With the Denver Broncos sitting at 6-9, the best-case finish would be 7-9, if the home team can defeat the Oakland Raiders in the season finale. Finishing 7-9 would represent a one-game improvement over the previous coaching regime's 6-10 record in 2018.
More important than garnering one more win in a non-playoff season is quarterback Drew Lock finishing his rookie campaign on a high note. By defeating the Raiders, Lock would finish 2019 4-1 as a starter and blast off into the offseason with all the momentum in the world.
There are also several role players who can affect their destiny beyond 2019 in Sunday's finale. Players like Garett Bolles, DaeSean Hamilton, Jake Rodgers, Royce Freeman and Patrick Morris can alter how the Broncos' brass attacks the 2020 offseason.
Meanwhile, join us as we live-blog and discuss OAKvsDEN here in our weekly Open Thread. Dive into the conversation — it's easy — by simply going to the top of the site and in the bottom righthand corner of the Mile High Huddle logo, click the follow button.
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What to Watch For
• QB Drew Lock needs one win to become the third quarterback in team history to win four of his first five career starts (Trevor Siemian, 2016; Norris Weese, 1978-79).
• LB Todd Davis needs six tackles to record the most tackles (127) among Broncos defenders in the last 12 years and the most since D.J. Williams, 141 in 2007). Davis also needs 10 tackles to pass Karl Mecklenburg (130) for the 10th-most tackles by a Bronco a single season (since 1991).
• TE Noah Fant needs one touchdown to tie Tony Schefler (2006) for the most receiving touchdowns by a rookie tight end in team history and needs 73 receiving yards to pass Ricky Natiel into fifth place on the team's all-time receiving yardage list for a rookie pass catcher.
• CB Chris Harris, Jr. needs one interception to join Mike Harden as the only Broncos with multiple interceptions in eight consecutive seasons.
• RB Phillip Lindsay needs 42 rushing yards to reach 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season, becoming the first undrafted player in NFL history to begin his career with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Lindsay can join Bobby Humphrey (1989-90), Terrell Davis (1995-98), Clinton Portis (2002-03) as only the fourth player in Broncos history to produce back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
• LB Von Miller needs one sack to pass Elvis Dumervil into sole possession of 26th place on the NFL's all-time sack list and needs 1.5 sacks to pass Trace Armstrong into sole possession of 25th place on the NFL's all-time sack list.
• K Brandon McManus needs four field goals to pass Matt Prater (141) for third all-time in team history.
• S Justin Simmons needs one interception to tie Steve Atwater (12) for the third most interceptions among Broncos safeties through their first four professional seasons.
Analysis: No surprises here. The good news is, despite being depleted on the O-line, the Broncos will get DeMarcus Walker back on the D-line.
Analysis: The Broncos get good news that Richie Incognito and Josh Jacobs are officially out.
Raiders win the toss. Defer. Broncos to receive.
14:14: Broncos go three-and-out to open. One run, followed by two consecutive incompletions. Punt.
7:48: On 3rd-&-1, Derek Carr throws deep to a wide-open Hunter Renfrow but it's an overthrow. Raiders have to settle for a 39-yard field goal attempt. It's no good. Punctuates Oakland's long, time-consuming opening drive. Zero points. Lock to take over.
4:34: On 3rd-&-4, Lock is sacked by Maxx Crosby. Jake Rodgers beat on the play.
2:17: On 3rd-&-9, Carr hits Darren Waller on a delayed TE screen, he blazes through the Broncos defense and flips the field. Will Parks saves the touchdown with a shoestring tackle. A 75-yard gain.
:38: Carr throws incomplete on second down but Todd Davis flagged for defensive holding. New set of downs for Oakland.
:32: Raiders flagged for false start on second down. Minus five yards.
End of quarter.
Broncos 0, Raiders 0
14:10: Raiders stall on 3rd-&-Goal from the 4-yard line. Carr throws incomplete. Carlson hits from 23 yards out.
Raiders 3, Broncos 0
14:06: Noah Fant penalized for a hold on second down. Jon Gruden declines.
13:45: Lock hits Courtland Sutton for a 19-yard gain, moving the sticks on 2nd-&-10.
10:36: On 3rd-&-4, Lock climbs the pocket, scrambles left and hits Sutton to move the chains.
9:49: Broncos try the jet-sweep to Diontae Spencer. Crosby sniffs it out and tackles him for an 8-yard loss.
9:01: On 3rd-&-18, Lock hits Devontae Booker for a 9-yard gain. Brandon McManus hits from 43 yards out. Tie ball game.
Broncos 3, Raiders 3
7:35: On 3rd-&-10, Carr dumps the screen off to Jalen Richard, who is escorted down the field 33 yards before tackled.
6:59: Carr hits Renfrow for 22 yards on the ensuing play. Raiders rolling.
4:29: On 3rd-&-Goal from the 4-yard line, Carr hits Renfrow for the touchdown. Under view.
Call is reversed on the field. Renfrow's knee ruled down on the one-inch line.
4:14: Raiders go for it on 4th-&-Goal get stuffed. Ruled no touchdown. Gruden will decide whether to challenge. Gruden does challenge the ruling.
After review, the ruling on the field stands. No touchdown.
4:06: Backed up on their own goal-line, Lock throws to Sutton incomplete but Raiders penalized for pass interference, giving the Broncos some breathing room.
2:37: On 3rd-&-4, Lock fires to Sutton but the ball goes through his hands. Wadman to punt for the third time on the day. Punt goes 57 yards. Wadman having himself a day.
1:24: Carr completes to Marcell Ateman, but Trey Marshall strips the ball and recovers. Broncos will keep the ball after review.
:45: On 3rd-&-6, Lock hits Hamilton for 9-yard gain, moving the chains. Vic Fangio calls timeout.
:38: Lock fires incomplete to Sutton. Raiders flagged for PI. Ball on the goal-line.
:33: On play-action, Lock hits wide-open Andrew Beck for the 1-yard TOUCHDOWN! Extra point is good.
Broncos 10, Raiders 3
End of half
15:00: DeAndre Washington breaks a 37-yard run on first down.
13:09: On 3rd-&-10, Carr is pressured by Justin Hollins, throws incomplete. Punt ensues. Fair caught by Spencer on the Broncos 10-yard line.
12:18: Lindsay picks up three on second down but Fant penalized for holding. Second penalty on Fant of the day.
11:42: On 3rd-&-11, Lock hits Troy Fumagalli for a 9-yard gain, short of the sticks. Wadman's punt is muffed but Raiders recover on their own 37-yard line.
9:25: On 3rd-&-2, Carr throws incomplete to Waller. Punt ensues.
7:33: Lock throws short to Lindsay, who fights for seven yards but Rodgers is penalized for a block in the back.
6:26: Lock goes deep down left sideline to Sutton. Incomplete but Sutton destroyed on the play by Erik Harris. Flag flies for unnecessary roughness. Adds 15 yards and a new set of downs.
4:46: On 3rd-&-5, Lock throws incomplete to Hamilton. McManus will attempt from 49. It's good.
Broncos 13, Raiders 3
Sutton being evaluated for a concussion. Questionable to return.
3:12: On 3rd-&-3, Carr panics as the blitzing Will Parks bears down on him. Incomplete.
:49: On 3rd-&-6, Rich Scangarello calls a give-up rush to Royce Freeman, who's tackled for no gain. McManus takes the field.
:09: Patrick Morris flagged for false start on McManus' field goal attempt. Backs it up five yards.
End of quarter
15:00: McManus hits from 51 yards out. Extends Broncos' lead.
Broncos 13, Raiders 3
10:33: Carr sacked by Jeremiah Attaochu.
9:50: On 3rd-&-16, Carr throws complete for a 4-yard gain, well short of the sticks. Carlson's field goal narrows the margin.
Broncos 13, Raiders 6
Sutton has been cleared to return.
6:04: Freeman gets the carry and fumbles. Raiders recover.
3:13: After Raiders' ensuing drive stalls, Carlson pounds through the field goal to narrow the margin.
Broncos 16, Raiders 9
3:00: After Lindsay loses five yards on first down, Lock scrambles and picks up 10 on 3rd-&-15. Punt.
2:13: Raiders stopped on 4th-&-4. Carr throws incomplete with Parks in coverage.
2:08: On first down, Lindsay loses another yard. He's at 1,001.
2:00: Beck flagged for false start, backing the Broncos up.
2:00: Lindsay picks up eight yards on second down. Brings up 3rd-&-8. Gruden calls Oakland's last timeout.
1:55: Lindsay tackled for no gain on third down. Garett Bolles flagged for a dead-ball foul. Unnecessary roughness. Brings up 4th-&-23 and pushes back McManus' attempt by 15 yards. McManus' 57-yard attempt is no good.
One minute, 46 seconds to go.
:36: Carr completes 28 yards to Renfrow, with Isaac Yiadom close to intercepting it. Yiadom flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct on the ensuing play. Took his helmet off after Carr spiked it. Half the distance to the goal.
:07: Carr completes to Renfrow for the touchdown. Parks exploited in coverage. Gruden going for two.
Broncos 16, Raiders 15
:07: Shelby Harris bats down Carr's pass on the two-point attempt. Broncos win.
Broncos 16, Raiders 15