OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts appear to have a potent running game, an offensive line that can protect and a record-setting kicker.
Combined all that with a healthy Andrew Luck and the results are impressive.
Luck threw his third touchdown pass of the game to break a tie with 5:28 to go, Adam Vinatieri set the career scoring mark and the Colts beat the Oakland Raiders 42-28 on Sunday to win in back-to-back weeks for the first time in three years.
“I think we’re believing it now, I really do,” Luck said. “I think we’re proving to ourselves that we can do it, that this is a winning formula.”
Marlon Mack ran for a career-high 132 yards and two touchdowns, breaking the personal mark he set last week against Buffalo with 126 yards. The Colts finished with 222 yards rushing and didn’t allow a sack for the third straight game as the investments made in the offensive line are paying off.
The Colts are the first team since the 1970 merger to go consecutive games with at least 200 yards rushing, no sacks and no giveaways.
“I think you’d like to establish your identity in Week 1 and get that going right from the start,” coach Frank Reich said. “On offense, it’s taken us a few weeks to get that going, but right now I like where we’re at.”
Mack’s second TD came after Doug Martin lost a fumble for Oakland and sealed the victory as the Colts won in consecutive weeks for the first time in three years.
Luck connected with all three of his tight ends with the 10-yard pass to Jack Doyle putting the Colts (3-5) up 35-28. Luck connected earlier in the game on passes to Mo Alie-Cox and Eric Ebron and finished with 239 yards against an overmatched defense for the Raiders (1-6).
Derek Carr threw three TD passes and ran for a fourth just days after Oakland traded his top receiver Amari Cooper to Dallas . But it wasn’t enough to prevent another loss in what is quickly becoming a lost season to begin coach Jon Gruden’s second stint with the team.
“I’m not going to give up. Period,” Gruden said. “I just hope Raiders fans out there understand we’re doing everything we can. I know it gets ugly at times, but in a lot of ways I’m excited about the future.”
The Colts started fast with Mo Alie-Cox making a one-handed 26-yard touchdown catch and Vinatieri adding a field goal to make it 10-0 before the Raiders finally found their stride.
“He swallowed the ball with his hands,” Luck said. “It was truly like there was a gravitational pull flopped it in there. What an awesome job our tight ends group does to complement this offense, complement the wideouts and to complement each other.”
Carr threw a pair of touchdown passes in the second quarter to put Oakland on top and added a 1-yard sneak for a score on fourth down to make it 21-13 early in the third.
The game went back and forth from there with Luck tying it with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Eric Ebron and a 2-point conversion pass to Chester Rogers.
Carr then avoided a sack before finding Brandon LaFell for a 6-yard touchdown late in the third before the Colts tied it back up early in the fourth on Mack’s 4-yard run .
MOST POINTS IN NFL HISTORY
Vinatieri set the record as the NFL’s top all-time scorer in the first half. He kicked a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter to tie Morten Andersen with 2,544 points and then added a 25-yarder late in the second to set the record . Vinatieri scored three more points, giving him 2,550 for his career.
“He’d done it for so long and for so many years and so prolifically, that I just thought, ‘Man, it’s untouchable.'” Vinatieri said. “But I guess as you keep going, you stack years upon years, the numbers start stacking up.”
Carr scored on a 1-yard sneak on fourth down in the third quarter for the Raiders for his first career touchdown run. Oakland hadn’t had a quarterback run for a TD since Terrelle Pryor scored on a 93-yard run against Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, 2013. Only the Chargers had gone longer without a TD run for a QB.
“I had a dance planned, but they threw a flag,” Carr said. “I’ll have to get another one.”
BACK TO BACK
Mack followed up last week’s big game with another strong performance. This is just the sixth time the Colts have had a 100-yard rusher during Luck’s seven NFL seasons and the first time since Joseph Addai did it in 2007 that a back topped the century mark in consecutive games.
The Raiders lost backup OL T.J. Clemmings to a knee injury in the second half. … Colts S Mike Mitchell left in the second half with a calf injury.
Colts: Host Jacksonville on Nov. 11.
Raiders: Visit 49ers on Thursday night.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL