Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders Preview
The reigning Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos are in a tight three-way battle for supremacy in the AFC West and will visit the surprising Oakland Raiders on Sunday (Enter Contest) in a showdown for first place in the division. The Raiders are 5-0 on the road en route to their 6-2 mark and enter a stretch of four consecutive home games.
Derek Carr threw for a staggering 513 yards and four touchdowns in a 30-24 win at Tampa Bay as Oakland kept pace with Denver atop the division. Carr is the third player in history to throw for at least 500 yards with four TDs and zero interceptions in a game.
While the Raiders are off to their best start since 2001 behind a potent offense, the Broncos continue to flex the defensive muscles that paved their path to the Super Bowl last season. Denver is tied with Buffalo for the NFL lead with 26 sacks while linebacker Von Miller is second with 8.5. Gary Kubiak’s team has dominated the series in recent seasons, winning eight consecutive matchups before Oakland ended the streak in the Mile High City last December.
ABOUT THE BRONCOS (6-2)
Star cornerback Aqib Talib is in danger of missing his second straight game, flying to California on Thursday to get a second opinion on his ailing back. Denver has quality depth at the position as Bradley Roby stepped in for Talib and earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after returning an interception for a touchdown in a 27-19 win at San Diego. Rookie running back Devontae Booker hurt his shoulder in his first start in place of an injury C.J. Anderson, but is expected to go against Oakland. Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas are the top two targets for Trevor Siemian with 44 and 42 receptions, respectively. Thomas needs two receptions to become the fourth player in franchise history with 500.
ABOUT THE RAIDERS (6-2)
Carr leads the AFC with 17 touchdown passes versus only three interceptions and is getting a lot of mileage from his wide receiver tandem of Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Cooper had 12 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown last week to boost his team-leading total to 52 receptions while Crabtree hauled in his NFL high-tying sixth touchdown catch. Defense has been a nightmare for the Raiders, who are ranked 31st in the league, surrendering a total of 410.4 total yards while being equally generous against the run and pass. Khalil Mack, who has five of Oakland’s 11 sacks, recorded five in the win at Denver last season.