When the Oakland Raiders step on the field at O.co Coliseum Thursday night, they will attempt to do something that no team has done since October 7: beat the Denver Broncos. While the Raiders struggles continue this season, a spoiler-ific game against division rival Denver would cure a lot of what ails them. But Peyton Manning and the Broncos won't go down easy, as they are vying for a first round bye in the playoffs, having already clinched the AFC West.
The Raiders offense has been limited by backfield injuries, as Darren McFadden, Taiwan Jones and Mike Goodson remain question marks for this game. If they can't go Oakland will again lean heavily on fullbacks Marcel Reece and Jeremy Stewart, who have picked up the slack for the decimated crew. Normally a pass-catching back, Reece has carried the ball 54 times in the last four weeks and has averaged 4.7 yards per rush.
Similar to the Raiders, the Broncos have had backfield problems as well. Willis McGahee tore his MCL three weeks ago and won't be ready until playoff time. Until then Denver will be going with Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman, who have been fairly effective in McGahee's absence. The Broncos' strengths continue to be their pass rush and the aerial attack that Peyton Manning seems to bring every week. The future Hall of Fame quarterback will look to carve up a struggling Raiders secondary that is 25th in the league in pass defense.
Game Time/Date: Thursday, December 6; 8:20pm ET
Location: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA
TV Schedule: NFL Network
TV Distribution Map: The506
Radio Schedule: KITS 105.3 FM