NFL Power Rankings: Cardinals rise, Broncos fall in Week 15

14 of 33

Dec 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) is sacked by Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) during an NFL football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 15-12. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Last week: 23
Change: +3

The Oakland Raiders posted just 126 total yards and recorded just eight first downs against the Denver Broncos. In contrast, the Broncos put up 310 yards with 20 first downs. But none of that matters, because the Raiders won.

The Raiders had their backs against the wall all day long. In a game where it’s hard to tell what’s more suffocating, the altitude in Denver or its defense, and one in which the Broncos dominated the time of possession by 11 minutes, it seemed impossible they could get it done.

But Khalil Mack had something to say about that. Mack sacked Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler five times, and the Broncos were held out of the end zone all afternoon. And despite only completing 12 of his 29 passes, Derek Carr found the end zone twice which helped lift the Raiders to the unlikeliest of victories.

Oakland showed plenty of grit and determination in this game, and it’s a win they will learn a lot from heading into the future. They will have to face this defense again next year, but the Raiders’ arrow is pointing up with Derek Carr and this young offense.

Mack gets a shot at Aaron Rodgers next weekend.

Next: No. 19