Denver owns a 1-0 record against the Silver and Black this season, but have since fallen on hard times, losing their last six games coming out of the bye week.
Since their last meeting, Denver has made some changes to their coaching staff in an effort to spark offensive production. The team fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, promoting former Raiders coordinator Bill Musgrave to the position.
The Raiders have made some changes of their own, parting ways with defensive coordinator, Ken Norton Jr. with former Chargers coordinator John Pagano assuming his role.
What looks to be a dud of a game on paper suddenly has some intrigue as both teams will look to change the way they approach the game on both sides of the ball.
Oakland will have their work cut out for them in week 12, but the game is certainly winnable. Here are a few keys to victory for the Raiders in an important divisional game.
Take Advantage of an Inexperienced Quarterback
In addition to the coordinator change in Denver, the Broncos will be going with a new quarterback as well. The team will tote out Paxton Lynch for the first time this season in hopes of solidifying the position for the foreseeable future.
Lynch has played three games in his young career in which he posted a combined stat line of 49 completions for 497 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
Standing at a ridiculous 6’7”, the athletic Lynch will have his shot at a porous Raider defense that has yet to intercept the ball this year.
If the Raiders are going to win a pivotal division matchup, they are going to have to get after the fleet-footed Lynch and force turnovers.
Make the Most of Every Opportunity
The Broncos are the proud owners of the tenth best DVOA in football through 11 weeks. Despite Denver’s poor performance over the last six games, they have managed to remain one of the better units in the league.
If the Raiders are going to stay afloat in the AFC West, they will need to figure out ways to put points on the board. This starts with the Oakland pass catchers and their elimination of dropped balls.
The Raiders dropped a total of six balls in the loss to the New England Patriots last week. That’s six opportunities lost, and against a defense like Denver’s, Oakland will need to make the most out of every opportunity they’re given.
Force The Run By Stopping The Pass
Like Oakland, the strength of the Denver offense is its passing game. Unfortunately, the Raiders have found it difficult to stop passing attacks all season.
The Raiders have the worst DVOA in the NFL but have been slightly better at stopping the run than the pass. If they are to compete, they will need to force the ball into the hands of Denver’s middle-of-the-road rushing attack.
View the original article on Last Word On Pro Football: Week 12 Oakland Raiders Keys To Victory