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Broncos at Raiders: Top Storylines

Posted Dec 27, 2013

What to watch for this week at Oakland.

One Seed at Stake

The Broncos enter Week 17 in control of their own postseason destiny.

A win against the Raiders or a loss by New England means the road to the Super Bowl runs through Denver. Since New England plays Buffalo at the same time as Denver’s game against Oakland, there won’t be a way for the team to have clinched the one seed before stepping on the field.

“The good thing is we don’t worry about the Patriots,” defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said. “All we have to do is win and that’s what we’re focused on. As long as we control Terrelle Pryor on defense and get off the field and get our offense on the field more than we are out there then we’ll have no worries.”

Having the top playoff seed doesn’t guarantee anything more than hosting a Divisional round matchup, but the idea of getting to stay home for the playoffs is one that sounded good to safety Mike Adams.

“You know that’s the goal but it really doesn’t matter where you’re seeded, but it’s definitely important to have everybody come through here – come through Denver,” Adams said. “It’s a great thing to have home-field advantage and a first week bye and all that stuff. We’re definitely looking forward to just taking care of business and moving forward.”’

Pryor Back in the Pocket

Oakland Head Coach Dennis Allen announced that Terrelle Pryor would start at quarterback this week, replacing Matt McGloin, who had started the Raiders’ last six contests.

“With Terrelle in there it’s a little bit Michael Vick-ish as far some of the quarterback running, spread offense plays that I’m sure we’ll get and we’re anticipating getting,” Head Coach John Fox said.

Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. pointed out some similarities and differences between the two Raiders passers.

“With the other quarterback they were more spread and he was throwing the ball a little bit more but with Terrelle (Pryor) back in you kind of expect similar things – the quarterback run,” Harris Jr. said. “If we can’t stop the run, it’s going to be a long day. So we know that we have to stop the run and eliminate the deep passes.”

Records on the Horizon

While the Broncos are concerning themselves with earning their 13th win to close out the season, there are some offensive records that could fall Sunday.

Quarterback Peyton Manning needs 266 passing yards to pass Drew Brees for the most passing yards in a single season in league history.

As a team, the Broncos need 18 points to become the highest-scoring team in NFL history.

“I know we need to win this game,” Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase said. “So whatever we need to do to win this game, that is what we’re going to try to do. And then whatever happens with all the rest of that stuff, it happens. But at the end of the day, we need to win the game.”