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Week 6 -- Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos -- Game Day Open Thread

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Is there anything better than a good ole' fashioned rivalry?  Especially when your arch-rival sucks as bad as the Raiders do?  If this offense is going to get healthy, tonight would be a great time to do so.  I am usually a glass half-empty type of guy, but I even can't find any reason whatsoever for the Broncos to lose tonight, or even be challenged.  That's why they play the game, however, so let's get it started.


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GAME DAY NOTES:


*--The Broncos are 9-1 following a Monday Night appearance since 2000, the best record in the NFL of teams with at least 5 appearances.  


*--Mike Shanahan is 17-5 against the Raiders, 9-2 at home, in his career as Denver's Head Coach


*--Since 2001, when the team moved into Invesco Field, the Broncos are 15-2 in divisional home games.


*--Denver is 10-6 on Sunday Night under Shanahan, including 4-3 at home.


*--Last Meeting - 12/24/05 - Denver 22-3, WIN


Official Gameday Press Release


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INJURY REPORT -


DENVER BRONCOS --

RB     Cedric Cobbs(Ankle)     Out
       

S     John Lynch(Neck)     Probable
   

RB     Cecil Sapp(Toe)     Probable

OAKLAND RAIDERS --


QB     Aaron Brooks(Shoulder)   Out


LB     Grant Irons(Back)     Doubtful


CB     Fabian Washington(Hamstring) Doubtful
   

TE     James Adkisson(Groin)     Questionable
   

 G     Kevin Boothe(Nose)     Questionable


DE     Lance Johnstone(Knee)     Questionable
   

RB     ReShard Lee(Neck)     Questionable


TE     John Madsen(Quadriceps) Questionable


TE     Randal Williams(Quadriceps) Questionable


RB     Zack Crockett(Knee)     Probable
   

LB     Isaiah Ekejiuba(Shoulder) Probable


T     Robert Gallery(Shoulder) Probable
   

DE     Kevin Huntley(Foot)     Probable


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BRONCOS INACTIVES --

Wide Reciever Todd Devoe
Safety Hamza Abdullah
Running Back Cedric Cobbs
Linebacker Nate Webster
Offensive Lineman Chris Kuper
Offensive Lineman Adam Meadows
Tight End Nate Jackson
Defensive End Kenny Peterson

Five Things To Look For --

1. Avoid The Letdown -- The Broncos have played spirited football the past two games against play-off caliber talent, but tonight have to face an out-manned, talent-delinquent, Raider team. It will be important for the Broncos to get out to a fast start and not let the Raiders even think for a minute that they can win this football game. The Raiders are just looking for a reason to quit, and falling behind by 10 or 14 in the first quarter will get it don for the Broncos.

2. Less Than Zero -- The defense has simply been dominant so far in 2006, allowing 1 touchdown in four games, and a stingy 9 points a game. The Raiders will be starting Andrew Walter, making his 3rd start all-time at QB. A recipe for disaster if you are a Raider fan. Expect the Raiders to try and get Lamont Jordan involved early in the running game, and stopping the run has been a strong suit for the Broncos defense. Another single digit performance from the defense is in order, and a shut out is not out of the question if they play the way they have the past 3 games.

3. Let's Be Offensive -- As good as the defense has been, the offense has been just as bad. There has been some light at the end of the tunnel, however, and Javon Walker is starting to become the big play threat the Broncos envisioned when they traded for him. Even with their 0-4 record, the Raiders have played decent defense. It will be important for the offense to have success right off the bat, and get Tatum Bell rolling early. It would be a nice time for the offense to have a 3 to 1 time of possession advantage to give this defense some rest with the Colts and Steelers on the horizon.

4. The Sweet Smell of Revenge -- The situation between Mike Shanahan and Raiders' Owner Al Davis is well documented. Shanahan was fired after on 20 games as Raisers Head Coach, and a lengthy court case about some money Davis alledgedly owed Shanny ensued. Each time the Broncos have faced the Raiders with Shanny at the helm has been billed as a revenge game for Shanny, and the results don't lie. Not only have the Broncos beaten the Raiders, they have owned them, especially in Denver. Shanny has to be reveling in the struggles of the Raiders and would like nothing more than to embarrass his old boss on National TV.

5. My Take -- I was heading to a pumpkin patch today with the fam, and I thought to myself how carefree my mind was heading into tonight's game. Usually I am a nervous wreck on gameday, thinking of every possible way the game could turn out, but today was different. I am absolutley confident about the Broncos, and what this team can accomplish. A major reason for my attitude is the play of the Broncos' Defense. When the Broncos were a dominant Offense there was always a concern that the Defense wouldn't show up and the Broncos would end up losing the game no matter how many points the offense scored. Now that the defense is playing so well I know the offense can struggle a bit and the Broncos can still win, and with ease. I know, confusing, but those are the thoughts roaming through my head. As for tonite, I think it is going to be a little tougher than we'd like, but in the end the defense will make enough plays, and the offense will get some points in the second half. The point spread is a little large for my taste, but the Broncos still win by 2 TD's.

BRONCOS 27 - 13

FIRST QUARTER --

*--Blue on Blue again tonite, as the Broncos receive to get the game started...
*--Tatum Bell is becoming a huge part of this offense, picking up a nice first down with a couple of sweet moves.
*--Quickly 2-2 on third down, with Plummer running for a big first down...
*--The third time is not the charm for the offense, and finally the Raiders hold and force a punt, though field position should change here...
*--Two runs for the Raiders out of the gate, no surprise, and the Broncos force a third and long...
*--Side note, I can't stand Jeff Triplett...There will be a bad call and about 300 penalties tonite...
*--Way too easy for Walter....
*--Hey Andrea, everyone knows what happened at practice on Friday, your sources...LOL
*--Nice sack by Dumervil, but a penalty is going to give the Raiders a first down. Remember what I said about Triplett..
*--Raiders convert again, the Broncos can't get any pressure on Walter. Jordan is already a force in the game, and now Fargas gets about six...
*--Another big 3rd down...The Raiders have looked good so far, but this is when they usually screw it up...
*--Horrible effort by Moss is exasperated by the miss Janikowski. Like I said, they always find a way to screw it up....
*--And that is how you go up and get a ball, RANDY! Sweet throw and nice grab by Walker!!!
*--T-Bell up the middle, TOUCHDOWN BRONCOS! BRONCOS 7 - RAIDERS 0
*--And like I said, the Raiders are looking for a reason to quit. Moss let's a ball hit him in the head, Janikowski misses a field goal, Walker goes up and makes a big catch, and T-Bell walks into the end-zone. TV sets are turing off all over the country...
*--A nice run straight out of bounds by Jordan ends the 1st Quarter....
*--END OF THE 1ST QUARTER - BRONCOS 7 - RAIDERS 0

SECOND QUARTER --


*--Nice stop by the defense and the offense has good field position...
*--The Raiders are fooled again by the bootleg, but the pass is broken up. We are going to see alot of that tonite.
*--Bullet pass right into the gut of Walker, and Plummer is looking exclusively for Javon
*--That pass floats on Plummer, who looks for Smith for the first time...
*--Plummer sacked, but I'd prefer that to a bad pass...At least Elam gets a chance at the field goal, and he buries it! BRONCOS 10 - RAIDERS 0
*--Someone better call off the dogs!! The crowd noise and the Broncos D-Line is really causing problem for the Raiders O-Line. Broncos will have great field position again and if they get into the endzone things could get ugly fast...
*--Sweet reverse, and a great job by Plummer to get out front. And the experts say our offense is vanilla?!?
*--Big hit by Burgess, and I'll tell you what, I would love to have Burgess on my team...
*--The Raiders suck...They really do...
*--Hamilton gets away with a hold and the Broncos' drive continues inside the 10..
*--Sapp drops a sure TD, and that's where the Broncos really miss Kyle Johnson
*--Elam nails the chip-shot, but the Broncos leave some points on the field. BRONCOS 13 - RAIDERS 0
*--And the flags just keep on comin', though they all seem to be on the Raiders...
*--Moss runs himself out of a first down...Let's make 'em pay!
*--Broncos were going to bring the house, and Walter wisely calls a timeout...Still laughing at Moss for running backwards for three yards...Am I the only one that thinks he is tanking it on purpose?
*--Maybe not, as Moss makes a big catch...Foxworth couldn't find the ball in the air and Moss makes him pay.
*--Raiders shoot themselves in the foot again, and quickly have a 2nd and long
*--Bailey get his revenge!!! A great pick by Bailey, who seemd to run the route better than Moss!!!
*--Bailey's pick keeps the Broncos in control. HALFTIME - BRONCOS 13 - RAIDERS 0

THIRD QUARTER --

*--Defense does it's job, but D-Will needlessly tries to do too much and fumbles the football, once again giving the Raiders some life. Game is holding true to my prediction so far...
*--Looks like a favorable spot for the Broncos leaves the Raiders in 3rd and short....I have to imagine this is 4 down territory...
*--It was, and they get enough. Raiders keep the ball, and are threatening again to get back into the game...
*--Another first down for the Raiders...Turnovers are the great equalizer....
*--Walter takes a bad sack, moving the Raiders back. It be nice to hold the Raiders to a FG try...
*--Another sack, this time by Chukwurah...He just throws Gallery out of the way....This time Janikowski drills it. BRONCOS 13 - RAIDERS 3
*--A nice return by Morgan, but Triplett's penalty happy crew brings it back....
*--Again, Plummer tried to get the ball to Tony Scheffler, and again Tony can't make the tough catch...A big third down..
*--This time Sapp hangs on to move the chains...
*--Now Bell moves the chains, and this could be the defining drive of the game for Denver.
*--A bit conservative here, and the Raiders are ready for it...
*--Madden does make a point about letting the Raiders hang around too long...
*--Broncos content to play field position, running a draw on 3rd and long.
*--Nice angle punt by Ernster...the highlight of the third quarter for the good guys...
*--Another false start by the Raiders, and they continue to beat themselves...
*--You give Walter time, and he'll burn you. I'd bring pressure on every third down....Another false start...
*--Whitted was wide open, and luckily he drops the ball....Broncos are getting fortunate, no other way to put it..
*--This time the Broncos do bring extra bodies, and Walter can't get the completion....Raiders have to punt...ANOTHER FALSE START!!!
*--END OF THE THIRD QUARTER - BRONCOS 13 - RAIDERS 3

FOURTH QUARTER

*--Time for the Broncos to start converting some of these 3rd and two's but they don't and the Broncos will have to punt again...
*--And there it is!! All the way to the Fourth Quarter for the Cutler sideline shot...
*--I don't think Slaughter will have a job tomorrow morning...
*--Another first down for the Raiders, and for the first time this season Moss is getting off a bit...
*--Does anyone on the Raiders stay in the game after getting the ball?? Sweet, another penalty, this one on the Broncos...16 penalties combined tonite...
*--Raiders need to go on 4th....
*--Defense stands again, and I really hope the offense buys the defense a big steak dinner this week....
*--Raiders have 8 in the box every first down waiting for the run...Time to take a shot down the field...
*--Another sack, and let's face it Broncos fans, this offense is in trouble, there is no other way to say it...
*--An illegal formation on a punt?!?!? 19 penalties combined....
*--The Raiders are just lining up and pounding the ball right at the Broncos...Still alot of time left.
*--Defense is looking frustrated, and a bit tired as they have been on the field a long time in the 2nd half...
*--Raiders kick themselves in the jewels again, turning the ball over deep in Broncos territory.....
*--Another penalty...these guys are unbelievable...After rewinding it on my Tivo, it's a good call, with Warren jacking the Raider into the ground...
*--I like the play-call on first down. Offense needs to give this defense a rest...
*--Back to back 13-3 wins? Explosion....
*--Another dumb penalty by the Raiders, this time a 15-yarder...stupid, stupid, stupid...
*--A kneel down will end it, and it hasn't been pretty, but at the end of the season they don't ask how, just how many...
*--FINAL - BRONCOS 13 - RAIDERS 3