The Raiders have dropped five straight and take on the Denver Broncos in the season finale, trying to get their fifth victory. The Broncos lead the AFC and will be preparing for the playoffs.
In the first matchup this season, the Broncos took down the Raiders 37-21 on Monday Night Football behind three touchdowns from Peyton Manning. The Raider offense will have to keep up with the Broncos, making quarterback Terrelle Pryor the x-factor for the final game of the year.
Pryor was named the starter after being demoted to backup, following an injury and strong play by Matt McGloin. The rookie McGloin has struggled to get the offense going recently and the Raiders will turn to Pryor to lead them against the Broncos. Pryor began the year as the starting quarterback after beating out Matt Flynn in the preseason, but his struggles with throwing the football led to McGloin taking over.
The Raiders will have to score plenty of points to keep up with Manning and the Bronco offense, leaving it to Pryor to use his arm and legs to get on the scoreboard. The former Ohio State quarterback will be working behind a much improved offensive line from his last time as the starter and it should lead to improved results. Pryor will need to stay in the pocket and be able to move the ball through the air, rather than rely on his speed.
The Bronco defense ranks in the lower half of the league in yards allowed and points allowed, meaning that the Raiders should not have much trouble driving and scoring. The opposition will be without linebacker Von Miller to ease the burden on the offensive line. Pryor will have to utilize his weapons in Denarius Moore, Rod Streater, Andre Holmes and Mychal Rivera. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson will have to take some chances and go for big plays to keep the Raiders in the game.
The offense will also have to use a strong running game to defeat their division rivals. Rashad Jennings and Darren McFadden will have to be able to gain yards consistently to help Pryor. The Broncos allow over 100 yards rushing per game and the Raiders have a top-10 rushing attack. The Raiders must be able to move the ball to keep up with the Broncos.
The Raiders need a big-time performance from Pryor to end the year with a victory. He must be able to make the necessary throws, as well as make the dynamic plays with his legs. If he can do all of it, the Raiders will get their fifth win and send the Raider fans home happy.