That's right. It's Raider week! That means serious business for Mike Shanahan, who comes into this match-up 6-4 and up 2 games in the AFC West. The Broncos have had two exciting comeback form behind wins on the road. The team is playing with more confidence in all three phases of the game. Rookies have been stepping up and making plays, while the few veterens left are providing leadership. Yes, the Broncos have a very serious bite from the injury bug, but that is not stopping the Broncos. They will try to get their 3rd striaght win this week, and move up 3 games in the AFC West.
The Raiders are looking good this season with a whole lotta talent. Russel, McFadden, Lelie, Waker, Hall, Fargas are just a few of the HOFers the Raiders should have down the road. Al Davis is showing he knows football, even at an old age. They are really scaring me. NOT!!!!! Lets get back to what I really think...
The Raiders are a disaster! Bad free-agency signings have hurt the Raiders this season with the release of DeAngelo Hall and the injury to Javon Walker. Lane Kiffin was fired early in the season, eventhough the players liked the guy. Al Davis seems to be getting even more controlling this year than ever. But this game is against the Broncos, so you all can expect the Raiders to bring whatever game they have left this week to try and beat the Broncos.
Lets take a look at who I think has the Advantage.
Quarterback: Jay Cutler has been protecting the ball more lately and making better decisions. Last week, Jay didn't seem to be forcing every throw and was willing to throw the underneath stuff instead. Last game against the Raiders, Jay threw for 300 yards and completed 2/3 of his passes. This all happened even though Bardon Marshall was suspended a game. The Raiders "strong secondary" was embarrassed. Well, mostly DeAngelo Hall was. I expect Jay to have a big game this week, even if he doesn't have DeAngelo Hall to pick on.
The Raiders quarterback situation is not looking that good, at the moment. Jamarcus Russel seems to be digressing without Lane Kiffin and the WRs are not helping. Russel has only broken 200 yards 3 times this year, but passing the ball is not the strenght of the offense. Andrew Walter didn't get the offense going week 10 against the Panthers, throwing 2 picks and no TDs. I don't know who will start Sunday, but neither one would give me any confidence in the passing game.
Advantage: Broncos. I don't think I need to explain too much. Cutler is a stud, he has all the tools to become one of the greatest QBs ever, while the Raiders have a stud, he isn't developing very quick.
Runningback: The Broncos did a pretty good job last week agianst the Falcons running the ball. Peyton Hillis was running over everybody on the field, and Tatum Bell and P.J. Pope were a great change of pace. The Raiders D has been on the field a lot this year, which is leading towords run defense problems. The Broncos could have success again running the ball.
This is the position where the Raiders are just stacked at. Derron Mcfadden, Justin Fargas, and Michael Bush have been running the ball great. Together, they average almost 120 yards per game. I the Raiders want to have any success offensively, they will have to fo it by running the ball.
Advantage: Raiders. They have 3 studs on that team that can all get the job done.
Recieving: Marshall, Royal, Scheffler, Stokely, Graham, Hillis. That sounds like a great reciving attack to me. Brandon Marshall is an all-around beast, Sheffler can stretch to field, Royal is one of the fastest in the league, and Hillis can do it all. Cutler should have no problem agianst the Raiders DBs. If Marshall is locked up, Jay has 3 or 4 other opitions that he can throw to that will have success.
Lelie can run a go route, but that is really it. Ronald Curry is the only reciever, I think, that has a chance against the Broncos. Zach Miller is a good recieving TE, but the fast LBs of the Broncos should be able to handle him.
Advantage: Broncos. Jay Cutler has recieving weapons all over the place: backfield, tight ends, and WRs. The air attack of the Broncos is going to have one heck of a bomb dropped on the Raiders on Sunday.
O-Line: The Broncos offensive line has been the best I have seen in a long time. Maybe ever. Ryan Clady and Ryan Harris have been doing phonomenal this year. Both have only given up one sack this year. Kuper, Hamilton, and Weigman have also been doing great protecting Jay. By the way, vote for them for Pro-Bowl right now by clicking Here.
The Raiders offensive line is bad with the pass. They have given up 32 sacks this season. They have been able to run the ball pretty well, but the Broncos have had a great season with the line.
Advantage: Broncos. They have one of the best lines in the league. I predict them to have another solid game.
D-Line: The Broncos D-Line has been average this year. The have 20 sacks, but Dumervil only has 3 of those sacks. Jarvis Moss and Marcus Thomas are improving, but I think it will take another year for the line to gel.
The Raiders are 9th in the league with 24 sacks, but they have been poor against the run. The offense hasn't been helping by giving them much of a rest either.
Advantage: Broncos. They have to go up agianst a much weaker offensive line than the Raiders do. Plus, all they need to do is concentrate on stopping the run. If they do that, then the time of possesion will be very lopsided.
Linebacker: Spenser Larsen, Woodyard, and Winborn have been doing a great job filling in for the starting LBs. They can all tackle and play fundemental. Woodyard and Winborn have great speed, while Larsen hits like a semi-truck.
I have to admit, I don't know very much about the Raiders LBs, but I do know Kirk Morrison is a stud. Considering that the offense has not been pulling their wieght, these LBs should get tired.
Advantage: Broncos.They have the leadership, disire, and talent with this new starting lineup. They have been playing fundemental, which is what everyone wants in a linebacker.
Defensiveback: The Broncos might be playing another game without Champ, but that does not worry me. Bell and Bly a have been stepping up their game. Jack Williams is a playmaker, also. Calvin Lowry has not impressed me though. He takes horrible angles to the ball. Marquan Manuel has been decent, but i don't think safety will hurt the Broncos too much on Sunday. The Broncos have a weak recieving attack to deal with.
The Broncos have Nnamdi Asomugha to worry about. He is one of the best in the league at what he does. But the Raiders just don't have the talent to match up with the Broncos.
Advantage: Broncos. I don't expect the Raiders to be pasiing the ball a whole lot. Even if Champ does not play, the DBs for the Broncos can get the job done.
Kick Returning: Royal is just amazing on returns, and usually gives the Broncos great field position to work with.
Johnnie Lee Higgins can break the big one too. He has one TD and has broke a few other ones close to a TD.
Adavntage: Toss up. Both of these player have the ability to take one to the house.
Kicker/Punter: Matt Prater has been impressive this year, being 5-5 with 50+ yards this year. He also leads the league in touchbacks. Brett Kern is averaging almost 47 yards a punt to help as well.
Shane Lechler is probably the best in the league, but Janakowski is only hitting 75% of his FGs and only 2-6 from 50+ with his big leg.
Advantage: Broncos. Matt Prater has been hitting the tough FGs and Kern has been doing great punting the ball as well.
My Prediction: Broncos 38-10. The Broncos will dominate all areas of the game and will get the win! Go Broncos!