As if he needed motivation, Brian Dawkins could be really fired up when he returns to Lincoln Financial Field next week.

His struggling Denver Broncos are still in the AFC wild-card hunt, but they blew a golden opportunity yesterday by falling to the Oakland Raiders at home, 20-19.

The Broncos (8-6) are running out of season to lock up a playoff spot and will take on an Eagles team that's on a five-game winning streak next Sunday afternoon (4:15, Channel 3).

JaMarcus Russell threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Chaz Schilens with 35 seconds left in the scrum-filled win over the Broncos.

Russell (5-for-11, 47 yards) was benched a month ago and passed by Charlie Frye on the depth chart this week. The former No. 1 overall draft pick entered when Frye was knocked out of the game early in the fourth quarter by a blow to the head from linebacker Andra Davis.

Denver left the door open for a Raiders upset by failing to get into the end zone after reaching the Oakland 2 late in the fourth.

Another longtime former Eagle will be returning next week, but he might not play. Running back Correll Buckhalter, who has rushed for 582 yards and an impressive 5.3 yards per carry this season, sat out yesterday's game with an ankle injury. His status for the Eagles game is uncertain.