The Las Vegas Raiders are back at home, where this season they have struggled while going just 3-4.
Obviously not impressive numbers for a team trying to make a late playoff push.
The Raiders (7-7) recognize their struggles at home but hope to overcome that when they face the Denver Broncos (7-7) on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium.
“We talked about we’ve been playing good on the road, and I don’t know maybe we’ll go out of town and stay at a hotel or something this week,” Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia said.
“I think that we are going to have a particular practice schedule because of the short week this week. It will look a little like last week’s did because the beginning of last week was a short week. Hopefully, we’ll be fresh and excited to play, regardless of where we’re playing, but we need to play better at home. I think we all know that. I think we’re excited about playing in our venue. We got Raider Nation here. It’s been great energy when we’ve been in our stadium. I think it’ll be time for us to man up a little bit and play better at home.”
The Raiders are coming off Monday’s last-second 16-14 win over Cleveland that kept their playoff hopes alive.
But nothing’s come easy in two seasons in Las Vegas. Since the opening of Allegiant Stadium, the Raiders are 5-10 there.
This season’s home schedule includes disappointing losses to the Chicago Bears and Washington Football Team after starting 2-0 at Allegiant.
“We’ve played well on the road; we haven’t played good enough at home,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “I think that looking at, from the last two seasons, last year was just weird. It was just like scrimmages. It wasn’t like a home-field advantage kind of thing, or anything like that.
“But this year, I think I mentioned it before, the city is learning too that, ‘Hey, when we’re on offense that’s the time to be quiet, and even if it’s a big play let’s be as silent as possible because we have to hear every bit of communication.’ But I think they’ve gotten better at that too as the year has gone on. And two, we can play better. If you just go down to the details of how we’ve played, we could just be better at home. For whatever reason, why it’s different, I can’t tell you.”
The Raiders do have good recent history against the Broncos. In the past three games against the Broncos, all Las Vegas wins, the Raiders are averaging 34 points per game — including a 34-24 victory in Denver in Week 6 this season.
Odds, TV and Raiders-Broncos prediction
The Raiders are surprisingly 1-point underdogs in the matchup, according to the odds at Draft Kings, with the over/under set at 41. Maybe it’s because of those struggles at home.
In any event, the game can be seen on CBS at 1:25 p.m. PST, with Fresno and most parts of Northern California getting to watch the matchup over regular TV.
The Broncos could be without quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (concussion). If he can’t go, Drew Lock will get the start.
If the Raiders want to repeat their previous performance against the Broncos, the offensive line needs to give Carr time to find his receivers deep. The run game looked a lot better against the Browns and the Raiders also will need to keep that success going.
Expect the Raiders to go out a lot faster in this game, at home, because there is no room for error with three games remaining.
Prediction: Raiders 37-26