Greetings, Raider Nation! Well well well, it is I, Raider "Squeeze my lemon til the juice runs down my leg" Damus. I come to you today hot off yet another correct prediction of a Raider victory, although this one came at a terrible price. We all know what that price is. But in days of great success, we must all make sacrifices. I am personally willing to sacrifice my fibula to Derek Carr if it will get him back on the field on Sunday. But it is not to be.
One day, lads, we will look back on this season and say to each other over shots of tequila, "Hey remember when Derek Carr broke his leg and we won the Super Bowl anyway?" and we will laugh and drink as the Chargers fans at the bar with us silently stew, holding their wives' purses tightly so that we, the criminal element of football, do not steal them.
But until then we must wait, and we have no greater vision of the future than the ones provided to us by the Great Beyond. For the first time ever, the Great Beyond will not cease giving his portents at the conclusion of Week 17. No, lads. The Great Beyond, and all of us, are headed to the playoffs. So without further ado, I give you the Great Beyond in all his immaculate glory. Prostrate yourselves and receive his word.
"I believe it was 16th century philosopher Kelly Clarkson who said, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Derek Carr is not dead, and neither are the Raiders. Like a pirate ship whose captain is lost, they will simply promote a new one and continue pillaging. They will not be the same as before, but the character of the crew determines what they will be from that point forward. This Raiders team is tough; it is stalwart, and it will not go down without a fight.
Contrast that with the Broncos. They haven't been hit with a rash of injuries. They just suck. It turns out that when you're not playing a bunch of five-win teams anymore, you tend to not play very well. They got run off the field at Kansas City last Sunday night, and now they've completely given up. This is a team and a fanbase that is used to winning, and now that they're not, they've developed a severe case of affluenza.
"We can win without great quarterback play!" they said. "We won last year with Peyton Manning, and he was terrible!" Yes, you morons, his ARM was terrible. His brain was still the greatest weapon ever seen in professional football. This year you have a sack of creamed corn under center. I told you all that Trevor Siemian was not very good, but you did not listen. You all thought you were the 2000 Ravens.
Not even close. The teams that won without great quarterback play could run the ball very effectively. The 2016 Broncos cannot even do that. Here is what the Broncos running game has looked like this season:
There is nothing that warms the cockles of my black heart than seeing Denver fans hopeless and depressed. It's glorious. They say that Marie Antoinette's luxurious brown hair turned stark white the night before she was sent to the guillotine during Robespierre's Reign of Terror in 1793. I'd be surprised if Trevor Siemian has any hair left by the time he sees Khalil Mack line up against him on Sunday. He'll probably just look like Powder.
Still, I have to hand it to the Broncos. The Raiders needed them to beat the Patriots. They got crushed. The Raiders then needed them to beat the Chiefs. They were wiped off the face of the Earth on Christmas Day. No matter how badly the season is going for them, no matter how far gone their team is, they steadfastly refuse to win any games that might help the Raiders. That's good hate right there. That can be respected. That refusal to win in the face of overwhelming odds is the true mark of a great rivalry. We are at war with Eastasia. We have always been at peace with Eurasia.
There is nothing redeeming about the 2016 Broncos. There's not even anything funny to say about them. But I will say three things:
1) The Broncos have not defeated the Raiders since October 11, 2015.
2) The Broncos have not won any games since December 4, 2016.
3) The Broncos have only won one game since November 14, 2016, and that was against the Jaguars.
They have a defense that thinks it's better than it is and an offense that make the Jets look like the Packers. Where do the Broncos even go from here? They have one game left to decide if Parkin' Bench is their guy at quarterback. I could have told you six months ago that Trevor Siemian sure as hell wasn't, and anyone else who choked down vomit watching 2014 Northwestern Wildcats football could have told you the same.
Their offensive line is a disaster. Their left tackle, Russell Okung, is so bad he may as well be incorporeal. Here's a look at their line in action:
And what about the offensive weapons Denver supposedly has? I haven't seen much of them this year, because Trevor Siemian spends more time on his back than Paris Hilton. On paper, Demaryius Thomas is their best offensive player. Let's take a look at his season:
If he only had a heart. And if only the offensive line had some courage. And if only Gary Kubiak had some brains.
The Raiders, on the other hand, have all three of these qualities. What Matt McGloin lacks in talent he makes up for in heart, courage and brains. The coaching staff might be accused of having more courage than brains, but when they win (like in Week 1) we call that "balls". If the Broncos had any balls, they would have started Brock Osweiler in the Super Bowl and they still probably would have won it. As it stands now, they're just waiting for the Colts to give up on Andrew Luck.
The Broncos have nothing to play for this week but pride. However, if the Broncos had any pride, they would have played better in Kansas City. At least the Raiders put up a fight. Denver flat out fucking quit. They'll play in front of their home fans this week, 30% of whom will be curiously disguised as Raider fans. The Raiders will put boots to throats.
Raiders win, 30-12."