Fearless Prediction: Raiders-Broncos
KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
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
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
“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
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
“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
Losman will be the Raiders’ No. 3 quarterback behind Frye
and JaMarcus Russell, with Bruce Gradkowski out with MCL tears in
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
PREDICTION: Broncos 21-9