Heading into the Oakland Raiders Week 14 clash with the Denver Broncos, Raiders.com highlighted three matchups that would be critical in how the game played out.
The Silver and Black hit the road, beating Brock Osweiler and the Broncos 15-12, improving their record to 6-7 in the process, so let's take a look back and see how those three matchups played out.
Wide Receiver Amari Cooper vs. Cornerback Aqib Talib
The rookie wide receiver started the game with 920 receiving yards and ended the game with 920 receiving yards.
For the first time in his young career, Cooper was held without a catch, although he was targeted eight times against the Broncos.
"You've got [Broncos cornerbacks Chris] Harris [Jr.], [Bradley] Roby and [Aqib] Talib, those guys are three of the best corners in the whole NFL, and they're all on the same team," said quarterback Derek Carr. "You're going to have chances to go at them, take shots at them, but you've got to be smart about it. This is my fourth time playing all those guys, so you just know."
With three games left, Cooper reaching the 1,000-yard mark is still well within reach, but the multiple looks that Denver threw at the rookie rendered him a non-factor, at least for a day.
Defensive Ends Mario Edwards Jr. and Khalil Mack vs. Right Tackle Michael Schofield and Left Tackle Ryan Harris
Khalil Mack singlehandedly made sure that this wasn't much of a matchup Sunday at Mile High.
Mack was absolutely unstoppable, finishing the day with 7 tackles, 5 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, 7 quarterback hits and 1 forced fumble.
He routinely made Schofield look pedestrian, as the big right tackle was no match for Mack.
"He was unbelievable," Head Coach Del Rio said. "He's just getting better and better, and he's a great young man. I didn't realize he actually had five sacks on the day. I knew he was awesome. I knew he made a big play for the safety, and I knew he went back there. I thought three maybe four, but I didn't realize it was five, so really tremendous effort by Khalil."
Not be left in the Mack's wake, Edwards Jr. also made his presence felt in the matchup with the Broncos, totaling 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass defensed and 1 forced fumble himself.
Left Tackle Donald Penn vs. Outside Linebacker DeMarcus Ware
While the Raiders struggled to get the running game going Sunday in Denver, one area they once again performed well was in pass protection.
The Broncos defense did manage to sack Carr three times, but Ware was not one of the players to bring him down – in fact, he didn't even register a tackle on the final defensive stat sheet.
The Raiders offensive line has been a strength all season, allowing just 21 sacks this season, and that trend continued again in the Mile High City.