Fearless Prediction: Raiders-Broncos

Game Snapshot

KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

SURFACE: Grass

TV: CBS (Gus Johnson, Steve Tasker)

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Raiders have turned to journeyman QB

Charlie Frye this week in part due to his superior mobility

compared to JaMarcus Russell. Oakland’s offensive line gave up

eight sacks last Sunday and the Broncos feature a strong pass rush.

Look for the Raiders to also continue to get the ball in the hands

of RB Darren McFadden, who made two big plays lined up at receiver

last Sunday. Denver will target Oakland’s 30th-ranked run defense

with a heavy dose of RB Knowshon Moreno as Correll Buckhalter

(ankle) is uncertain. The Broncos rushed 45 times for 215 yards in

a 23-3 Week 3 victory in Oakland.

FAST FACTS: Frye will make his first start since Oct. 12

last season for Seattle. … Broncos QB Kyle Orton is 19-3 as a

starter at home.

Personnel News

Raiders:

  • TE Zach Miller will undergo testing following his second

    concussion this season, which will determine whether he is able

    to face Denver Sunday.

     

  • WR Darrius Heyward-Bey did not practice with a foot strain

    and is likely to miss his third consecutive game.

     

  • DE Greg Ellis did not practice with a sore knee for the

    second straight day but could be used in limited role against

    Denver.

     

  • DE Matt Shaughnessy was limited in practice with a groin

    strain but is expected to face Denver.

     

  • FS Michael Huff went through a full practice for the second

    straight day despite leaving each of the last three games early

    because of a stinger.

     

Broncos:

  • S Renaldo Hill was out of practice again with an ankle

    injury. It appears Hill, who calls many of the signals in the

    Broncos’ secondary, will miss this week’s game.

     

  • S David Bruton was with the starting defense for the second

    straight day during the open period of practice. If Renaldo Hill,

    who has an ankle injury, misses this week’s game, rookie Bruton

    could get his first NFL start.

     

  • RB Correll Buckhalter missed his second straight day of

    practice with an ankle injury. He is likely to miss this week’s

    game but could return for Denver’s Week 16 game against his

    former team, Philadelphia.

     

  • LB Elvis Dumervil returned to practice after missing

    Wednesday’s workout with a toe injury. He appears set to play on

    Sunday.

     

  • CB Ty Law missed Thursday’s practice with a hamstring injury.

    Law hasn’t been able to practice this week and would need to

    improve to play on Sunday. If he can’t play, rookie Alphonso

    Smith would replace him as Denver’s nickel cornerback.

Inside The Camps

Raiders:

J.P. Losman is giving the NFL another shot, signing a

contract for the last three games of the season with the Raiders.

Losman most recently led the Las Vegas Locomotives to the

UFL championship. He had talked with the Indianapolis Colts, where

he’d be an emergency backup for Peyton Manning. In Oakland, with

the Raiders set to start their third different quarterback in

Charlie Frye Sunday against Denver, he might get a chance to play.

“I’ve experienced a lot in this league,” Losman said. “It’s

a league where you can’t predict the next day, let alone the next

year. I’m here for the short term, and after that, plans will be

made.”

Losman was a first-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills,

No. 22 overall, in 2004. He replaced Drew Bledsoe as the starter in

2005 and had a 10-23 record as a starter with 33 touchdown passes

and 34 interceptions.

During that time, coach Mike Mularkey was replaced by Dick

Jauron, and eventually Trent Edwards took Losman’s job as Buffalo’s

quarterback of the future.

Losman has scrambling ability and the big arm the Raiders

like. He decided for playing time in the UFL rather than being an

NFL backup, with former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel breaking

down his game.

“He got me to smile, if that makes any sense,” Losman said.

“He said, `You want to be perfect. Just relax out there and have a

good time.’ I know that’s an over-arcing theme, but from everything

— fundamentals, footwork — we just calmed down in the pocket, and

every movement was just kind of slower and under control.”

Raiders coach Tom Cable was focusing on Frye’s start rather

than projecting anything for Losman beyond simply being on the

roster.

“Very athletic guy, strong arm, threw the ball good in his

workout,” Cable said. “He’s a guy that’s got some experience in the

league, so he kind of fits for us to have an emergency guy in

here.”

Losman, who went to high school in Venice, Calif., and went

to UCLA before transferring to Tulane, is enjoying a Northern

California December after five winters in Buffalo.

“He’s a fiery guy and a California kid, so he likes warn

weather and shorts and flip-flops,” said Raiders guard Langston

Walker, a teammate of Losman’s in Buffalo. “I think we were both a

little bit out of our element in the cold of Buffalo.”

Losman, lauded as a hard worker with the Bills, was intent

on “cramming” and getting down to business for his three games with

the Raiders.

“I’m going to try and learn the offense as fast as possible

and whatever I’m thrown into I’ve got to be ready for,” Losman

said.

Losman will be the Raiders’ No. 3 quarterback behind Frye

and JaMarcus Russell, with Bruce Gradkowski out with MCL tears in

each knee.

Broncos:

Oakland defensive end Richard Seymour says he didn’t mean

it, but an incident from the first meeting between the Broncos and

Raiders surely hasn’t eased tensions in the rivalry.

Seymour was flagged for a personal foul in the first game

for pulling Broncos tackle Ryan Clady’s hair at the end of a play.

The Broncos were upset about the incident, which came in a blowout

win for Denver in which Clady kept Seymour off the stat sheet for

most of the game.

Seymour explained that Clady tried to get up from the ground

and Seymour unintentionally grabbed his hair. That explanation

didn’t hold much weight in the Broncos’ locker room.

“It’s just how it goes in the trenches,” Seymour said. “If

you’ve been in the trenches you know what I mean. It’s a

dog-eat-dog world out there.”

Clady doesn’t usually speak with the media and didn’t have

anything to say this week. His teammates understand the

longstanding nature of the rivalry, which has usually been heated,

but still didn’t like Seymour’s actions.

“There’s no part for that in football,” tight end Daniel

Graham said. “Try to keep everything clean between the lines. But

it’s Seymour and he’s with the Raiders now, so you have to expect

the worst.”

PREDICTION: Broncos 21-9