Week 17 Preview: Las Vegas Raiders vs. Denver Broncos

Week 17 Preview: Las Vegas Raiders vs. Denver Broncos

by January 1, 2021 1 comment

Week 17 takes us to Empower Field at Mile High in Denver to see the Denver Broncos take on the Las Vegas Raiders. Both the Raiders (7-8) and Broncos (5-10) are coming off last-minute losses in Week 16 at the hands of their opponent’s kicker. The Broncos will look to even up the season series this week after losing to the Raiders 37-12 in Week 10.

Broncos

Drew Lock followed up an efficient Week 15 against the Buffalo Bills with 264 scoreless passing yards and two interceptions. He also 15 yards and a touchdown on the ground. With Phillip Lindsay (hip) landing on injured reserve, Melvin Gordon took over as the unquestioned lead back and rushed for 79 yards on 16 carries. Jerry Jeudy turned a season-high 15 targets into just six catches for 61 yards. He also had five drops. DaeSean Hamilton led all receivers with 77 yards, with Noah Fant not far behind with 65 yards. On the other side of the ball, Dre’Mont Jones and Malik Reed both had a sack apiece. Shelby Harris and Josey Jewell led all Bronco defenders with two pass deflections apiece.

If the Broncos want to pull off the upset at home, Jeudy will need to put last week’s drop-heavy game behind him. The rookie first-round pick is arguably the most talented wide receiver in his draft class, but this turbulent year seems to have mentally strained him. If Jeudy can persevere and clean up his drops, expect Lock to show out and prove that he’s the Broncos’ quarterback of the future. A big game from Lock, Jeudy, and Fant will do wonders for this young Broncos’ team psyche heading into the offseason.

Raiders

Derek Carr (groin) made his return from injury last week to throw 336 yards and a touchdown. He also added a rushing touchdown. Nelson Agholor led all receivers with 155 yards and a touchdown. Darren Waller was the game’s second-leading receiver with 112 yards. Kicker Daniel Carlson continued his stellar season by hitting 4-4 field goals. He’s now hit 32-34 field goals on the season (94.1 percent). On the other side of the ball, Johnathan Hankins, Carl Nassib, Kendal Vickers all had a sack apiece. Nevin Lawson and Dallin Leavitt added a pass deflection each.

If the Raiders want to hold off the Broncos on the road, they will need to pound the rock with Pro Bowl running back Josh Jacobs. The Broncos have been giving up a seventh-worst 131.6 rushing yards per game on the season. If Jacobs can get the run game going early, Carr should have no problem spreading the ball around to his playmakers. Expect Waller and Agholor to find plenty of open spaces in a Broncos secondary decimated by injuries.

Game Info

Date: January 3, 2021

Start time: 2:25 P.M. MST

Location: Denver, CO

Stadium: Empower Field at Mile High

TV Info: CBS

Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook

Point Spread: LV -2.5 (-110) | DEN +2.5 (-110)

Moneyline: LV -145 | DEN +115

Over/Under: O 50.5 (-110) | U 50.5 (-110)

The public has been hammering the Raiders ever since the line opened. The Broncos opened up as two-point favorites, but the Raiders are now 2.5-point favorites. With the Raiders officially out of playoff contention after last week’s loss to the Dolphins, expect this team to fold. Lock has everything to prove this week as he’s auditioning for the starting role for the 2021 season. Expect the Broncos to not only cover the 2.5-point spread but win this game outright.

Prediction

Lock leads the Broncos on two-straight scoring drives to start the game. Down 10-0, Carr leads the Raiders’ offense down the field and finds Waller in the back of the end zone. Brandon McManus hits a 56-yard field goal before halftime. Coming out of the break, Carlson hits a 38-yard field goal to make it a 13-10 game. Later in the third quarter, Lock finds Jeudy on a 56-yard crossing route for a touchdown. Following two-straight field goals by Carlson, Gordon takes a screen pass to the house. With 25 seconds remaining, Jacobs sneaks in for a goal-line touchdown. Carlson attempts an onside kick, but the Broncos recover. Lock leads his team into victory formation and ends the season on a high note.

Final Score: Raiders 23, Broncos 27


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