The Denver Broncos are hoping to snap a five-game losing streak to the Las Vegas Raiders as the bitter AFC West rival arrives in the Mile High City. The last time Denver beat the Raiders was in Drew Lock's rookie season.
The Broncos' first swing at snapping the streak this season ended in a Week 4 loss at the hands of Josh McDaniels. With the Raiders sitting at 2-7, will things shake out differently in the 3-6 Broncos' home stadium?
Let's go around the table to see how the Mile High Huddle staff sees it unfolding.
James Campbell (@JamesC_MHH) 4-5: The Broncos haven't beaten the Raiders since 2019. Sadly, this isn't going to change. Josh Jacobs again runs wild over a defense that just does enough until deep in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Broncos' offense again comes up small in the big moments. Sadly, the Broncos meekly fall into the AFC cellar as everyone's job becomes on the line. Including Russell Wilson.
Pick: Raiders 34, Broncos 10
Keith Cummings (@KeithC_NFL) 4-5: The garbage bowl this Sunday probably ends one coach's short tenure with his respective ball club. The Broncos' ineptitude makes them no lock either, despite being favorites. Derek Carr always seems to up his game against the Broncos, but this time it proves to be his undoing. Patrick Surtain II gets challenged by the veteran quarterback and shows him just how silly that is by taking one to the house to seal the win, which preserves Nathaniel Hackett's future — for now at least.
Pick: Broncos 17, Raiders 13
Carl Dumler (@CarlDumlerMHH) 4-5: If the Broncos lose this one, there could be an all-out mutiny by the fans for the rest of the season if ownership and/or GM George Paton are unwilling to make some difficult changes. This is a strength vs. strength and weakness vs. weakness game on both sides of the ball. The Raiders are missing some of their biggest pieces for this one, giving the Broncos a bit of an even field, considering all the players they too are missing. I expect the Broncos to finally establish a bit of a run game in this one and do just enough to come out with a victory. Wilson hits a couple of big plays off of play action, and the Broncos control field position, making it difficult for the Raiders to get anything going on offense.
Pick: Broncos 20, Raiders 13
Mike Evans (@MHHEvans) 5-4: After observing the Broncos' putrid offensive performance over the first nine games of the season, there is no observable evidence that they'll turn it around against the Raiders. The winner will be determined in the battle between the Broncos' third-ranked defense versus the Raiders' 13th-ranked offense. Any hope of a Broncos victory rests squarely on the shoulders of the defense.
Pick: Broncos 17, Raiders 14
Brennan Grose (@BrennanGrose1) 4-5: The last time these two teams played, Josh Jacobs ran through the Broncos' defense and led the Raiders to a win. The Broncos are coming off a great performance in the run game against Derrick Henry, and with their backs against the wall on and off the field, this is their chance to start to string together some wins as the offense finally gets a win by scoring over 20 points.
Pick: Broncos 24, Raiders 17
Thomas Hall (@ThomasHallNFL) 4-5: There is zero reason to trust the Broncos to win any game going forward, even against their bitter rivals. The Broncos will have another dud on offense, and the injuries finally take their toll on defense as the Raiders get the victory in the Mile High City.
Pick: Raiders 27, Broncos 17
Chad Jensen (@ChadNJensen) 3-6: I've really struggled to get a bead on the 2022 Broncos. Just when I think I have 'em figured out, they subvert expectations to an increasingly greater degree. This week, I'm hinging my pick on Denver's divisional pride. It's bad enough to be on the losing end of a 13-game streak against the Kansas City Chiefs, but a loss on Sunday means the Broncos will have dropped six straight to the Raiders. Beleaguered though Wilson and Hackett may be, they buy themselves a little breathing room by beating the Raiders at home, snapping the streak, earning back a modicum of goodwill in Broncos Country. How does Denver get it done? Wilson gets after a decimated Raiders defense and finally marches the Broncos back into the 20-point club.
Pick: Broncos 24, Raiders 20
Zack Kelberman (@KelbermanNFL) 6-3: Let me start by saying that if the Broncos lose Sunday — swept another year by the Raiders, this time at the hands of *Josh McDaniels* — Hackett should be relieved of duty immediately after the game. But my gut tells me, just as they did in London, the players will save Hackett's job for another week. It won't be pretty — it never is — but Russ and Co. should hang enough points on Vegas' barely-there defense and let Ejiro Evero's boys do the rest.
Pick: Broncos 19, Raiders 16
Nick Kendell (@NickKendellMHH) 5-4: The season is over and the Broncos are playing for pride at this point. Fortunately, pride is very much on the line with the Raiders coming to town. With Denver not beating the Raiders since 2019, even with the season over, the team had better show up; for themselves, for each other, and for the fans. The Raiders have the worst defense in football, so Wilson and the Broncos might actually be able to put up some points. Use Patrick Surtain II to man up against Davante Adams, with the rest of the defense focused on stopping Jacobs and the run game.
Pick: Broncos 20, Raiders 16
Bob Morris (@BobMorrisSports) 3-6: The Broncos have been great on defense this season but a major disappointment on offense, losing multiple players to injury. Denver's playoff hopes have been greatly diminished. The same can be said for the Raiders, though they are better on offense but not as good on defense. It's hard to see the Broncos winning the bulk of their remaining games, but with the Raiders struggling, the Broncos' defense just might carry the day.
Pick: Broncos 13, Raiders 10
Luke Patterson (@LukePattersonLP) 3-6: Raiders travel to Denver on Sunday and have won (nine out of the last 10 meetings with the Broncos). Las Vegas is too cash-strapped to terminate McDaniels, but that doesn’t matter in this game because Hackett refuses to initiate any accountability or adjustments on offense. Look for loads of no-shows and tons of boos from the fans who are gluttons for punishment. The Raiders embarrass the Broncos for a sweep on the season, and Hackett gets his walking papers before Monday morning.
Pick: Raiders 19, Broncos 10
Lance Sanderson (@SandersonMHH) 1-8: Something has to give in this showdown of a very stoppable force colliding into a very moveable object. Denver's highest scoring output of the season was against these very same Raiders a few weeks ago, so let's hope this time the defense packs a lunch to stop Jacobs from running all over them. The good guys get off the losing streak to an AFC West rival.
Pick: Broncos 19, Raiders 13
Erick Trickel (@ErickTrickel) 3-6: Hackett will get the rest of the season even as things aren't going the intended way. With his issues, and the issues with Wilson, including the latest rumor of him calling Seahawks audibles, the Broncos' offense likely won't get going. The other issues on the offense are practically moot when the play-caller isn't doing a good job, and the QB is playing poorly and holding the ball for an average of 2.75 seconds (fifth-longest ATT). This game comes down to the Broncos' defense and if whether it can keep Jacob's in check, which Denver failed to do the first time around. The Broncos' defense does its job and adds a score, and with three 'flash' drives from the offense, Denver wins at home.
Pick: Broncos 20, Raiders 13
Dylan Von Arx (@arx_d) 3-6: Neither team looks great going into Sunday but someone has to win, and Denver should be more desperate. The Broncos' defense should be able to lock up the poor Raiders, who are missing Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller. This will most likely be another ugly game, but Denver's defense should be the determining factor.
Pick: Broncos 14, Raiders 10
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