DENVER (KDVR) – The Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders have been bitter division rivals since the 1960s. There has been no love lost between these storied franchises, but this year, collectively, wins have been hard to come by.
The Broncos and Raiders are a combined 5 and 13 as the two teams prepare to square off Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High. A statistic that led Broncos Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett to point out the obvious.
“Somebody has to win this game. It’s been a lot of one-point scores between—not one point, but one-score games—between both of the clubs,” said Hackett. “Somebody’s going to have to make that final play to come out on top.”
To come out on top Sunday, former Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley believes the running game is the key for the Broncos, on both sides of the ball.
“You’ve gotta get to running the football first and foremost. Take some pressure off of Russell Wilson and that passing game,” Stokey said on this week’s episode of ‘The Orange and Blue Report.’ “Get back to the basics and the fundamentals. Keep it simple. Run the football.”
The Broncos’ defense surrendered a season-high 212 yards rushing to the Raiders in their 32-23, week 4 loss in Las Vegas. Stokley said stopping the run should be the focus on Sunday.
“Josh Jacobs ran through them last time (for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns), so you’re going to have to stop the run. Make [Derek] Carr beat you with his arm, and I think they’ll whoop them,” Stokley said.
Raiders Quarterback Derek Carr choked back tears following the team’s fourth loss in its last five games. He hinted that not all of the players are on the same page.
Stokley thinks that is a sign that the Raider locker room is fracturing.
“You saw the Raiders three weeks ago get shut out by the New Orleans Saints. [Then,] they lost a 17-point lead two weeks ago in a 27-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Last week, interim-head coach Jeff Saturday, who left his job as an ESPN NFL analyst, helped the Indianapolis Colts beat the Raiders 25-20,” recalled Stokley. “They’re on the ropes. It’s time for this Broncos defense to go ahead and knock ‘em out.”
Catch the prematch buildup on Saturday night’s “The Orange and Blue Report” at 11 p.m.
You can catch the full game on FOX31, as well as pre and post-game coverage of Sunday afternoon’s game between the Broncos and the Raiders.