Coming off of a tough loss, the Oakland Raiders look to bounce back against the Denver Broncos.
Watching last Sunday’s game was quite painful for anyone who had a rooting interest for the Oakland Raiders. Almost everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. The offense could not sustain any kind of rhythm, paired with a defense that got absolutely shredded by Tom Brady. Last week’s game could have potentially put a final nail in the coffin for the Raiders’ playoff hopes, but mathematically, they are still in the hunt for a wild card spot.
If the Raiders want to help themselves in the playoff department, it is going to have to start this Sunday against the Denver Broncos. The Broncos are coming into this game with struggles of their own, having lost six straight games and standing at 3-7 and currently last in the AFC West.
From a yards perspective, the Broncos offense is actually in the middle of the pack, but their real problem has been scoring touchdowns, averaging a mere 18.3 points per game, ranked 24th in the league. The Broncos’ quarterback position has been in shambles this season as well, as they elected to bench Brock Osweiler for Paxton Lynch, a second year quarterback who has struggled to find the field.
The Denver defense has been as stout as ever, ranking third in the league in total yards given up per game, as well as ranking in the top 5 in both passing and rushing defense. Although they are a top tier unit, the Denver defense has given up a jaw-dropping 30.8 points per game over the course of this six game losing streak.
The Raiders come into this game with struggles very similar to that of the Broncos. Derek Carr and the offense has had stretches this season where they looked utterly confused and lost, which could be partly blamed on rookie OC, Todd Downing. Coming off of the Mexico City massacre against the Patriots, in which the offense put up only 8 points, despite winning the time of possession battle, you can be confident that it is not going to get any easier against the Broncos defense.
The Raiders’ defense has been historically bad this season. Lets not even talk about how they have managed to make quarterbacks like Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor and Jay Cutler look like first ballot hall of famers, but how they have not accumulated a single interception through ten games. That is absolutely mind-numbing. In today’s day and age of a lack of good quarterback play, defense’s nowadays at least accidentally stumble into an interception. The Raiders have laughably not come close this season — oh except when Keith McGill tipped a pass and it ended up going for and opposing team’s touchdown.
Through 11 weeks, I cannot give you any real reason the Raiders can come out and win this game against the Broncos, except for the fact that the Broncos just might be worse than the Raiders right now. Personally, I would not touch this Raiders team with a 10-foot pole, but this game is going to come down to who plays worse.
Seeing that this is only Paxton Lynch’s second career NFL start, I would hope the Raiders defense can somehow take advantage of that being at home in the Coliseum. From a realist perspective, I do not see how this offense is going to generate much to give me supreme confidence that they can win this game. In lieu of all of that, I can see the Raiders squeezing out another, dissatisfying win this Sunday.
Prediction: Raiders win, 16-13