TV: NBC, Al Michaels, John Madden, Andrea Kremer
2006 RANKINGS: Raiders: offense 32nd (9th rush, 32nd pass); defense 10th (29th rush, 2nd pass). Broncos: offense 18th (4th rush, 30th pass); defense 12th (17th rush, 13th pass)
KEYS TO THE GAME:
The Raiders can't afford to fall behind against the Broncos' stout defense, especially with QB Andrew Walter sporting a 5.8 fourth-quarter passer rating. Walter will have a difficult time working against Broncos CBs Champ Bailey and Darrent Williams without committing devastating turnovers, so Oakland's best chance is to run the ball effectively and rely on the short passing game.
The Broncos' offense has been anything but dominating, so the Raiders have a chance to drag them into a low-scoring affair. But Oakland's run defense, which is third-worst in the league allowing 150.3 yards per game, must find a way to contain RB Tatum Bell and help control field position.
FAST FACTS: Raiders: Have a seven-game losing streak against AFC West teams. Have lost by 10 or more points 20 times in their past 52 games. Are the last team to win in Denver (Nov. 11, 2004). Broncos: K Jason Elam has 25 points -- the rest of the team has a combined 24. Have a 12-game home winning streak.
PREDICTION: Broncos 21-12
--SS Derrick Gibson, does his best work close to the line, made his first start of the season against San Francisco as the Raiders opened in nickel defense.
--LG Barry Sims, who signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 1999, made the 100th start of his career last week.
--K Sebastian Janikowski has yet to miss a kick this season. He is 5-for-5 in field-goal attempts and 4-for-4 on extra-point attempts.
--CB Duane Starks was ill and missed practice Thursday. He is listed as probable.
--KR Chris Carr, who returns kickoff and punts, will be pressed into action at cornerback if Duane Starks cannot play this week due to illness.
--CB Champ Bailey likely won't be moved around the field to shadow Oakland's Randy Moss this week. Bailey has stuck to the left side since midway through last season and is comfortable not moving around the field.
--FB Cecil Sapp is listed as probable on the injury report with a toe injury. Sapp has practiced all week and will play Sunday.
--WR Quincy Morgan had a good day returning kickoffs against Baltimore. As he gets more comfortable with Denver's scheme, he should make an impact on special teams.
--RB Tatum Bell caught two passes against Baltimore, even though he isn't a great receiver out of the backfield. The Broncos usually use their fullbacks on passing plays more than Bell.
--WR Javon Walker ran the ball twice against the Ravens. The Broncos want to get Walker, a dangerous playmaker, the ball as often as possible, even on an end around or two per game.