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Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders Prediction: Silver and Black Hope Some Home Cooking Will Help End Their Skid

Broncos have lost seven of their last nine to AFC West rival.

Week 4 of the NFL season brings an important AFC West battle when the Raiders host the Broncos on Sunday. Las Vegas swept the season series last year, winning 17-13 at home and 34-24 on the road last year. Overall, the Raiders have won seven of the last nine as the Denver franchise has gone through a rough patch. The Raiders have won six straight home games as well against their division rivals.

Related: NFL Predictions for Every Game in Week 4

Although not quite an NFL Scorigami, the Broncos (2-1) escaped "Sunday Night Football" with an odd 11-10 win over the 49ers. The contest featured two field goals, a safety, and two touchdowns as Denver scored a TD with 4:10 left on the clock on their way to a victory. There's not a single number that isn't ugly from that contest, with both offenses scuffling, including a 20-of-33 performance for 184 yards without a touchdown or interception from Russell Wilson.

Las Vegas (0-3) is still looking for its first victory of the season after falling 24-22 to the Titans. Derek Carr went 26-of-44 for 303 yards with two touchdown passes and one interception. The biggest glaring statistic for the Raiders is that Davante Adams had just 36 receiving yards on five receptions. Mack Hollins was the team's leading receiver with eight catches for 158 yards and a touchdown. The defense couldn't get a stop when it mattered, though, and they lost.

Denver (2-1) at Las Vegas (0-3)

Kickoff: Sunday, Oct. 2 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (Start your free trial)
Spread: Raiders -2
Tickets: As low as $277 on*

Three Things to Watch

1. Intangibles
It's a quick turnaround for the Broncos, who return home after this one to host the Colts on "Thursday Night Football." Denver has seen the prime-time spotlight twice already with a Week 1 Monday night contest and last week's Sunday night affair. Divisional road games always demand focus, so I don't see this being a bad scheduling spot for the road team. The Raiders are the only 0-3 team in the league, so focus shouldn't be much of an issue despite the fact they are on MNF next week in Kansas City against the Chiefs. This is ironically a part of a stretch of alternating road and home games till their Week 6 bye.

2. Buyer's remorse?
When Denver acquired Wilson, there was talk of a division championship or at least a playoff spot in the Mile High City. So far through three games, there's been a readjustment of expectations involving the former Seattle signal-caller. Wilson has completed 59.4 percent of his passes and has only two touchdowns to one interception. He's been sacked nine times and has been unimpressive overall with his new squad. He's facing a Raiders team that has a highly exploitable secondary that just let Ryan Tannehill be highly efficient last week. The unit has just two interceptions and two sacks overall, so both numbers have to improve if the Raiders hope to get into the win column.

3. Check the muffler
Carr has been a mixed bag so far this season after a poor Week 1 performance in L.A. against the Chargers where he force-fed Adams too much and threw three interceptions in a loss. The next two weeks, he threw four touchdowns to just one interception, but Adams had just seven receptions total for 48 yards. There has to be a happy medium somewhere so that the No. 1 receiver can get fed often but Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow (when healthy) can also get the ball. Josh McDaniels was such a good offensive coordinator with the Patriots that it's a bit odd that the Raiders are struggling to scheme Adams open more. Denver's got tough corners in Pat Surtain II and Ronald Darby, so we'll see what happens Sunday.

Final Analysis

Before the season began, I said that I didn't think the Raiders would be that good this season. Their offense on paper looks amazing, but the games aren't played on paper, and the other side of the ball has a lot of issues. All that considered, I still think their first victory comes on Sunday. Denver has not inspired much confidence that Nathaniel Hackett was a good hire. Home field is the difference here in this ugly contest.

Prediction: Raiders 20, Broncos 16

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.

*Price as of publication.