Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos Preview: Key Matchups

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Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) talks with Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) after the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 47-14. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders experienced a tough loss on the road against the Chicago Bears last Sunday pushing their record to an even 2-2 before taking on their Week 5 contest against the 4-0 Denver Broncos.

Though future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning hasn’t quite been himself in 2015, this year’s Broncos team has been picking up the slack on defense. According to NFL.com, Denver’s defense is currently ranked No. 1 in total yards allowed (275.5), third-down percentage (25), and total sacks (18).

In their Week 4 performance against the Minnesota Vikings, the Broncos held Adrian Peterson to just 33 yards before he broke off a 48-yard touchdown on 4th and 1. Their defense also maintained a constant pas-rush against sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, as Denver earned seven sacks and 10 quarterback hits over the course of the game. Though the game was kept close due to a couple turnovers from Manning, the Broncos still edged out the 23-20 victory.

With Oakland entering Week 5 on a relative low due to an upset loss in Chicago, this matchup against an undefeated Denver team can really dictate whether or not the Raiders can consistently compete against top teams in the NFL.

With that being said, here is a look at three key matchups that should dictate the outcome of this game.

Next: Key Matchups: Raiders OL Vs. Ware and Miller