The Denver Broncos, losers of two straight, begin divisional play on Sunday with a visit from the Oakland Raiders. Everything you need to know about where to watch the game is below:
Game Date/Time: Sunday, September 30; 1:05 pm PT
Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
TV Schedule: National: CBS
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Line: Denver by 7.0
DirecTV Sunday Ticket: 713
Sirius/XM Channel: Broncos Call on 85
After a difficult 1-2 start the Denver Broncos await the Raider's arrival at Mile High for their annual showdown. Both teams sport a 1-2 record and both teams enjoyed their first and only win versus the (maybe not so) mighty Pittsburgh Steelers. The Broncos are heavily favored at home in a game they haven't won in four years.
History suggest the Broncos have quite the uphill battle on Sunday.
Since 2008 the Oakland Raiders have beaten the Broncos four straight games in Mile High with two different head coaches. Tom Cable, of smashing jawbones fame, beat us three times and Hue Jackson did it once. In each of those four losses the Broncos had been favored to win, sometimes with absolutely gigantic lines:
2011: Broncos by 3 - Result: Raiders win 23-20 (Raiders were an 8 win team that year)
2010: Broncos by 7 - Result: Raiders win 59-14 (Raiders were an 8 win team that year)
2009: Broncos by 14 - Result: Raiders win 20-19 (Raiders were a 5 win team that year)
2008: Broncos by 8.5 - Result: Raiders win 31-10 (Raiders were a 5 win team that year)
Is 2012 the year that the spell is broken?
With Peyton Manning at the helm this new look Broncos offense expects to change their fortune on Sunday and bring a win against the Raiders to Mile High. If I were a betting man I'd take that over, but that line of seven is a huge number for a team that has struggled to beat the Raiders period in the past few years.
Expectations are sky high right now for the Denver Broncos and word on the street says this game could be a Broncos blowout, something we haven't enjoyed in a long time. May those expectations be met and exceeded come Sunday night.
What to Watch For:
For the Raiders the success of their franchise rests on the shoulders of their star runningback Darren McFadden. McFadden has been, to put it lightly, a complete monster in Denver. In 2010 McFadden rushed for 150 yards in the season opener a year after rushing for 165 yards and 3 TD's in the-game-that-we-never-speak-of. If the Broncos want to open this game up, they must stop Darren McFadden. McFadden has, in those four games, rushed for 427 yards and 5 touchdowns and an average of over 7 yards per carry.
The Broncos are being forced to play without their starting middle linebacker Joe Mays who recently discovered ripping off part of a QB's ear will earn you a one game suspension and probably a whole lot of credibility and fear. The Broncos, who are already thin at LB, will once again ask the next man up to step up and play big because the Raiders have shown they like to run often against the Broncos. Players like Von Miller and Keith Brooking are going to have their work cut out for them.