Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos: Complete Week 17 Preview for Oakland

The Oakland Raiders are one game away from concluding another disappointing season. But after a disheartening 0-10 start, they've have an inspirational 5-week stretch during which they've gone 3-2. All three wins came against playoff contenders, and the Raiders have disrupted or ruined all of those team's playoff aspirations. They have a chance to do it again this week against the Denver Broncos.

Although it took too long to happen, the team has finally figured out a way to consistently be successful. Offensively, it begins with the running game. Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew were brought in to create a daunting two-headed monster out of the backfield. Unfortunately, that plan failed miserably. But the insertion of Latavius Murray into the game plan has changed that.

Over the last five games, Murray is averaging 75.2 yards a game and 5.7 yards per attempt. He's provided a consistent and effective rushing attack, which has made Derek Carr's life much easier.

Now that he has a running game, Carr has shown the ability to impose his will on the opposing defense. At times, he's dictated the pace and been in complete control of the action. This is impressive from any quarterback but especially from a rookie.

Defensively, Khalil Mack has stepped in and immediately become one of the NFL's top linebackers. He's quietly made an impact all season, but the stats, particularly sacks, didn't show it. Now that the stats have begun to catch up—he has 17 tackles and three sacks in the last five games—he's showing just how much of a problem he's going to be for the rest of the league.

Although the Raiders' season is over, they have one more shot to disrupt another team's playoff plans. The Broncos have to have this win to have a chance at home field throughout the playoffs or at least in their first game. Oakland can stop that. Here's how. 

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