The improved play of quarterback Derek Carr has helped the Oakland Raiders evolve from one of the league's worst teams, into one of its best. The Silver and Black continued their playoff preparations by hosting the Indianapolis Colts, but an injury to Carr would put a serious dent in the home team's Super Bowl hopes.
After a slow start, Carr helps Oakland find their rhythm, throwing touchdowns to Andre Holmes, Clive Walford, and Jalen Richard in the second quarter.
DeAndre Washington runs for two scores in the third Q, as the Raiders go up 33-7. But when Trent Cole sacks Carr in the fourth quarter, he breaks the MVP candidate's leg.
Carr limps off before leaving the field on a stretcher, ending his season. Andrew Luck tries to rally Indy, but the Silver and Black hang on to win 33-25, and must now prepare to go to the playoffs without their leader.
At frigid Lambeau Field, Aaron Rodgers would throw two touchdowns to Jordy Nelson, hook up with Devante Adams and Richard Rodgers, and run in a score himself -- helping the Green Bay Packers grab a 38-13 lead over the Minnesota Vikings.
Sam Bradford tries to bring Minny back with a pair of late strikes, but the Pack prevail 38-25. That eliminates the Vikes from playoff contention. Green Bay will face the Detroit Lions next week looking for their sixth straight victory, in a winner take all game for the NFC Central Division title.
So let's look at the NFC standings. Dallas has already clinched homefield advantage in the postseason, and will face Detroit on Monday, with the Lions seeking to give themselves some breathing room over the Packers. Atlanta, Seattle, and New York have clinched playoff berths. Washington and Tampa Bay need G-Bay to stumble next weekend.
In the AFC, New England has won six in a row to hold the top spot. Pittsburgh can clinch the AFC North with a victory over Baltimore tonight. Houston is in after winning the South. KC could lock up the fifth spot by eliminating defending Super Bowl champions Denver this evening. Miami's spot will be sealed if the Ravens and Broncos lose.