Photo credit: broncoswire.usatoday.com
By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — The Raiders return to the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum in what will be the team’s home finale to a rough 2019 season. The Silver and Black will host the Denver Broncos on Christmas Eve in a AFC West matchup on Monday Night Football with the kickoff set for 5:15 p.m. PT on ESPN.
Oakland holds a 62-52-2 all-time record against the Broncos, with the Raiders looking to make it three in a row over Denver at home.
Last week, the Raiders (3-11) traveled to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals, but lost 30-16 at Paul Brown Stadium in Week 15.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr continued to move up the franchise record book. Carr passed Rich Gannon for the most consecutive pass attempts without throwing an interception against the Bengals. Now sitting at 299 attempts, bested Gannon’s mark of 277 set back in 2001.
In fact, Carr hasn’t thrown an interception in nine-straight games after throwing for 263 yards on 21-of-38 passes and one touchdown. Through 14 games, Carr has 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Entering Monday night’s game with 3,697 passing yards, Carr is 303 yards shy from his first 4,000-yard passing season.
Wide receiver Jordy Nelson led the Raiders with six catches for 88 yards.
Lee Smith, who is better known for his blocking, has been more of a scorer in recent weeks, hauling in a touchdown for the third-straight game.
Defensively, safety Karl Joseph led the team with eight tackles (six solo) and his first sack of the season. Fellow safety Erik Harris recorded his first-career interception.
The Broncos (6-8) enter Week 16 losing to the Cleveland Browns 17-16 at home last Saturday. The slim loss eliminated Denver from playoff contention in the AFC, and puts them one loss away from back-to-back losing seasons. Denver finished 5-11 in 2017.
Denver is looking to complete the season sweep over Oakland, after defeating the Raiders 20-19 at Denver Stadium at Mile High in Week 2. The Broncos rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit, capped off by kicker Brandon McManus’ 36-yard game-winning field goal just inside the right upright with 6 seconds to play.
Broncos rookie running back Phillip Lindsay, who was named to the AFC Pro Bowl team on Tuesday, rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries against the Raiders in Week 2.
On the season, Lindsay has rushed for 991 yards to go along with nine touchdowns on 182 carries in 14 games (seven starts) for the Broncos.
Linebacker Von Miller continues to be a terror on defense. The former Defensive Player of the Year leads the the team with 14.5 sacks and four forced fumbles, and was voted to his eighth Pro Bowl team. Fellow linebacker Bradley Chubb is second on the Broncos with 12.0 sacks and was named an alternate to the Pro Bowl.
Chubb, the Broncos’ top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, is 2.5 sacks away from tying Jevon Kearse’s (14.5) NFL record for rookies, set in 1999 with the Tennessee Titans.