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Denver Broncos' Keys to Victory: Week 14 vs. Oakland Raiders

Ken Pomponio Avatar
December 12, 2015


Keys-to-Victory-Who: Denver Broncos (10-2) vs. Oakland Raiders (5-7)

What: 2015 Week 14

When: 2:05 p.m. MST, Sunday, Dec. 13

Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High


Announcers: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts

Radio: KOA (850 AM), The Fox (103.5 FM)

Odds: Broncos -6.5; O/U 43.5

Notable: Thanks to a 24-2-2 run from 1963-76, the Raiders still own a 60-50-2 all-time series lead, but the Orange & Blue have won 30 of the last 41 games and 18 of the last 25, including eight straight following their 16-10 road win in Week 5. … Over the last five seasons, the Broncos own an NFL-best 24-5 (.828) divisional record. … Broncos QB Brock Osweiler is the sixth quarterback in franchise history to win his first three starts with Denver. Jake Plummer (2003) and Bubby Brister (1998) won their first four while Kyle Orton (2009) and Craig Morton (1977) share the standard by winning their first six starts. … Oakland second-year QB Derek Carr is, of course, 0-3 against Denver with 599 passing yards, four TDs and four interceptions. … The Raiders are 1-5 against teams with winning records this season – beating only the Jets (34-20) in Week 8

The Keys

  • Next men up must continue to step up: ’Tis that time of the season as the Broncos’ injury list this week contains a whopping 22 names, including a trio of starters (Peyton Manning, Danny Trevathan and T.J. Ward) who already have been ruled out. Several others, including C.J. Anderson, Vernon Davis and David Bruton Jr. are questionable, meaning the next men up are now up. For the most part, the backups have filled in almost seamlessly across the board, and that has to continue to happen for the Broncos, not only to weather their periods of attrition, but to keep their December and January aspirations on course.
  • Don’t get caught looking ahead: Speaking of those aspirations, everyone in Broncos Country knows an all-important two-game stretch follows Sunday’s contest, but the Orange and Blue can ill afford to get caught looking ahead at this stage of the stretch run. While it’s looking increasingly likely they’ll fall short of a postseason berth for the 13th straight season, Jack Del Rio’s crew is dangerous – remember it took Chris Harris Jr.’s 74-yard fourth-quarter interception return to turn the tide in Week 6 – and throwing a wrench in the late-season plans of his former team is no doubt high on the former Denver defensive coordinator’s holiday wish list.
  • Stay on the plus side of the turnover table: Culminating with the five-interception debacle Week 10 against the Chiefs, the Broncos had given the ball away 19 times in their first nine games and had slipped to a minus-two on the all-telling turnover table. In the three games since, Denver has only lost two turnovers (a pair of Osweiler interceptions) while gaining six, including a pick-six and a pair of fumble recoveries last Sunday in San Diego which essentially stymied Philip Rivers and Co. all by themselves. Conversely up north, the Raiders took a 20-14 lead into the fourth quarter Sunday against the red-hot Chiefs, but Carr tossed a trio of picks in the final 15 minutes to doom the Silver & Black to a 34-20 defeat. Living on the plus-side of the turnover margin definitely (and definitively) is living right in the NFL.


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