LAS VEGAS — Matt Ryan got his job back as the Indianapolis Colts starting quarterback under TV analyst-turned-interim coach Jeff Saturday, and the result was a clutch pass from Ryan to Paris Campbell for a 35-yard touchdown and a 25-20 victory over the Raiders on Sunday.
The touchdown with 5:07 left came shortly after Ryan, 37, converted on third and 3 with a 39-yard run to the Raiders 36.
His play helped give Saturday, who just a week ago was an ESPN analyst before being hired despite no NFL coaching experience, his first victory. It also handed the Raiders (2-7) their third loss in a row and will increase the scrutiny on first-year coach Josh McDaniels, who took over a playoff team from a year ago.
The Raiders were booed off the field, and McDaniels in his postgame news conference said fans had every right to be disappointed.
“I can’t speak for everybody, but I’m going to give it all I can,” quarterback Derek Carr said after the loss. He defending the coaches, saying he “loved” McDaniels and the staff, and several times choked up while talking. “I’m sorry I’m emotional.”
Carr alluded to some players not giving their all, and he said team leaders addressed it after the game. “I’m not perfect. I’m never gonna be perfect, but the love I have for this place … the emotion of nine years really hit me today.”
For the Colts (4-5-1), Ryan completed 21 of 28 passes for 222 yards and Jonathan Taylor rushed for 147 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown. It was Taylor’s first 100-yard game since the season opener against the Houston Texans, when he rushed for 161 yards.
The duo offset the play of Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams, who caught nine passes for 126 yards and a TD. But a fourth-down pass to Adams in the end zone on the final possession was broken up by cornerback Stephon Gilmore, causing a major celebration on Indianapolis’ sideline.
“It’s about making plays when you need them, and we don’t do enough of that,” Adams said.
Carr completed 24 of 38 passes for 248 yards and two TDs.
Saturday, who had a long career as an offensive lineman with the Colts, showed he wasn’t afraid to make changes, installing as the play-caller Parks Frazier, someone who had never been in that position. Then on game day, Saturday went back to veteran Ryan as his starter. Ryan was benched by previous coach Frank Reich in favor of Sam Ehlinger, who started the past two games.
Two weeks ago, Saturday in his analyst role tweeted that the “Raiders look horrible” during their 24-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
They didn’t look so great when the Colts took a 10-0 lead in the second quarter. That included an 11-play, 70-yard drive in the first period in which Indianapolis picked up five first downs. The Colts had eight the entire game a week ago against New England.
The Raiders didn’t pick up a first down until 11:51 remained in the first half, and Carr missed all five of his passing attempts in the first quarter. Indianapolis outgained the home team 111 yards to 5 in that period.
On one drive, the Raiders lost 10 yards on a holding penalty and another 5 on ineligible player downfield, Carr was sacked for a 9-yard loss, Josh Jacobs rushed up the middle on second-and-long for 5 yards, and Carr threw short of Adams on the third. That sequence of plays caused boos to rain down.
But they finally got something going late in the second quarter, driving to the Colts 4. Carr rolled right and found Foster Moreau in the end zone for a touchdown with 58 seconds left.
The Colts, however, drove into field-goal range, and Chase McLaughlin made his second 48-yard field goal with no time remaining for a 13-7 lead.
That set up a wild second half in which the lead changed four times.
Jacobs ran 1 yard for a to give the Raiders their first lead. Taylor answered with a 66-yard touchdown, and then Carr hit Adams with a 48-yard TD, before the Colts came through with the winner with 5:07 left.