The Raiders and the Broncos compete against each other in a game that has no effect on either team.
The Raiders have a tough 26-25 loss to the Dolphins while the Broncos have struggled with similar feelings after a narrow loss 19-16.
Can the Raiders put aside the fact that they are no longer in the postseason and deal with rival Broncos on Sunday?
Trent Brown (ankle) with the right tackle was banned from competition on Sunday while linebacker Nicholas Borrow was activated from the reserve / COVID-19 list after testing negative all week.
Quarterback Derek Carr has made significant strides this season and has been a bright spot for the Raiders offensive. He is on track to finish with the top quarterback rating (102). 2) and second lowest interception ratio (1. 5%) of his career.
On Sunday he will face a solid Broncos defense that has been solid this season and finished 11th in Football Outsiders DVOA pass. Place occupied. Denver’s top seven were particularly good at creating problems for opposing quarterbacks. They ranked ninth with a Pass Rush rating of 76. 0 and 10 with a 69. 6 Pro Football Focus (PFF) coverage ratio.
Even so, the Broncos’ defense has been exploited in recent weeks. Though the Chargers were held at 19 points last week and the Chiefs at only 22 points on December. 6, The Broncos have allowed an average of 35 points in their three other games over the past five weeks.
The Raiders also have the benefit of a non-threatening matchup for their most dynamic playmaker in Darren Waller, who has been outstanding this season – especially on the track. He has put together a 98-1079-8 line in 15 games and has received an average of 134 yards per game in the last four games.
Waller’s main defender for this game is expected to be linebacker Alexander Johnson, with whom he will have a 29% lead according to PFF’s WR / CB matchup chart. Overall, Denver ranks 19th in the DVOA pass defense against narrow ends. place.
As Josh Jacobs runs back, it’ll be a tough matchup against Denver’s No. on paper. . 6 Rush Defense (per PFF) he used the same matchup in week 10 with 21-112-2 on the ground and 4-24-0 through the air.
The Broncos have a big decision to make about quarterback Drew Lock’s future after the 2020 season. He didn’t live up to the high expectations in Denver after a disappointing season in which he currently leads the league in interceptions (15) and finished 24th with only 14 touchdowns. Place occupied. Its 57% graduation rate and 50. 0 quarterback rating also leaves a lot to be desired.
Lock will have a strong matchup on paper against a Raiders defense who finished 22nd in the DVOA pass defense. Space occupied, but Lock has yet to show that he can use these types of situations consistently.
Instead, the Broncos are likely to rely on the running game against a Raiders defense who are currently at 46-25. Place occupied. 7 PFF rush defense rating. The tandem of running backs Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay must exploit this disparity to hide the shortcomings in Denver’s passing game.
Gordon has been playing particularly well lately, averaging 6. 2 yards per attempt in the Broncos’ last four games. During this time, however, it averages only 13. 8 rush attempts per game. That number needs to be increased if the Broncos are to win this game on the spot.
Despite the talent gap between these two rosters, the Raiders are only two. 5-point favorites in this street fight between two teams with nothing left to play for.
With the home edge being wiped out due to COVID-19 restrictions, the game that matters is who can make fewer mistakes. For my buck, I’ll bet the Raiders will finish strong and send a message to the rest of the AFC that they’re on the playoff hunt.
Offensively, Las Vegas’ prowess far surpasses Denver’s, and while the Raiders fought defensively, the Broncos have done nothing to suggest that they can use these seats as other teams in the league can.
With 72% of the tickets and 70% of the money on the raiders as of Saturday (real-time public betting data can be found here), this is a case where both Sharps and the public will agree. The data point in the same direction. Take the Raiders to cover that small spread and grab it before it crosses the 3 point threshold.
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Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, Bradley Chubb, NFL and Kansas City Chiefs
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