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Preview: Denver at Oakland
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, October 11, 2015
Where: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California
The Denver Broncos look to remain perfect on the season and continue their recent dominance in the all-time series when they visit the AFC West-rival Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Denver enters as one of six remaining undefeated teams in the NFL thanks to a suffocating defense that ranks first in the league in total defense (275.5 yards per game) and passing defense (185.3) while ranking second in points surrendered (17.2).
That effort has helped the Broncos overcome Peyton Manning’s slow start, as the future Hall-of-Famer owns a disappointing 80.8 passer rating and has been intercepted five times. However, Manning has won nine consecutive starts against Oakland dating back to his days in Indianapolis while Denver has posted seven straight victories over its division rival, winning by an average of 21.5 points. The Raiders squandered a golden opportunity to open the season at 3-1 last week as they took a one-point lead in Chicago with 2:05 remaining in the fourth quarter before allowing a field goal with two seconds left for a 22-20 loss to the previously winless Bears. Oakland has not defeated the Broncos since posting a 23-20 triumph at Denver on Sept. 12, 2011.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Broncos -4.5. O/U: 43.5
ABOUT THE BRONCOS (4-0): Denver’s defense also leads the NFL in sacks with 18, with DeMarcus Ware topping the league with 4 1/2, and is tied for second with 11 takeaways. Ware needs 1 1/2 sacks to pass Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O’Neal (132 1/2) for 11th place on the all-time list. If possible, the Broncos’ defense could get even stronger on Sunday as defensive end Derek Wolfe is slated to return after completing his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy.
ABOUT THE RAIDERS (2-2): While Denver leads the league in passing defense, Oakland is just about at the opposite end of the spectrum as it ranks 31st with an average of 310.5 yards allowed. Derek Carr has been impressive over his last three games, completing 70-of-111 passes for 861 yards with seven touchdowns and only two interceptions. Safety Charles Woodson’s next interception will be the 63rd of his career, which will move him ahead of Dick LeBeau and Dave Brown for ninth place on the all-time list.
1. Denver’s Gary Kubiak joined Red Miller (1977) and Josh McDaniels (2009) as the only coaches in franchise history to get out to a 4-0 start in his first year with the team.
2. Oakland has allowed an average of 37.1 points during its losing streak against Denver.
3. T.J. Ward became the first Broncos safety to be named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Week since John Lynch in 2005 after recording six tackles, a career-high two sacks and a forced fumble in Week 4’s victory over Minnesota.
PREDICTION: Broncos 33, Raiders 10