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David Ramsey's report card and prediction for Broncos at Raiders

November 25, 2017 Updated: November 26, 2017 at 12:05 pm
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Both the Broncos and Raiders have failed to fly anywhere close to expectations this season. (The Gazette file)

A quick look at Sunday's Broncos-Raiders game in Oakland (2:25 p.m., CBS, 850 AM, 107.9 FM).

Offense

The Raiders will go with Derek Carr, one of the NFL's most promising young quarterbacks. Carr has struggled this season, partially because of drops, but he's one of the top dozen QBs in the NFL.

The Broncos will go with Paxton Lynch, who at this point is a blank slate.

Advantage: Raiders

Defense

Broncos fans Tiffany Mowrey, left, and Shari Fisher react after the Broncos' final offensive play of their 15-12 loss to the Raiders Sunday, December 13, 2015, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette 

After three quarters last week, the Bengals had crawled to 95 yards in total offense vs. the Broncos. Yes, the defense fell asleep in losses to the Patriots and, especially, the Eagles, but the defense was roaring with power against the Bengals.

Advantage: Broncos

Special teams

Watch out for the speedy and elusive Raiders kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson. As a receiver, he's struggling to hold on to Derek Carr's passes, but when he's returning kicks, it's the tacklers who are struggling. He's broken three returns for more than 40 yards.

Advantage: Raiders

Intangibles:

Oakland Coliseum is a dump, but it's a lovable dump. Plus, the Coliseum is the rare NFL destination with a strong sense of yesterday. Snake Stabler threw passes here. John Madden shouted on the sidelines here. On Sunday, the Coliseum will be filled with loud, strange and intensely loyal Raiders fans.

Advantage: Raiders

Prediction

Both teams have failed to fly anywhere close to expectations. The Raiders were considered Super Bowl contenders. The Broncos were considered playoff contenders. One of the teams will rise from the gloom on Sunday. That team will probably be wearing black.

Prediction: Raiders 21, Broncos 17

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