Oakland Raiders (5 – 7)
Denver Broncos (10 – 2)
Just how good is Brock Osweiler? He wasn’t asked to do very much last week, it seems, except not lose the game. The offense seemed very buttoned down in the nice San Diego weather. Can we expect it to be unleashed against Oakland in the cold in Denver on Sunday? Will Osweiler have a chance to show he can win a game (as he did against the Patriots two weeks ago?
I don’t think so. I think we’ll see a pretty vanilla, don’t turn over the ball and put the defense in bad situations approach against the Raiders on Sunday. With all the injuries Denver has, that’s probably a good idea.
It’s likely going to be enough to win, too.
KEY MATCH UP
Denver, in its three week win streak, has run the ball very effectively. This is the match up that will determine the game: Denver’s run offense vs. Oakland’s run defense. Since its dreadful start on the ground, Denver has moved up to the middle of the pack and is 17th in rushing. To move from 30th to 17th in three weeks is very impressive and shows what they’ve been able to do on the ground with Osweiler under center. If Denver can run the ball effectively against Oakland’s 17th ranked rushing defense, Denver will win the game.
Denver injuries. They are the X-Factor. If the Broncos weren’t so beaten up right now, this is a game they should walk away with without breaking a sweat. As it stands, they may have to gut out a tough, division win.
|David Bruton Jr.||S||Knee||QUESTIONABLE|
Much like last week when they were faced with inferior competition, the Broncos should beat the Raiders. They are very much in the driver’s seat in regards to playoff seeding, they are confident after three wins in a row, and they believe they are a dominant team on defense that does enough on offense to be in the AFC Super Bowl conversation. It may not be pretty, but the Broncos should win.