Preview: Raiders Host Denver Broncos In First Place Showdown

The Oakland Raiders earned their fifth straight road victory to start the season last Sunday as they came back to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-24 in overtime despite having an NFL record 23 penalties for 200 yards in the game.

The win put the Raiders at 6-2 on the season which is good enough for a first place tie with the Denver Broncos in the AFC West.

The Raiders return home this Sunday as they will host the Broncos in their first Sunday night game of the season with the winner taking over sole possession of first place in the division.

Denver’s defense is among the best in the league as they rank third in total yards against per game and first against the pass.

They will have their hands full with the Raiders offense though as the Raiders rank fifth in total yards per game and fourth in passing yards.

Quarterback Derek Carr is coming off perhaps his best game as a pro as he threw for 513 yards and four touchdowns against Tampa Bay. 173 of those yards were to wide receiver Amari Cooper, as he set a career-high in receiving yards.

He may be in luck for Sunday’s game as the Broncos top cover corner Aqib Talib was ruled out of the second straight game with a back injury. The Broncos banged up secondary will have their hands full with Cooper and Michael Crabtree who is tied for second in the league with six receiving touchdowns.

Denver does have one of the best pass rushers in the game in Von Miller though, as he currently ranks second in the league with 8.5 sacks through his team’s first eight games.

With running back C.J. Anderson likely out for the season, Devontae Booker has taken over the starting running back role for the Broncos. He has rushed 70 times this season for 298 yards, averaging 4.26 yards per carry.

With first-year starting quarterback Trevor Siemien under center, Denver has turned to their run game early and often this season to take pressure off their young quarterback. Siemien has completed 61.7 percent of his passes this season while throwing eight touchdown passes and four interceptions.

Sunday’s game is slated for 5:30 p.m. PST and will be televised on NBC.