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Ultimate fan calling for TEs, Hillman to get Broncos offense on track against Raiders

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Newcomer Halliday21 became a Broncos fan after John Elway took the Broncos to the Super Bowl in 1986-87, so you know this fan loves this team and hates the Raiders (maybe not as much as the Chiefs, though) - but still perfect for this week's Ultimate Fan Guide!

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As the Broncos head into two weeks of road games before their bye week, this Week 5 game in Oakland won't be as easy as previous years.

Following a closer-than-we-wanted win over the Vikings, Broncos fans might be a little worried about this up-and-coming Raiders team on their home turf.

Then again...naaaaahhh. No need to panic. It's still the Raiders after all, and Halliday21 thinks the Broncos defense plus a little tight end action from the offense will be enough to shut those Raiders fans up for at least a few more weeks.

Denver (4-0) v. Oakland (2-2)

MHR - Peyton Manning had two interceptions last week - but also engineered several scoring drives - and many fans are freaking out about his play. What's your take on our future Hall-of-Fame QB?

Halliday21: Peyton isn't going to put up the video game numbers that he did in the past. However, he doesn't have to do that anymore because we have the best Defense in the game today! I will say that I am a big Peyton supporter and still believe he is better than most QBs in the league right now. I am concerned about an old body in cold conditions. He never was mobile but that weather could really slow an old body.

MHR - The running game has struggled but showed improvement against a very tough Vikings run defense. What do you anticipate for the Broncos run game this week against the Raiders?
Halliday21:They are going with the hot hand and that means Ronnie Hillman will get the bulk of the carries. I sure wish they would run more sweeps and off tackles running plays. Our yards per carry are so much better when we get our RBs in space. I also can't remember the last screen play. Let's get those o-line in space where they can use their athleticism.

There is something up with C.J. Anderson. I don't blame the offensive line. He hasn't been breaking arm tackles and the usual shifty running style is gone.   -Halliday21

MHR - The offensive line has been an area of concern since last season. How did you think it performed last week with a new group of players and how do you expect them to play this week? 
Halliday21: I might be in the minority on this one but I think Peyton was taking sacks early on that he wouldn't have taken when playing in the shotgun (or pistol) formation. I also think there is something up with C.J. Anderson. I don't blame the offensive line, and I see him not having the speed to accelerate through the hole. He hasn't been breaking arm tackles and the usual shifty running style is gone. I am bullish on the offensive line.

MHR - How much of a threat will star linebacker Khalil Mack or veteran Aldon Smith be to Manning and the offensive line?
Halliday21: To this point Mack isn't getting the stats. Obviously stats can be misleading, and he will be a fine player. For this week though, I am more concerned with Aldon Smith. He is the superior pass rushing threat. Although neither of those two guys compares to Miller and Ware coming off the edge!

MHR - What offensive stat would you like to see be awesome for the Broncos in this game - and why is that one the most important this week?
Halliday21: We have to hit 2-3 big pass plays. Right now defenses are sitting on the Broncos routes. If Peyton can hit a couple of those big plays then its an easy victory against the Raiders!

MHR - Which player do you expect to stand out from the Broncos offense this Sunday?
Halliday21: Owen Daniels - TEs have torched the Raiders this season.

MHR - This defense keeps making huge plays and keeps being a major reason the Broncos win games. How does Wade Phillips maintain this level of awesome-sauce throughout the season?
Halliday21: Offensive play is far more streaky than strong defensive play. There is a reason that defense wins championships ... and the Broncos will be the next example!

MHR - Derek Carr is a trending up quarterback and Amari Cooper has some serious talent. Add in Latavius Murray and the Raiders have a trio of stars. How do the Broncos game plan for these Raiders?
Halliday21: We have to stop the run. We have great cover corners and no team can stop our pass rush. We have to stop the run and can't let big runs like AP had last week became a regularity. If you noticed, Sylvester Williams was blown up on that play and the gap was huge. We have to be stout inside.

MHR - What stellar defensive stat for the Broncos are you hoping (planning) to see?
Halliday21: 5 or more sacks should be a regular occurrence!

MHR - Which defensive player will stand out for the Broncos this weekend?
Halliday21: Von Miller, his stats are great but he has had two sacks called back by penalty. Those things are fluky though and he'll pick up three sacks this weekend to make up for it.

MHR - What overall team statistic would you like to see improved this weekend?
Halliday21: Running game, we should have over 100+ yards as a team.

MHR - Brandon McManus has been perfect this season - and pretty remarkable. How much of an impact do you think he'll have in the game on Sunday?
Halliday21: He will enjoy kicking mostly extra points this week.

MHR - Wade Phillips is getting a lot of credit for basically using the same guys Jack Del Rio had the last two years and making them better. Do you agree that Wade is a huge improvement over JDR?
Halliday21: Yes, Wade Phillips lets them cut loose! He will show JDR how an aggressive defense can impose its will on an opponent!

Predictions?

Stats for Manning? 28 for 250 / 3 TDs / 1 INT

Number of yards rushing? 120 yards combined, Hillman with 80

Which receiver gets the most yards? Emmanuel Sanders gets the most yards at 110, Demaryius Thomas with 7 catches, Daniels with 2 TDs

Number of sacks to Manning? 1 sack

Number of sacks on Derek Carr? 5 sacks

Broncos player with the most sacks? Von Miller (3)

Broncos player with the most tackles? Brandon Marshall (8)

Number of penalties on the Broncos offense/defense? 6

Number of field goals from Brandon McManus? 1

Final Score? Broncos 31 - Raiders 10

The Favorites

  • Favorite Broncos game EVER that you've watched? The first-ever Super Bowl victory for our Broncos!
  • Team you hate to lose to the most? Chargers at present
  • Favorite AFC West rival? Chiefs
  • Least-favorite AFC West rival? Usually the Raiders
  • Favorite Broncos player on the current roster? Von Miller. He could be an all-time great.
  • Favorite Broncos player of all time? I grew up worshiping John Elway, but Terrell Davis & Shannon Sharpe are close seconds.
  • Superstitions on game day? Change jerseys as needed!

How did you become a Broncos fan?

The first game I remember cheering for the Broncos was the 1987 Super Bowl ... and loved them since!