The Las Vegas Raiders play host to the Denver Broncos in Week 16, and here are three bold predictions for the crucial AFC West matchup.
The Las Vegas Raiders’ quest for their second playoff appearance since the 2002 season starts today, as they welcome in divisional rival Denver to Allegiant Stadium. Las Vegas goes into this game with a 7-7 record, after beating a depleted Cleveland Browns team in Week 15, and narrowly clinging to life in the AFC Playoff picture.
Here, we look at three bold predictions for the Raiders in Week 16.
Las Vegas Raiders vs Denver Broncos: 3 bold predictions in Week 16
No. 1: Derek Carr gets over 300 yards passing
Derek Carr is currently No. 2 in the NFL in passing yards, but a lot of those came early in the year when he was seemingly throwing for 300-plus yards every time out. Since the bye week, however, he has only one 300-yard game, a huge victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, but that kind of effort may be needed in Week 16.
On Sunday, Carr is going to be expected to put it up early and often, and I believe that could lead to a ton of yardage for him in this game. If the Raiders are to win, a 300-yard effort may have to be in the cards, but the Raiders will have to shed their conservative approach for him to get there.
No. 2: Drew Lock is sacked four-plus times
There is no doubt that the fact that Drew Lock is starting over Teddy Bridgewater is great news for the Raiders as they look to stay alive in the AFC Playoff picture. Lock is someone who can be forced into making bad mistakes, and that will come thanks to the fact the Raiders will likely put pressure on him all game long.
In the end, I like the Raiders to get after Lock early and often in this one, bringing him down time and time again. When all is said and done, Lock is going to hit the turf a lot on Sunday afternoon, with the Raiders possibly racking up four-plus sacks.
No. 3: Raiders win by ten-plus points
Las Vegas is only one-point favorites against the Broncos, but that is mostly because this team has been up and down all season long. On Sunday, they should come out with a purpose against their division rival, attacking early on, and hopefully putting them away without the kind of heart-pumping drama we come to expect from this team weekly.
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Las Vegas has a chance to really push their way further into the conversation of being a playoff team this season, but it all starts against the Broncos. They have to be able to win these kinds of games at home, especially with such a monster game pending in Week 17 against the Indianapolis Colts.