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Broncos coaches could make the difference in high-stakes game

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As Adam Malnati and Ian St. Clair talked about on the Mile High Report Radio podcast, Denver has to get playcalling similar to what it had against Houston.

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San Diego Chargers v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country!

At this point, we all know how much this Sunday night game means.

It’s ginormous for the Oakland Raiders but also the Denver Broncos. Not only is control of the AFC West up for grabs but also the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs. Whichever team walks out with a win is in the catbird seat for both.

Perhaps the most important aspect to look at in this game is the play calling from Denver’s offensive coaches. Is it similar to what it was against the Houston Texans? Or does it mimic what it was against the San Diego Chargers last Sunday?

As Adam Malnati and I talked about on the Mile High Radio podcast, the Broncos have to get a similar playsheet to the one it had on Monday Night Football against Houston. If the coaches put forth an offensive game plan similar to that one, Denver has a great shot to beat the Raiders. If the game plan resembles the one against San Diego from a week ago, a tough game to win gets even tougher. In my mind, Denver has no shot in that case.

That means the Broncos have to run the football. If Devontae Booker and the offense doesn’t have success early in the game on the ground, Gary Kubiak and the coaches have to stick with it. In that sense, pull a Mike Shanahan and not be deterred no matter what. Remain persistent in the play calling and have confidence the offense will run the ball. Stick with it. Don’t abandon it.

Make it easier for Trevor Siemian to throw the football. We’ve all seen what Denver’s offense looks like when it cannot get the running game going. That has to change tonight, and it starts with the coaches.

Broncos Tracks

Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders battle for AFC West's top spot
With confidence sky high in Oakland and Derek Carr having an MVP-caliber season for the Raiders, the Denver Broncos could be in trouble Sunday.

Harris: Broncos have 'chances to get picks' off Raiders - NFL.com
Derek Carr and the Raiders' offense is coming into Sunday on a roll, having thrown for 498 net yards against the Bucs. Despite this massive uptick in production, Denver's secondary is not impressed.

After the scream: How Denver Broncos move on after heat of the moment - Denver Broncos Blog- ESPN
What transpires before and after emotions come into play for the Broncos during a game really determines if it is a teaching moment.

Mason's Mailbag: Cohesion on the line, next year's draft (whoa!) and a uniform question
All that and more, served up to you as hot as chowder in one of the Bay Area's famed sourdough bowls.

Stephenson got big bucks for vs. Mack | 9news.com
ENGLEWOOD - Donald Stephenson is a Denver Bronco because of this upcoming game against the Oakland Raiders.

Woody Paige: The Broncos need the Raiders, making Sunday a great day - 7NEWS Denver TheDenverChannel.com
The Broncos need the Raiders. Denver fanatics need the Raiders.

Derek Carr: Aqib Talib and Chris Harris form best CB duo in the NFL | Broncos Wire
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr believes the Denver Broncos have the best cornerback duo in the NFL with Aqib Talib and Chris Harris.

Bound for the Bay: Broncos travel to SF
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Broncos' trip to San Francisco before they face the Oakland Raiders.

Michael Vick says Trevor Siemian is one of the three best QBs in the NFL - CBSSports.com
It's probably a good thing Vick isn't the GM of your favorite team. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of John Elway right there from CBS Sports.

AFC West Tracks

Fixing Nick Foles: KC Chiefs coaches have worked with QB for this moment | The Kansas City Star
Like the rest of his teammates, defensive tackle Chris Jones watched his starting quarterback, Alex Smith, go down after a blow to the head in the first quarter of the Chiefs’ win over Indianapolis on Sunday.

Knile Davis re-signs with Chiefs after whirlwind three weeks | The Kansas City Star
Knile Davis re-signs with Chiefs after whirlwind three weeks.

It's the Charcandrick West show at RB on Sunday for Chiefs
Charcandrick West will be the Chiefs' featured back on Sunday when they play against the Jaguars.

Are the Chiefs better than the Patriots, Broncos or Steelers? We asked the bloggers - Arrowhead Pride
We’ve talked often about where the Kansas City Chiefs rank in the AFC. Are they the most complete team ready to challenge the Patriots like anonymous NFL execs said this week?

Fantasy: Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr starting to master 'The Matrix' - NFL Nation- ESPN
Can Raiders QB Derek Carr keep his breakout fantasy season going, or will he fall into the second-half slump that has plagued him the past two years?

Home disadvantage? Raiders legends debate Coliseum struggles
Quality of opposition could have a lot to do with 4-7 record at home, 9-4 on road since start of ’15 season.

Raiders’ Carr, receivers don’t impress Broncos’ defenders - SFGate
The Broncos aren’t really buying the Derek Carr MVP talk, heading into Sunday night’s game. The Raiders’ quarterback threw for 513 yards Sunday in Tampa Bay, and the Denver cornerbacks still weren’t all that impressed.

Raiders vs Broncos week 9 preview: Clashes don’t get much bigger than this - Silver And Black Pride
What a f—king game this one figures to be.

Dexter McCluster suffers freak injury, out for year - The San Diego Union-Tribune
The Chargers running back injured his rib late Friday evening while lifting a suitcase.

Bolts liked Mariota, but not a Rivers trade - The San Diego Union-Tribune
Chargers coach Mike McCoy said the team gave no thought to trading Phlip Rivers to get Marcus Mariota, the opponent Sunday.

Chargers, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer hold rally for stadium plan
The vote to fund a $1.8 billion downtown stadium and convention center annex is just four days away.

Chargers Need to Find Future Quarterback Now - Bolts From The Blue
This Sunday, the San Diego Chargers face Marcus Mariota; a future star Quarterback they were once linked to. Is now the time for the Chargers to find their future signal caller?

NFL Tracks

Survey: NFL players say some teammates use marijuana before they play - CBSSports.com
One-fifth of NFL players have seen a teammate use pot before a game.

Biggest Week 9 NFL questions, stats and predictions - NFL Nation- ESPN
Will Cam Newton get some love from the refs? Will the Vikings score more without Norv Turner? Are the Raiders the best in the West? We'll find out.

Five matchups that will define NFL Week 9: Can Carson Wentz jolt Eagles against Giants?
Halfway through his rookie year, Carson Wentz finds himself in a position the Eagles likely wanted to keep him out of.

Two RB success stories; two old sack artists: 5 NFL things to watch | New York Post
With all the games, backstories, injuries and developments in a given week in the NFL, it is tough to know what to look for on Sunday. Here are five things to watch.

NFL Week 9 Picks: Pro Tips For Picking Winners Against the Spread
Take a look at the Week 9 spreads and get tips for picking against the spread winners from a professional handicapper.

NFL picks against the spread, Week 9: Bet against the Vikings - SBNation.com
Does losing Norv Turner really make the Vikings this much of a favorite against the Lions?

NFL midseason bold predictions: How will second half, playoffs pan out?
Everyone could use a second chance, especially when it comes to predictions.

NFL Was a Sure Thing for TV Networks. Until Now - Bloomberg
Why are football ratings down? Cord cutters. And smartphones. And the election, concussions, Kaepernick, global warming.

Next season's list of hot NFL head coaching candidates already taking shape
Expect coordinators to again command attention, especially the guys in New England.

Revitalized Cowboys Are A Shot In The Arm For An NFL That Needs A Boost - Blogging The Boys
As devoted fans nothing makes us happier than the success that the Dallas Cowboys are currently enjoying. Our whole sporting existence is stimulated by the team sitting atop the NFC East standings.

NFL Players Association: Blame election, not on-field product, for ratings drop | NFL | Sporting Newss
Seems an easy out and an argument a fifth-grader would make, but whatever. There really is reason for concern.

NFL says penalties on Josh Norman were good calls | ProFootballTalk
After he was called for five penalties against Cincinnati, Washington cornerback Josh Norman said the officiating sucked. Washington coach Jay Gruden added that officials are targeting Norman.

Jay Ajayi's rise explained; NFL execs on Cam Newton's criticism - NFL.com
Jay Ajayi just became the fourth NFL RB ever to record back-to-back 200-yard games. How? Bucky Brooks scouts the former fifth-rounder. Plus, NFL execs weigh in on the Cam Newton controversy.

Ezekiel Elliott and accuser allegedly involved in another incident in February - CBSSports.com
Florida police were called to Elliott's apartment in February.

McAdoo shrugs off low sack total: 'Stats are for losers' - NFL.com
Numbers never lie, unless Ben McAdoo doesn't like them. The Giants coach got defensive Friday when asked about his defensive line's low output this season.