It all comes down to Week 17.
If the Oakland Raiders are able to win their regular season finale this afternoon against the Denver Broncos, they will be able to claim their first AFC West crown since 2002.
The Silver and Black enter the battle with the Broncos winners of eight of their last nine, while Denver has lost four of their last five.
As a result of Derek Carr’s broken fibula in last weekend’s win over the Indianapolis Colts, Matt McGloin will be handling the quarterbacking duties today for the Silver and Black, with rookie Connor Cook serving as the backup.
McGloin hasn’t started a game since his rookie season in 2013, but has six career starts to his name in his four seasons as a Raider.
In what was more of a technicality at this point, Carr was officially ruled out of today’s game following the team’s Fast Friday practice, along with tackle Austin Howard.
Rookie safety Karl Joseph was officially listed as doubtful after Friday’s practice, and he also won’t be suiting up for the Week 17 matchup with the Broncos.
The list of inactive players are as follows:
Quarterback Derek Carr
Cornerback Antonio Hamilton
Safety Karl Joseph
Tackle Austin Howard
Guard Denver Kirkland
Defensive tackle Stacy McGee
Defensive lineman Branden Jackson
The captains for today’s game are quarterback Matt McGloin, center Rodney Hudson, long snapper Jon Condo, safety Reggie Nelson, and defensive end Khalil Mack.
The Raiders won the toss, but per usual, they elected to defer to the second half.
The Broncos have struck first.
After receiving the football to start the game, quarterback Trevor Siemian has just orchestrated an eight-play, 84-yard drive that was capped off by an 11-yard touchdown run by Devontae Booker.
Brandon McManus added the PAT, so with 10:15 left in the first quarter, the Broncos lead 7-0.
Neither of the team’s offenses could get much going the rest of the quarter, and at the end of the first frame, the score remains 7-0 in favor of the Broncos.
When play resumes, the Broncos will face a 1st and 10 from their own 25-yard line.
INJURY UPDATE: SAFETY NATE ALLEN IS BEING EVALUATED FOR A CONCUSSION.
The Broncos have extended their lead to 10-0 as McManus has connected on a 22-yard field goal, with the big play on the drive being a 64-yard run by Justin Forsett.
With the converted field goal, the Raiders now trail 10-0 with 11:30 left in the first half.
We’ve reached the two minute warning, and the score is still 10-0 in favor of the Broncos.
Following the stoppage, the Broncos will face a 3rd and 8 from the Raiders 33-yard line.
The Broncos have seen their lead continue to grow, as Siemian has just connected on a 43-yard touchdown pass to Devontae Booker. Following the converted extra point, Denver now leads the Silver and Black 17-0 with 1:44 left in the second quarter.
With 1:44 left in the first half, rookie quarterback Connor Cook is now under center.
INJURY UPDATE: QUARTERBACK MATT MCGLOIN IS QUESTIONABLE TO RETURN WITH A SHOULDER INJURY
The Broncos weren’t able to put any more points on the board, so at halftime, Denver still leads 17-0.
The Raiders will receive the ball to start the second half.
Cook remained under center and was leading the Raiders down the field to start the second half, but the rookie signal-caller has fumbled the football, and the Broncos have recovered.
With 13:00 left in the third quarter, the Broncos will take over possession at their own 36.
INJURY UPDATE: SAFETY NATE ALLEN IS OUT WITH A CONCUSSION
The Broncos have once again extended their lead, this time on a two-yard touchdown pass to Virgil Green.
McManus connected on the PAT, so with 8:14 left in the third quarter, the Raiders now trail 24-0.
The Raiders have gotten on the scoreboard.
With 3:09 left in the third quarter, Cook connected with Amari Cooper on a beautiful 32-yard touchdown reception.
The Silver and Black elected to go for two, but couldn’t convert the try, so with 3:09 left in the third quarter, the Raiders trail 24-6.
On the very next play, Siemian went deep, but his pass was intercepted by Brynden Trawick at the Raiders 46-yard line.
We’ve reached the end of the third quarter, with the Broncos still leading the Raiders 24-6. When play resumes, the Broncos will be facing a 4th and 10 from their own 20.
The Raiders first possession of the fourth quarter was short lived, as wide receiver Johnny Holton has fumbled the ball that was subsequently recovered by the Broncos.
Denver was unable to take advantage of the gift though, as McManus’ 48-yard field goal attempt has sailed wide left.
The Raiders take over possession at their own 38 with 13:22 left in the fourth quarter.
Neither team was able to put points on the board for the remainder of the fourth quarter, so the Broncos have won the Week 17 clash 24-6.