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Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders: Final game in Oakland can be a loss

The Denver Broncos are used to making history … just not this kind.

Yet that’s what the last two seasons have produced. Broncos Country witnessed the most recent feat of stench in the loss to the Cleveland Browns. That was the first time the Browns beat Denver since Oct. 1990.

Throw that on the mound of shit below and you have enough to make any fan nauseous:

  • Longest losing streak in 50 years (eight games last season)
  • First shutout loss in 25 years

In the words of Dr. Ian Malcolm from “Jurassic Park:” “That is one big pile of shit.”

As Adam Malnati and I said on the latest MHR Radio Podcast, now that the Broncos’ season is over, they’re looking to prevent that mound from getting bigger. A Denver (6-8) loss to the Oakland Raiders (3-11) on Christmas Eve will produce the first back-to-back losing seasons the Broncos have seen since 1971-72.

Denver is also looking to ensure one of the most remarkable accomplishments in professional sports the last 35 years remains intact. With Pat Bowlen as owner since 1984, the Broncos have more Super Bowl appearances (seven) than losing seasons (six). A losing season will take the luster away from that defining statistic.

Can Denver prevent more (horrible) history?

Offensive Rankings

Denver: Eighteenth in overall offense (352.3 yards), 11th in rushing (123.2), 19th in passing (229.1) and 21st in points (21.9).

Oakland: Twenty-third in overall offense (343.9 yards), 26th in rushing (99.1), 14th in passing (244.8) and 29th in points (18.6).

Defense Rankings

Denver: Twenty-fifth in overall defense (378.1 yards), 20th in rushing (120.2), 25th in passing (257.9) and 10th in points (21.4).

Oakland: Twenty-sixth in overall defense (385.2 yards), 32nd in rushing (146.4), 16th in passing (238.8) and 32nd in points (29.9).

Here are our keys to the game.

Get ALL the records

Do whatever it takes to get Bradley Chubb and Phillip Lindsay the rookie records both have their sights on. Chubb sits three sacks shy of the NFL rookie sack record held by Jevon Kearse (14.5). What helps Chubb is going against the Raiders Kolton Miller, who allowed two sacks and eight pressures on 43 pass defense snaps in their 30-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Miller also leads the league in sacks allowed. Put Chubb opposite Miller and let him go to work. Lindsay needs 114 yards to break Dominic Rhodes’ undrafted rookie rushing record (1,104). Lindsay enters the Week 16 game sitting at 991 yards. This is a glorified preseason game, but get those two records and at least add some excitement. It also gives fans another reason to get the Orange Rush hoodie and Lindsay “Denver Pitbull” shirt (when you buy the hoodie, use the promo code HOODIEHALF at checkout to get 50 percent off the shirt and free shipping). — Ian St. Clair

Commit to the run

Not just Lindsay, as Ian noted, but Royce Freeman and Devontae Booker as well. Everything the Broncos offense does is predicated on a successful running attack. Bill Musgrave has to stick with the run, even if it isn’t working early. The running game sets up play-action passing, and opens up opportunities for the wide receivers. The Browns keyed on the run, and stacked the box. Denver can use that to their advantage if they stick with the run game early and play the rest of the offense off that. — Adam Malnati

Don’t embarrass yourselves

With all the turmoil surrounding the Broncos and with the lame duck coaching staff (head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator), the players need to at least put forth an effort to not be embarrassed out there. By no means do I think Denver will win this game, I’m simply looking for competency. I don’t want 59-14 again. I’ll take 33-13, but not 59-14. — Pete Baron

Be ready to play

The Raiders have a pathetic defense that’s failed to hold any opponent under 20 points this season, and an OK, at best, offense. They’re entirely beatable, even for an injured and directionless Broncos team. But the Raiders will have something to play for: a ghost of pride in the desire to win what is, most likely, their final game in Oakland. These are some of our team’s most bitterly hated rivals — our coaches should do everything they can to have our players amped up and eager to go humiliate the Raiders and send them off to Las Vegas (or wherever) with heads hung low from the drubbing they suffered in their final game in front of the Oakland faithful who’ve “cheered” them on for the last 24 years. — Taylor Kothe

Play for the fans

This is the Oakland Raiders. Die hard Broncos fans don’t want some chummy, mail it in performance from these coaches and players regardless of the season being over. This is a historic game for Oakland. It is important that you end it the right way. That means a drubbing at the hands of the Broncos. Forget draft position, forget that neither of these teams are particularly good. Play for the fans and decimate that pathetic franchise that likes to claim being an NFL team. — sadaraine

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What are your keys to victory for the Broncos?

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