Whether they knew it or not, the Oakland Raiders were already eliminated from the playoffs before the kickoff of their game with the Indianapolis Colts. The Chiefs' big win over Tennessee meant the Raiders had no chance to maike the post-season.
But they would have eliminated themselves anyway, scoring zero touchdowns on offense in the first 58 minutes and getting outplayed in every respect in a 31-26 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Well, every respect except opening kick returns and long field goals.
Jacoby Ford ran back the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and an immediate 7-0 Raiders lead.
The momentum quickly disappeared, and punts were returned back and forth until the Colts' Joseph Addai scampered for a six-yard touchdown to tie it 7-7 with six minutes left in the first.
The Colts added another field goal early in the second, but Sebastian Janikowski re-tied this thing with a phenomenal 59-yard field goal on the next drive.
But beating the Colts requires touchdowns, because Peyton Manning tends to score them. He added another with an 18-yard touchdown throw just 41 seconds before halftime.
It didn't get any easier in the second half. While Jason Campbell was flummoxed and repeatedly sacked, Manning added his second touchdown throw with three minutes left in the third to render this baby 24-16. He added his third in the fourth quarter with a seven-yarder to Pierre Garcon, and it was garbage time from there on out.
The Raiders managed to intercept Peyton Manning twice on the afternoon, but scored only three points off the turnovers.
The Raiders scored their only offensive touchdown of the day with less than two minutes left in a lost cause, with Jason Campbell hitting Zach Miller on a six-yard touchdown pass.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who wonders what NBC has up their sleeve Sunday night in lew of the last-minute postoponing of Sunday Night Football.