Mile High Report has extended their lead over the rest of the SB Nation blogs by a full two points. You guys and gals are dominant like that Orange Crush defense. I checked the early results and MHR is saying the Denver Broncos will win by two touchdowns and, frankly, that's pretty much in line with my prediction as well. I just think that defense gets a late touchdown to seal the Oakland Raiders fate.
I think I like that we're dominating the rest of SB Nation. Let's keep it up!
Broncos 37, Raiders 13 - Tim Lynch
My homerism is taking full control here as the logical part of my functioning brain says the score is closer to 31-20, but what harm is there in predicting a huge blowout win? Yep, no harm at all. Just pure, unadulterated homerism - along with an eight game win streak over the hated Raiders. That will cheer any of us up if the Broncos offense stumbles again this week.
Broncos 31, Raiders 17 - Kyle Montgomery
The Raiders have the tools to beat the Broncos. They have a pass rush that can get after quarterbacks, while the Broncos' offensive line is in shambles. They have a premiere wide receiver in Amari Cooper who can challenge Aqib Talib and/or Chris Harris Jr. in one-on-one situations. They have a running attack that features an excellent run-blocking offensive line and up-and-coming RB Latavius Murray.
However, I don't believe they have the technician to execute a win with these tools against a good football team, and the Broncos are good if not great. I don't believe Jack Del Rio will focus enough on his pass rush (including mixing in a healthy bout of blitzes) to take advantage of Denver's offensive line, and I think Wade Phillips can architect a gameplan that will limit Cooper, Murray, and by extension Derek Carr. Meanwhile, given enough time, Peyton Manning picks this Oakland secondary apart.
Raiders 20, Broncos 17 - Pete Baron #smh
Here are the facts.
Passing Offense Rank: Oakland #10, Denver #25... Rushing Offense Rank: Oakland #21, Denver #29. Oakland straight up has a better offense than Denver, and unfortunately, it isn't even freaking close.
Defensive Rankings: Denver #1, Oakland #31
So what's it going to be Broncos Country? In 2013, we said "Offense is all it takes because offense scores points and last I checked, you need to score points. Screw defense, screw the Seahawks, screw it all. Offense baby!!!" and then..... we were all made to look like fools.
So what Broncos Country is it today? The one who ignorantly says it's all about offense? Or the one who laughed at the notion that it is all about the defense? Which one? You can't be both! And I'm tired of people talking out of both ends of their mouths! It's time to show a little backbone, a little integrity, and a little fortitude. Make your claim and stick with it. Don't make qualifying statements and try to double speak your way out of what you believe. What do you believe?
Here is what I believe. I believe that the pathetic Broncos offense (by every measurable, they are pathetic no matter what your emotions tell you) is not as good as the surprisingly average Oakland offense. But, that defense. Oh that defense! Our defense will suffocate the Oakland offense. It will render them useless. I honestly believe the Raiders will be hard pressed to score more than 10 or 13 offensive points against our defense. The bad thing is that I think Manning will gift more points to the Raiders than we can score. I've been having an uneasy feeling all week about this game; A game we should easily handle. Still, I can't help but see Peyton throwing a game ending pick six in the 4th quarter to the Raiders (ala what he did last year to the Bengals) that seals a victory by Oakland in dramatic fashion. Prediction: Broncos 17, Oakland 20. Should have started Brock!
Broncos 24, Raiders 17 - Laurie Lattimore Volkmann
I hate the Raiders. We could be 0-15 going against a 15-0 Raiders team and I wouldn't predict us to lose - out of principle. That said, I wish I could say with certainty this will be an easy win, but I've been a Broncos fan long enough to know that's just not our thing...and I actually love these wins coming from huge defensive plays. I'm even looking forward to another one in Oakland (but Peyton, if you want to throw 5 touchdowns in a rout, I won't be mad at ya).
Broncos 34, Raiders 10 - Christopher Hart
Denver has the opportunity to storm into the Black Hole and make this weekends affair a statement game against Jack Del Rio, who mailed it in late last season knowing he had the opportunity to coach the Raiders in 2015. Denver's offense hasn't been a finely tuned machine to date, but going up against the 31st ranked defense in the NFL should give them the opportunity to make big plays. I expect a beat down of epic proportions, with the Broncos hanging at least four touchdowns on Oakland.
Broncos 34, Raiders 17 - Kelly Fleming
While watching the Raiders play against the Ravens, I felt a little nervous. Their pass game looked awesome, their young quarterback was connecting with their rookie receivers and running back. However, in a true Del Rio form, they still gave me hope by allowing the Ravens to rack up 33 points. Then they allowed the Browns to come close to beating them before finally letting the league-worst offense, the Bears, come back and beat them. So even though the Raiders have a number ten ranked offense, that comes against only one team with a top ten defense... surprisingly the Bears.
On paper, perhaps the Raiders have a good offense against sub-par teams, but knowing Del Rio is their play caller gives me hope that the Broncos and their #1 ranked defense will put this game away without an anxiety-inducing fourth quarter like we have all endured for the past 4 weeks.