MLB: Omar Gaither
FS: Matt Giordano
SS: Tyvon Branch
Raiders Defensive Rankings:
Broncos Defensive Rankings:
This Raiders D-Line isn't the best. They're 31st in the league with 14 sacks(one less than Von Miller who has 15) and will be without Richard Seymour. Last time these two teams played this defense allowed 167 yards on the ground, and didn't sack Peyton once. Leading the way in sacks on this D-Line is Matt Shaughnessy with 3.5. Lamarr Houston has 44 tackles and 2 sacks. In the middle Tommy Kelly has 26 and Desmond Bryant has 25. So this unit really needs to step up if Oakland wants to have any success.
Leading the way for the Broncos is Elvis Dumervil. Doom has 46 tackes and 8 sacks. 1.5 of his 8 sacks came against this Oakland offense. So look for Dumervil to get after Carson Palmer. Derek Wolfe looks to continue his solid rookie campaign. On the year Wolfe has 32 tackles and 3 sacks. Leading the way for the Broncos DL is Justin Bannan. Bannan with 37 tackles. Starting next to him is Big Vick, Kevin Vickerson. Vick has 35 tackles and 2 sacks. Mitch Unrein has also chipped in with 12 tackles, some nice pressure on the QB and a TD reception. The Broncos DL will need to step up to stop Darren McFadden. DMC is having a disappointing year, but he's still a very dangerous back.
Leading the way for the Raiders Linebackers is Phillip Wheeler. Wheeler has 87 tackles and 2 sacks. Miles Buris is 2nd with 72 tackles and 1 sack and in the middle it's Omar Gaither who has 3 tackles. This unit will be without troublesome LB Rolando McClain. This unit isn't great, but has to step up to stop the run and help with the Tight Ends if they want to have a successful night.Looking for Denver to attack Oaklands front 7 with the run game, and then use the play action later in the game.
Broncos will be without Linebacker Wesley Woodyard. Woodyard who should be getting his first Pro-Bowl honors this year has 100 tackles 4 sacks and 3 Ints. In his place look for DJ Williams and Danny Trevathan to take snaps at the weakside linebacker spot. DJ Williams has 6 tackles in limited action and Trevathan has 25 tackles and 1 sack. Look for both to see time out there. Stud linebacker Von Miller looks to continue his DPOY pace. On the year, Von has 53 tackles, 15 sacks and 1 Int for a TD. In the middle Keith Brooking continues to play well with 39 tackles. I'm excited to see what DJ and Danny can do in Woodyards absence. The linebacker position seemed to be an area of need in the beginning for the season, looks to be an area of strength right now.
The Raiders secondary isn't the best either. The Raiders have moved Michael Huff from Safety to corner will have his hands full with DT and Decker. Huff on the year has 46 tackles and 2 Ints. Veteran Ron Bartell starts next to Huff, and on the year has 14 tackles and 0 Ints. These guys will need to step up if they want to stop Peyton Manning. At safety Tyvon Branch has 82 tackles and 1 Int. Probably Oaklands best defensive player will try to be a pain for the Broncos offense. Starting next to him is Matt Giordano. Giordano has 40 tackles and 2 Ints on the year. These guys will need to play a great game to stop Denvers vaunted passing offense.
Champ Bailey continues his dominate play this year. Champ has been shutting down WR's all year and looks to continue it this evening. Champ on the year has 52 tackles and 1 Int. A player who has been impressive this year, at least to me is Chris Harris. Harris gets a lot of attention since he's opposite of Champ, and he's been very very good. Harris on the year has 49 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 2 Ints. Harris should have a few more INTs. He had one called back last week, and has been close all year to many more. Tony Carter looks to shut down the slot. On the year Carter has 19 tackles and 2 Ints. At the safety spot, Mike Adams leads the way with 63 tackles and 1 sack. Rahim Moore looks to continue his solid play. On the year he has 55 tackles and 1 Int. Jim Leonhard has chipped in with 15 tackles and 2 Ints. Denvers secondary has been solid this year, and looks to continue it's dominate play against the Raiders.