Though not an easy game by any stretch of the imagination, the Raiders have to beat the Broncos at home in Week 12 to have any realistic shot at the playoffs. Oakland lost by six points in Denver back in Week 4, but these two teams have gone in different directions since.
Since its early bye, the Broncos have collapsed and lost four straight games. This week, they will face a major AFC nemesis in the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. Though Tom Brady has struggled at Mile High before, the Broncos might be out of the playoff mix entirely with a loss at home in Week 10 to fall to 3-6.
Add in maybe another loss to a bad AFC team in the Cincinnati Bengals and the Broncos could be riding a six-game losing streak when they reluctantly enter The Coliseum in Week 12. This is a division rivalry game though, so anything goes. However, being the loser of the previous match helps the Raiders in this one.
If the Raiders aren’t up to stomping Denver at home in Week 12, then this team won’t have what it takes to make the AFC playoffs any way. The Broncos offense is now being run by Brock Osweiler. Denver’s quarterbacking situation has been a total disaster in the last month plus since Trevor Siemian fizzled out. Oakland has to have this game.