OAKLAND RAIDERS AT DENVER BRONCOS
Today, the Denver Broncos face their first AFC West opponent, the Oakland Raiders. For the past few years, the Raiders have been a headache for the Denver Broncos. In the past 4 years, at home, the Broncos have been favored over the Raiders by a total of 32.5 points and lost by a total of 70 points. This stat includes the 59-14 beatdown that the Broncos suffered in 2010... I'm still trying to recover, mentally, from that loss.
The Broncos need revenge. They need it badly. Sitting at 1-2 and in a 3-way tie for last place in the division, the Broncos need to win this one. This schedule is too tough to drop a division game and sit at 1-3. Fans were already starting to sour after the losses to the Texans and Falcons, two of the best teams in football, but if the Broncos lose to the Raiders then I will predict many fans will call this season a failure.
If the Broncos are going to win, they'll have to do it without starting middle linebacker, Joe Mays, who was given a one game suspension for his ear destroying hit on Matt Schaub, last week. The Broncos were already working their way through a linebacker suspension with DJ Williams being held out for a DUI earlier this year. We expect Keith Brooking to start at middle linebacker, today.
The Raiders have problems of their own. The Steelers were laying the lumber, handing out a concussion to Darrius Heyward Bey and tight end Brandon Myers. While Heyward Bey has been ruled out, Brandon Myers will play, today, but their number 2 tight end, Richard Gordon, will not. In addition, this will mark the second straight week that Michael Huff will start at cornerback due to the Raiders injury depleted secondary. All of those things play right into the Broncos' hands. Peyton Manning, Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas are licking their chops, knowing that the Raiders are starting their best safety at cornerback.
Although, as always, Darren McFadden will be licking his chops, as well. This guy has been a Bronco killer for his entire career, averaging over 7 yards per carry against Denver. With the Broncos defense short on depth at linebacker, this game could get out of hand if the Raiders take the lead and are able to run the ball effectively.
Overall, it should be a great game. Use the comment section, below, and chat with fellow Broncos fans as the game unfolds.