The Oakland Raiders likely will have revenge on their minds when they visit the Denver Broncos on Sunday for the latest installment in the bitter rivalry. Without star quarterback Derek Carr, the Raiders were demolished 24-6 at Denver in the 2016 season finale, denying them the AFC West title.
Carr is healthy for this matchup but is coming off an abysmal performance against Washington last week in which he completed only 19-of-31 passes for just 118 yards and a touchdown while throwing his first two interceptions of the season. While Oakland dropped a 27-10 decision to the Redskins, Denver also suffered its first loss of the campaign, falling 26-16 at Buffalo in its first road game of 2017. The Broncos hope for better production from C.J. Anderson, who gained only 36 yards on eight carries against the Bills - with 32 coming on one run. Quarterback Trevor Siemian, who has been sacked nine times in the first three games, will have to contend with Oakland defensive end Khalil Mack - the reigning Defensive Player of the Year - while Carr looks to avoid Denver linebacker Von Miller - the league leader in sacks (76.5) since the start of the 2011 season.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Broncos -3. O/U: 46
ABOUT THE RAIDERS (2-1): Mack leads the NFL with 28 sacks since the beginning of the 2015 campaign (0.5 better than Miller), including one in each of his last two games. The 26-year-old has registered seven of his 32 career sacks against Denver, including five Dec. 13, 2015 to tie the franchise single-game record set by Howie Long. Michael Crabtree has been limited in practice this week due to a chest injury suffered in the loss to Washington while fellow wide receiver Amari Cooper (knee) was a full participant on Thursday.
ABOUT THE BRONCOS (2-1): Despite last week’s effort, Anderson ranks fifth in the league with 235 rushing yards and is averaging 4.4 per carry. While he has recorded 310 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns in his last three games against Oakland, Charles has notched 962 and 11 in 12 career meetings with the Raiders. The former Chiefs running back needs 134 scrimmage yards to become the 11th active player to record 10,000 in his career.
1. Broncos RB Jamaal Charles gave the best performance of his first season with the team last week, rushing nine times for 56 yards and a touchdown.
2. Oakland CB Gareon Conley (shin) participated in practice on a limited basis Thursday after sitting out the previous day’s drills.
3. Denver leads the league in rushing defense (59.7 yards) and is one of only two teams (Minnesota) yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season.
PREDICTION: Broncos 33, Raiders 30