The Raiders and Broncos are out of the playoffs but there is still a lot of pride at stake for these two bitter AFC West rivals.
The Raiders were in the playoff picture for a while but that bubble burst with the team losing five of their last six games including their last three. They are coming off a tough loss but can end the season 8-8 with a win by beating the Broncos for the second time.
The Broncos have lost two in a row and four of their last five games and the team in the basement of the AFC West. The defense has been pretty solid for the team but they only rank 29th in the league in points per game and QB Drew Lock is one of the many that have gone through the dreaded sophomore slump.
In the middle of the season in Sin City, the Raiders beat the Broncos 37-12.
Can’t Hold On With 19 Seconds Left?In their Raiders' last game, they kicked a go-ahead field goal with only 19 seconds left only to watch the Dolphins march down the field to kick the game-winning FG with a second left in the 26-25 Las Vegas loss. The Raiders could have run in for a TD but RB Josh Jacobs stopped at the one-yard line to take some time off the clock. The Las Vegas defense gave up 20 points in the second half and their D struggled at the end of the season, which is why they fired their defensive coordinator.
Derek Carr came back after missing a game with an injury to pass for 336 yards with a Td and an INT in the loss to Miami. He has played well on the season ranking 11th in the league in QBR and has a slew of targets such as TE Darren Waller (1,079 yards 8 TD) and Nelson Agholor (839 yards 8 TD).
Josh Jacobs has gone through a little bit of a sophomore sump as well even though he ranks third in the league in carries and sixth in rushing yards. In the loss to Miami, he rushed for 69 yards averaging 5.3 yards per carry while he had not rushed for over 76 yards or averaged over 3.9 yards per carry in his previous four games. Jacobs' last big game came in the win over Denver where he rushed for 112 yards and two TD averaging a legit 5.3 yards per carry.
Mistakes CentralIn the Broncos' last game, they lost to the L.A. Chargers 19-16 where they made a ton of mistakes. From missed field goals to dropped balls and turnovers to only going 1-4 in the red zone the team simply shot themselves in the foot even though they had 22 more plays, outgained the Chargers, and were 7-12 on third down.
Drew Lock has more interceptions than touchdowns this season (15-14) and only ranks 27th in the league in QBR. He did not have any touchdowns in the loss to the Chargers with two INT, which was his 11th consecutive start with a turnover. Rookie WR Jerry Jeudy leads the Broncos in receiving yards and had 61 in the loss to the Chargers but also had five drops.
Melvin Gordan has quietly put together a pretty good season in his first one in Denver and in his last four games has averaged 84.8 rushing yards and averaged at least 4.9 yards per carry. He will face a Raiders run defense that is giving up an average of 126.1 rushing yards per game.
The Denver Broncos are:
- 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game
- 6-15 ATS in their last 21 vs. AFC West
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 17
The Las Vegas Raiders are:
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. AFC West
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game