds to play.
Colts: CB Xavier Rhodes went to the locker room in the second quarter with a knee injury. … LB Darius Leonard left in the second half with a back injury. … LT Anthony Castonzo, who missed last week with a knee injury, didn’t play until late in the second series. Backup Chaz Green committed a key false start to stall the first drive, and left guard Quenton Nelson briefly moved to left tackle before Castonzo took over.
Raiders: DE Clelin Ferrell was ruled out after halftime with a shoulder injury.
Colts: host the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Raiders: host the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday.