The 2013 NFL regular season is coming to a close today. It's the last time the Raiders will take the field for a game before the start of the nearly eight month off-season. But before that happens, there's one more game to play. The Broncos are headed for the playoffs and the Raiders are trying to make this one mean something before they head home.
Where: O.co Coliseum, Oakland CA
When: 1:25pm Pacific Time, Sunday December 29, 2013
TV: CBS (Live locally)
Radio: 95.7 The Game (Bay Area)
Online: NFL Game Rewind
After a short trip to Southern California to face the Chargers, the Raiders return home this week. The Chargers had an all-around good day when their playoff hopes were kept very much alive with the Ravens and Dolphins losing and them beating the Raiders.
The Raiders hung tough in the game despite 16 flags thrown on them (12 accepted) and having a late touchdown pass from Matt McGloin to Rod Streater ruled incomplete. It's like the Raiders have stuck every finger in every hole in the dam only to watch as new ones spring up.
Despite the loss, the Raiders actually fell in the draft order from fourth to fifth but are now guaranteed a pick in the top eight. They weren't helped by the Redskins or Jaguars by both teams choking away their games in the final seconds.
The standout performance in the game was the 15 tackles by Pat Sims from the defensive tackle position.
The first big news of the week came Monday when Dennis Allen named Terrelle Pryor the starter for the finale against the Broncos.
That news was quickly overshadowed when Pryor's agent sounded off to local media that his client was being set up to fail. Pryor immediately began trying to stop the bleeding by sending out a message via Twitter apologizing for his agent's remarks. One thing about it; if he does indeed fail, Pryor or his agent can now just say "See, I told you. This is all Dennis Allen's fault." Much easier than promising success is promising failure. Especially with the excuses all laid out and the buck already passed.
Dennis Allen didn't take too kindly to such accusations, as one might expect he wouldn't, and he had some choice words in response. He - along with Greg Olson -- also made it clear that this game along with Pryor's previous nine starts (and two years of watching him in practices) is enough of a body of work for them to make a proper evaluation on what kind of commodity they have in Pryor, making this game of utmost importance to Pryor's possible future with the team.
Come Friday's injury report, the outlook is officially a bit scary with both of the Raiders starting corners questionable for the game. Peyton Manning was already expected to put up a lot of yards through the air. If one or both of Tracy Porter (hip) and Mike Jenkins (hamstring) can't go, this one could turn into a perfect storm very quickly.
The Broncos won't be resting their starters for this game because they still have a shot at securing home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They still have a few records they could set in this game and you know they, along with Peyton Manning, would like to try and get them on the Raiders home field.
No Five Good Questions this week because... whatever... and, well, because what do you really need to know about the Broncos aside from Peyton Manning and his record 5000 plus yards and 51 touchdowns?
Enjoy the last game with this current roster because next time you see it, it will look very different. With a ton of cash to spend in free agency, a near full draft including a top five pick, the off-season could bring about plenty excitement of its own.