The Oakland Raiders close out their regular season Sunday afternoon as they travel to the division rival Denver Broncos.
For the first time this season it won’t be Derek Carr at quarterback for Oakland, as the Pro Bowler broke his fibula in the Week 16 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Matt McGloin takes over under center for the Raiders as he makes his first start since 2013. McGloin has played in 13 games in his career, starting six of them, completing 58.3 percent of his passes for 1,847 yards, 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
His first test is a tough one as the Broncos defense ranks sixth in the NFL in both yards and points per game.
The game features two of the league’s best defensive players, as Broncos defensive end Von Miller comes into the game with 13.5 sacks on the season which ranks second in the NFL. Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack is not far behind at 11 sacks. Both players have proved time in and time out that they are capable of wrecking a game with just one play.
The problem for Denver this season has been on offense. The defending Super Bowl champions, who were eliminated from postseason contention last week, rank 20th in the NFL at 231.9 passing yards per game and 26th at 89.4 rushing yards per game.
This game is a very important one for the Raiders, who have aspirations of making a Super Bowl run. A win over the Broncos, or a Kansas City Chiefs loss to the San Diego Chargers Sunday would clinch the AFC West title and a first round bye for Oakland.
If they lose and the Chiefs win then the Raiders would drop to the No. 5 seed, meaning they don’t get a bye and they have to go on the road for their first postseason game most likely to Houston to play the Texans.
Sunday’s game between the Raiders and Broncos is slated for 1:25 p.m. Pacific time and will be aired locally on CBS.