Oakland Raiders vs Denver Broncos Preview

Do not be surprised if you see first round pick Paxton Lynch taking snaps against the Raiders. Photo Courtesy: Jeffrey Beall
Do not be surprised if you see first round pick Paxton Lynch taking snaps against the Raiders.
Photo Courtesy: Jeffrey Beall

By Da’Vince “Dino” Wright

Game Info
Oakland Raiders vs Denver Broncos
Sunday – January 1 – 3:25 pm
Sports Authority Field at Mile High – Denver – Colorado

Records Before the Game
Oakland Raiders (12-3, 6-1 Away)
Denver Broncos (8-7, 4-3 Home)

The Broncos are out of the playoffs. The last six games were very winnable. I’ve covered this team for  two seasons and there have been highs and lows. This year was a very difficult one for me and for the Bronco faithfuls. How did the team fall off one would ask? What happened from the 6 and 0 start till now? So many questions being asked… Let’s take a look at this week’s match up against the Raiders in the final game.

Why you shouldn’t watch this game
The team is out of the playoffs and you can’t stomach watching another loss.

Why you should watch this game
You want to see how draft pick Paxton Lynch performs under center. He’s the future at quarterback for the Broncos. He will play at least the last 2 quarters in the final game.

Offensive Game Plan
Demariyus Thomas looked like a man possessed last week. He looked like he went back in time. The numbers he put up last week against the Chiefs would’ve made him Pro Bowl bound if he would have done this the entire season. His dominance on the outside gave the Broncos hope, but soon disappeared in the 4th quarter because the Broncos stopped going to him. This week he has to start off fresh by targeting him in the 1st quarter. Paxton Lynch has to establish himself in the passing game by taking risk down the field. Why draft wide outs with speed and throw 5-yard passes all game? Trevor Siemian will make the start, but Paxton Lynch will finish the game. The offense has been the Achilles heel for the Broncos the last two seasons.

Defensive Game Plan
Latavius Murray is the key to stopping the Raiders offense. The last three games of the season he has rushed for 300 plus yards. With starting quarterback Derrick Carr out for the season, the Raiders will rely on Murray to carry the load. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are both questionable for this contest. Seth Roberts and Andre Holmes are capable receivers that will fit right in as starters. Matt McGloin will make his first start this week. This will be his first start since the 2013 season.

The Broncos have a 61.9% chance of winning at home according to ESPN. I’m also taking the Broncos by 10 this week. Oakland has nothing to lose because they are already in the playoffs. I don’t see them just laying down taking a beating, but they have nothing to lose. Broncos 31 – Raiders 21