Raiders vs. Colts Key Matchups Week 1

The Oakland Raiders kick off the 2013 season with a Week 1 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts in a game featuring two diversely different offenses.

The Raiders, losers in nine of their last 10 season-openers, are putting their chips on running back Darren McFadden and a ground game that lost one of its most important pieces when left tackle Jared Veldheer went down in the preseason with a triceps injury.

The Colts, on the other hand, plan to ride the arm of quarterback Andrew Luck and a steady group of wide receivers that includes former Raiders first-round draft pick Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Oakland has historically played well in Indianapolis but has lost three straight games overall to the Colts. To avoid a fourth, the Raiders will need to win in the individual matchups. Here are some of the key battles to keep an eye on in Sunday’s game:


Colts QB Andrew Luck vs. Raiders CBs Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins

Luck tends to get lost in the shuffle when the people discuss some of the top young quarterbacks in the NFL, but the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft should hardly be overlooked.

In his first season as Peyton Manning’s replacement, Luck took a team that had won just two games the previous year and led them to an 11-5 finish and a spot in the playoffs. He passed for 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns with 18 interceptions.

He’ll have his favorite target back in veteran Reggie Wayne who turns 35 in November and is coming off another stellar season in which he topped the 1,000-yard mark for the eighth time in his career.

The Colts also signed Heyward-Bey in the offseason after he was dumped in a cost-cutting move by the Raiders. Since entering the league as the seventh overall pick in 2009, Heyward-Bey has been one of the most frustrating players in the NFL. At times he appears capable of being a consistent playmaker, a speedy wideout w...

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