The Broncos have already secured their playoff spot as the winner of the AFC West, but they must continue winning to improve their playoff seed.
The Raiders have lost their last five games, including a rough loss to the Browns last Sunday. They have nothing left to play for besides pride, and will likely do so in front of a small crowd in Oakland.
Peyton Manning (Photo by Jeffrey Beall via CC BY-SA 3.0)
The Broncos are currently the fourth seed in the AFC, but they have the same 9-3 record as the two teams in front of them, Baltimore and New England. They have won their last seven games and are in position to easily win three of their last four.
After this game against Oakland, the Broncos have Baltimore, Cleveland, and Kansas City to finish the season. Baltimore will be a tough game, but the last two will see the Broncos being overwhelming favorites.
Denver has benefited from a weak AFC West, which could end up testing them come playoff time. Four of their wins have come in the division this season, and that can easily be made six at season’s end. If they end up with 11 or 12 wins this season, it is possible that half of those will come from in the division, where the next best team, San Diego, is currently 4-8.
The Raiders have had a miserable season this year. Things were looking up in Week 3 when they defeated Pittsburgh 34-31, but that was the only bright spot of the season. Their only other wins have come against the Chiefs and Jaguars, who are just as bad or worse than the Raiders themselves.
These two teams have met once before this season, with the Broncos coming away with a commanding 37-6 victory. It came one week after Oakland’s impressive defeat of Pittsburgh, which should have given them some momentum heading into the game against the Broncos.
The Raiders were outgained by the Broncos 503-237 in this game, which was actually only 10-6 at half. However, the Broncos quickly made that into a blowout with a 21-point third quarter. It is indicative of the miserable season taking place in Oakland this season, which is unfortunately nothing out of the ordinary.
The Broncos are undefeated in the AFC West and have won seven in a row, so the Raiders stand no chance at all in this matchup. Plain and simple.
Broncos 34 – Raiders 14
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