The pain for the Raiders might have been even worse. Quarterback Derek Carr broke his right leg in the fourth quarter, sending Oakland into its first postseason in 14 years with backup quarterback Matt McGloin at the helm.
"It's tough right now," center Rodney Hudson said. "Everybody is going to be down right now, but the important thing is for everyone to be there for Derek."
Carr had been the major reason for the turnaround in Oakland after 13 straight seasons without a playoff berth. He threw three TD passes on Saturday to give him 28 on the season, and his seven fourth-quarter comebacks are the biggest driver behind Oakland's success.
He appeared to be on his way to another big win for the Raiders (12-3) when everything changed on one play in the fourth quarter, with Oakland leading 33-14.
Carr was twisted to the ground on a sack by Trent Cole and stayed there for several minutes in pain as trainers came out to treat him. With the crowd chanting "M-V-P! M-V-P!" Carr limped off the field without putting any pressure on his right leg. He was then taken away on a cart for X-rays, which showed the break in his right fibula. Carr will have surgery on Sunday.
"I wish I had that play back," left tackle Donald Penn said. "I've been great all year, I slip up on one play. I'm mad at myself. I'll be good tomorrow but I'm mad at myself. I wish there was something else I could do. I've never had a quarterback get hurt in my career. I'm upset right now."
Andrew Luck then tried to lead a comeback as the Colts rallied from 26 points down to within eight with 2:33 left. But McGloin completed a 19-yard pass to Amari Cooper on third-and-8 on the next drive, and the Raiders ran out the clock.
Indianapolis (7-8) will miss the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997-98, right before Peyton Manning arrived.
"It's pretty much unacceptable," linebacker Erik Walden said. "An organization like this, it's like a requirement to get to the postseason, and we haven't been able to do that, this year and last year."
Here are some other takeaways from the game:
MCGLOIN'S TIME: McGloin made six starts as an undrafted rookie in 2013, winning his first in Houston and then losing the final five. Carr was drafted the next year and has made every start since, with McGloin throwing just 55 passes in that time.
"I'm ready to go," McGloin said. "I know this team, these guys around me, this staff, this organization will do a great job of helping me out and embracing me. Just making sure we continue to move in the right direction."
MOMENTUM CHANGE: The game changed during an eight-minute span starting late in the first half. It started when Luck threw an interception to Reggie Nelson in the end zone with the Colts driving down 13-7. Carr turned that into a TD pass to Jalen Richard and Oakland scored again to open the second half on a 22-yard run by DeAndre Washington . After a fumble by Frank Gore, Washington scored on another 22-yard run, and Oakland went up 33-7.
"That was a big, big, pivotal moment in the game and there's really no one else to blame but me," Luck said of the interception.
WASHINGTON'S WAY: Washington ran for 99 yards and the two TDs three weeks after being held out for a second straight game as he fell down the depth chart. Washington became the first Oakland back to have two TD runs of at least 20 yards in a game since Darren McFadden in 2010 at Jacksonville.
"You never know when your number is going to get called," Washington said. "When it gets called you need to be ready. That was my biggest deal, that's what I was trying to do."
WHAT'S NEXT: The Colts play out the string with a home game next week against Jacksonville. The Raiders visit Denver with the AFC West possibly on the line. Oakland can clinch the division and a first-round bye if the Broncos beat Kansas City on Sunday or do it themselves next week with a win or Chiefs loss.