Broncos v. Raiders Game Preview

When the Broncos face Oakland on Sunday, look for the Raiders to continue to get the ball in the hands of RB Darren McFadden. Check out the complete game preview.

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Oakland Raiders (4-9) at Denver Broncos (8-5)
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GAME SNAPSHOT
KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:05 ET
GAMEDATE: 12/20/09
SURFACE: Grass
TV: CBS (Gus Johnson, Steve Tasker)


PREDICTION: Broncos 21-9v

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Raiders have turned to journeyman QB Charlie Frye this week in part due to his superior mobility compared to JaMarcus Russell. Oakland's offensive line gave up eight sacks last Sunday and the Broncos feature a strong pass rush. Look for the Raiders to also continue to get the ball in the hands of RB Darren McFadden, who made two big plays lined up at receiver last Sunday. Denver will target Oakland's 30th-ranked run defense with a heavy dose of RB Knowshon Moreno as Correll Buckhalter (ankle) is uncertain. The Broncos rushed 45 times for 215 yards in a 23-3 Week 3 victory in Oakland.

FAST FACTS: Frye will make his first start since Oct. 12 last season for Seattle. ... Broncos QB Kyle Orton is 19-3 as a starter at home.

PERSONNEL NEWS
Raiders:

--TE Zach Miller will undergo testing following his second concussion this season, which will determine whether he is able to face Denver Sunday.

--WR Darrius Heyward-Bey did not practice with a foot strain and is likely to miss his third consecutive game.

--DE Greg Ellis did not practice with a sore knee for the second straight day but could be used in limited role against Denver.

--DE Matt Shaughnessy was limited in practice with a groin strain but is expected to face Denver.

--FS Michael Huff went through a full practice for the second straight day despite leaving each of the last three games early because of a stinger.

Broncos:
--S Renaldo Hill was out of practice again with an ankle injury. It appears Hill, who calls many of the signals in the Broncos' secondary, will miss this week's game.

--S David Bruton was with the starting defense for the second straight day during the open period of practice. If Renaldo Hill, who has an ankle injury, misses this week's game, rookie Bruton could get his first NFL start.

--RB Correll Buckhalter missed his second straight day of practice with an ankle injury. He is likely to miss this week's game but could return for Denver's Week 16 game against his former team, Philadelphia.

--LB Elvis Dumervil returned to practice after missing Wednesday's workout with a toe injury. He appears set to play on Sunday.

--CB Ty Law missed Thursday's practice with a hamstring injury. Law hasn't been able to practice this week and would need to improve to play on Sunday. If he can't play, rookie Alphonso Smith would replace him as Denver's nickel cornerback.

INSIDE THE CAMPS
Raiders:

J.P. Losman is giving the NFL another shot, signing a contract for the last three games of the season with the Raiders.

Losman most recently led the Las Vegas Locomotives to the UFL championship. He had talked with the Indianapolis Colts, where he'd be an emergency backup for Peyton Manning. In Oakland, with the Raiders set to start their third different quarterback in Charlie Frye Sunday against Denver, he might get a chance to play.

"I've experienced a lot in this league," Losman said. "It's a league where you can't predict the next day, let alone the next year. I'm here for the short term, and after that, plans will be made."

Losman was a first-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills, No. 22 overall, in 2004. He replaced Drew Bledsoe as the starter in 2005 and had a 10-23 record as a starter with 33 touchdown passes and 34 interceptions.

During that time, coach Mike Mularkey was replaced by Dick Jauron, and eventually Trent Edwards took Losman's job as Buffalo's quarterback of the future.

Losman has scrambling ability and the big arm the Raiders like. He decided for playing time in the UFL rather than being an NFL backup, with former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel breaking down his game.

"He got me to smile, if that makes any sense," Losman said. "He said, `You want to be perfect. Just relax out there and have a good time.' I know that's an over-arcing theme, but from everything -- fundamentals, footwork -- we just calmed down in the pocket, and every movement was just kind of slower and under control."

Raiders coach Tom Cable was focusing on Frye's start rather than projecting anything for Losman beyond simply being on the roster.

"Very athletic guy, strong arm, threw the ball good in his workout," Cable said. "He's a guy that's got some experience in the league, so he kind of fits for us to have an emergency guy in here."

Losman, who went to high school in Venice, Calif., and went to UCLA before transferring to Tulane, is enjoying a Northern California December after five winters in Buffalo.

"He's a fiery guy and a California kid, so he likes warn weather and shorts and flip-flops," said Raiders guard Langston Walker, a teammate of Losman's in Buffalo. "I think we were both a little bit out of our element in the cold of Buffalo."

Losman, lauded as a hard worker with the Bills, was intent on "cramming" and getting down to business for his three games with the Raiders.

"I'm going to try and learn the offense as fast as possible and whatever I'm thrown into I've got to be ready for," Losman said.

Losman will be the Raiders' No. 3 quarterback behind Frye and JaMarcus Russell, with Bruce Gradkowski out with MCL tears in each knee.

Broncos:
Oakland defensive end Richard Seymour says he didn't mean it, but an incident from the first meeting between the Broncos and Raiders surely hasn't eased tensions in the rivalry.

Seymour was flagged for a personal foul in the first game for pulling Broncos tackle Ryan Clady's hair at the end of a play. The Broncos were upset about the incident, which came in a blowout win for Denver in which Clady kept Seymour off the stat sheet for most of the game.

Seymour explained that Clady tried to get up from the ground and Seymour unintentionally grabbed his hair. That explanation didn't hold much weight in the Broncos' locker room.

"It's just how it goes in the trenches," Seymour said. "If you've been in the trenches you know what I mean. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there."

Clady doesn't usually speak with the media and didn't have anything to say this week. His teammates understand the longstanding nature of the rivalry, which has usually been heated, but still didn't like Seymour's actions.

"There's no part for that in football," tight end Daniel Graham said. "Try to keep everything clean between the lines. But it's Seymour and he's with the Raiders now, so you have to expect the worst."



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