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Horse Tracks: Broncos must treat upcoming battle against the Raiders like it is a playoff game

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Every game is important, but the Denver Broncos must treat their upcoming game against the Oakland Raiders like it’s the playoffs. No matter how you slice it, it’s a must win affair for the Broncos.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country.

Sunday’s affair between the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders may just be another regular season meeting, but it’s a must win game for the Broncos who suffered a devastating loss against the Buffalo Bills last Sunday. All games matter, but divisional games against age-old rivalries matter even more. Especially when playoff implications are on the line so early in the year.

If we turn back the clock nearly one year, the Broncos were 4-0 and off to a hot start defending their Super Bowl title. The team was putting points up on the board consistently, and were winners of the turnover battle in three of their first four games. It seemed like once again, the Broncos were the cream of the crop in the AFC and destined for greatness. At that time, the playoffs seemed like a virtual certainty. Alas, the franchise went on to lose seven of their last twelve games and all of Broncos Country was left dejected.

With a foul taste in their mouths after losing to Buffalo last Sunday, I fully expect the Broncos to come out firing on all cylinders against Oakland this weekend. They have to, so it’s a given that anyone shouldn’t expect anything less. Nothing is the NFL is a cakewalk, and I expect the Raiders will travel to Mile High with a little bit more fire in their bellies than usual. After all, there’s no doubt about it. . . these two teams hate each other and will do whatever it takes to come out with a win on Sunday afternoon.

Seven of the Broncos’ last twelve games this year are on the road. That won’t be easy, so it’s imperative Denver treats their upcoming game against Oakland like it means everything — like it is a must-win playoff match up. If they don’t, they very well could be 2-2 by the end of the week and facing a perilous journey to obtain a playoff birth they let fall through their hands (or Bennie Fowler’s to be exact, see the Titans’ game) like last year.

That is one nightmare any of us want to relive again. Here’s to the Broncos getting it done on Sunday. Go Broncos!

As always, thank you for reading and here is today’s offering of Horse Tracks.

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