The Denver Broncos conclude a postseason-bound 2014 season at home, where they're a perfect 7-0, against their bitter division rivals the Oakland Raiders. Both teams want to finish on a strong note - the Raiders have won three of their last five, while the Broncos have won four of their last five - and the Broncos have the 2nd seed in the AFC they would clinch with a win.
Meanwhile, the Raiders would love to play spoiler, and they have two rookies who are making a big impact late in the year and have been helping Oakland play spoiler to the likes of the Chiefs and 49ers.
The first, quarterback Derek Carr.
"He has definitely improved," Broncos coach John Fox said. "I think they've improved as a football team. [Interim Head Coach] Tony [Sparano] has done a good job with that group. They’ve fought tough and have won three of the last five. I’m sure they are trying to close out their season with some success just like we are."
The second, linebacker Khalil Mack.
"He’s creating a lot of pressure on the quarterback," said Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase. "He’s got four sacks now [and]he didn’t have any coming into our last game. His biggest thing is he’s very disruptive and he’s popping free a lot more now. [It] seems like the more games he’s played, the more comfortable he’s getting and he’s really creating a lot of pressure."
It isn't just the Raiders' youth that is standing out - their most veteran teammate is having a fine season as well in safety Charles Woodson. "It’s amazing to me how well he’s playing and how aggressive he’s been against the run game," said Gase. That's supplementing the efforts of Carr and Mack, who look to be the future of this Raiders' team.
Kickoff is set for 2:25 p.m. Mile High time on Sunday, December 28, 2014.
The game will air on CBS with Greg Gumble (play-by-play) and Trent Green (color commentary) calling the game and Evan Washburn reporting from the sidelines.
Denver can find the game on KCNC-TV. Check out the Broncos-Raiders broadcast map for availability in your area.
Verizon customers can download and subscribe to the NFL Mobile app. At a premium, you can stream the game after the final whistle blows from NFL.com using Game Rewind. You can also listen live using streaming audio from NFL.com.
KOA (850 AM)/The Fox (103.5 FM): Dave Logan (play-by-play) and Ed McCaffrey (color commentary) will call the game with Andy Lindahl reporting from the sidelines.
The Denver Broncos can achieve just the sixth perfect home record in franchise history with a win against the Raiders Sunday (first since 2005). In both years the Broncos won the Super Bowl, they were undefeated at home.
The Denver Broncos' injury report has gotten remarkably full. Around 20 names fill the Broncos' portion of the report in all. Linebacker Brandon Marshall is out, RB Ronnie Hillman and QB Peyton Manning are probable, and S T.J. Ward and WR Emmanuel Sanders are among a trio of Broncos who are questionable.
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The Broncos are 14-point favorites against the Raiders. Color us surprised.
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