Oakland Raiders December Schedule Preview

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October 11, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; General view of the line of scrimmage between the Oakland Raiders and the Denver Broncos during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Dec. 13: Denver Broncos

The Raiders’ first matchup against the Denver Broncos in Week 5 didn’t go quite as expected, as the Broncos barely snuck out of Oakland with a win rather than meeting expectations and handling them with ease. Since then, Peyton Manning has been benched and their young gun Brock Osweiler has emerged as a true talent in his first two career starts.

Osweiler has gone 43 of 69 for 320 yards and three touchdowns in his two wins against the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots.

Taking advantage of the Broncos’ poor offensive line will be important for Oakland to get Osweiler off his mark, as no quarterback performs well with consistent pressure in his face. Expect Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. to dial up some blitz packages to get the young quarterback out of rhythm early, for if he gets an early introduction to Mack off the edge he shouldn’t feel too comfortable in the pocket.

Containing Denver’s receiving corps will also be an issue for Oakland, for even with the recent improvement from guys like Amerson and Carrie, wide receivers like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are threats to embarrass nearly any secondary in the league.

The Raiders’ receiving corps has similar talent in Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, but Denver’s secondary shouldn’t have a problem limiting Oakland’s top two pass catchers. Led by cornerbacks Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib, the Broncos’ defense has given up just 11 passing touchdowns this season and is No. 1 in passing yards allowed, via NFL.com.

Denver’s defense also has the advantage in the trenches, as they are second in the league in run defense and first in the league in total sacks. With little to no weakness in any level of their defense, Oakland will have to play an efficient, mistake-free game if they are going to have a chance late in this game.

Prediction: Oakland Raiders 10 Denver Broncos 24

Next: Week 15: Packers