Oakland Raiders Week 12 Matchup Breakdown

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders
11/26/17 @ 4:25 PM EST

The Raiders are a five-point favorite in this game. According to the Associated Press, it is the biggest point spread in this series for Oakland since 2011. The reason for the confidence in Oakland is more about he Broncos than the Raiders.

Denver has lost six straight games since beating the visiting Raiders, 16-10, in Week 4. Denver controlled that game and was never truly in danger, but things have changed for the Broncos. Their offense is in disarray and they fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy this week. Former Oakland offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave replaced McCoy.

Oakland’s defense has been lackluster all season, but whether the Broncos will stick with Brock Osweiler or go to Paxton Lynch as the starting quarterback; it is clear Oakland deserves to be favorite. That is not often said about a 4-6 team that has lost two of the last three games. Oakland has not been nearly as dangerous on offense this season as it was expected to be after a strong 2016 season.

The over/under on this game has hovered at 43.5 points. That seems realistic, although the under may be a smart play here. Both teams were probably better when than they are now when they met in Week 4 and they combined for 26 points,

Neither team can score and that’s an issue.

The key for Oakland is to take advantage of the home crowd. This is the Raiders’ first game in Oakland since Oct 19 when they beat Kansas City, in their season highlight game. If the Raiders can feed off the crowd and jump out to an early lead it would both relax the struggling Raiders and cast doubt in the Broncos’ head as they try to avoid a dreadful seven-game losing skid. Look for Oakland offensive coordinator Todd Downing (whose best game this season was in that Kansas City game) to try to test Denver’s weary defense early with an aggressive passing game.

Regardless of a fast start or not, Oakland must be able to run the ball effectively throughout the game. Oakland is 27th in the NFL as it is averaging 89.7 yards per game. Denver fourth in the NFL against the run. It is allowing 85.5 yards on the ground per game. Oakland must have better ground success than they did in Denver nearly two months ago. Oakland had just 24 yards on 15 carries. A 100-yard ground game could go a long way for Oakland and it tires supplement Derek Carr’s passing game.

Oakland’s offensive line, which hasn’t been as strong this season as last season, will be a key in this game. As well its defensive front Denver dominated the game at the line of scrimmage in Week 4. Oakland must change that. The Broncos’ offensive line is a mess, so Khalil Mack, who has just 1.5 sacks in the past six games, has a chance to dominate and he needs to. This game will probably come down to whether the Raiders can continue the Broncos’ offensive misery. If Oakland can get in a defensive rhythm this should be a very winnable game for the home team. The Broncos turn the ball over a lot and the Raiders are thirsting for turnovers. They’re the only team in NFL history to not have an interception through 10 games. Whether it’s Osweiler or Lynch, the odds are that streak ends Sunday and Denver’s losing streak will likely continue. Check out all the matchup info you need at, https://www.lineups.com/nfl/matchups/2017/11-26/den-broncos-oak-raiders

Prediction: Raiders 24, Broncos 16

Bill Williamson has been covering the NFL for 21 straight seasons. He has been a newspaper beat writer in four NFL cities and he spent eight years covering the league at ESPN.

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