The Denver Broncos will have a new look on offense as they attempt to halt their six-game losing streak when they visit the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Two days after replacing Mike McCoy as offensive coordinator with Bill Musgrave on an interim basis, coach Vance Joseph announced Paxton Lynch would make his first start of the season at quarterback in place of Brock Osweiler.
Lynch, who made two starts for the Broncos as a rookie last season, had been inactive for the team’s first nine games due to the sprained shoulder he suffered during the preseason. While Denver fell to 0-6 since its bye with last Sunday’s 20-17 setback against Cincinnati, the Raiders also flopped after their week off as they were trounced 33-8 in Mexico City last week by New England. Oakland had won two of three before the bye but now stands two games behind Kansas City for first place in the AFC West. The Broncos are 0-4 on the road this season and occupy the basement in the divison, one game back of the Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Raiders -5. O/U: 43.5
ABOUT THE BRONCOS (3-7): The 23-year-old Lynch, who stands 6-7 but was sacked nine times while throwing two touchdown passes and one interception in three games last season, discounted the notion of feeling pressure this week. “You can’t let the season get bigger than you or the game be bigger than you,” he told reporters. “Whether we were on a winning streak or not, it’s one game at a time, so that was the mentality coming into it.” Emmanuel Sanders, who is second on the team with 448 receiving yards, has played in the team’s last three games after missing two with an ankle injury but sat out Wednesday’s practice.
ABOUT THE RAIDERS (4-6): While Denver took a new approach offensively, Oakland did the same on the other side of the ball, relieving Ken Norton Jr. of his duties as defensive coordinator on Tuesday and replacing him with John Pagano. “After careful thought, I have made a difficult decision,” coach Jack Del Rio said in a statement. “I have the utmost respect for Ken as a person and as a coach, but I feel that moving John Pagano into the play-calling role will best utilize his wealth of experience.” Khalil Mack has feasted on Denver quarterbacks of late, registering nine sacks in his last four meetings with the club.
1. Broncos CB Aqib Talib (shoulder) also did not participate in practice on Wednesday.
2. Oakland’s Jared Cook is one of five tight ends in the league with at least 40 catches (41) and 500 receiving yards (535).
3. Denver has not won since beating Oakland 16-10 at home on Oct. 1.
PREDICTION: Raiders 27, Broncos 23