The Denver Broncos (2-1) and Oakland Raiders (2-1) are both coming off a tough defeat in road games on the east coast. The losses put both teams in catch-up mode to keep pace with the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.
Brandon Perna from That’s Good Broncos and our staff here at Mile High Report predict a final score of 26-13 in favor of the Broncos. I’d take that.
Here’s how we predicted things individually.
Broncos 23, Raiders 16
I’m a bit worried about Trevor Siemian heading into this game. Even though he seemed to be playing very well early on, there has been one very large red flag on his play in each game. His ability to make plays when under pressure.
While under pressure, #Broncos' T. Siemian has completed 12 of 30 passes for 177 yards, 1 TD and 3 INTs (9 sacks).— Austin Gayle (@AustinGayle_PFF) September 29, 2017
Despite the Raiders very poor secondary, I think Siemian might struggle in key situations when pressure is more likely. The key to this game will fall onto the shoulders of C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles. I think they do it, but the game is going to be much closer than people want. - Tim Lynch
Broncos 35, Raiders 0
OK, that's probably ridiculous, but I don't care. I hate the Raiders and they deserve to lose bigly. Plus, I'm going to the game and they always win when I'm there (well, except for that one time Manning got benched...but that game ended up being super important for his great comeback and a Super Bowl, so I still consider my record spotless!). - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann
Broncos 23, Raiders 17
There is a clear cut path to victory for the Broncos. It involves controlling the clock. Controlling the clock means running the football, and sustaining drives. In the first two games of the season it looked like Mike McCoy had figured out the right game plan to accomplish that goal. Against the Bills, however, the Broncos tried to control the game through the air. I think it was a learning experience. The offense gets back to running the ball first.
On the defensive side of the ball Von Miller will get to Derek Carr and the No Fly Zone will lock down the Raiders receivers. The defensive line has been the big surprise. This should continue. It won't be a high scoring game, but the Broncos should get the job done at home in a bounce back win against a division rival. - Adam Malnati
Broncos 20, Raiders 17
Imagine on a Saturday morning you go to your Nextflix account, find the “Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross but instead of the typical scenery Ross is known for he’s doing an abstract. “What the?” You pause it, look at the description, and, yep, it’s “The Joy of Painting.” That’s what happened with McCoy in Orchard Park, N.Y. against the Bills. As opposed to doing what his offense is designed to do, he flipped the script and did something that makes no damn sense. For the Broncos to beat the hated Raiders they need to run the ball, control time of possession, keep drives alive with third-down conversions on third-and-short and keep their defense on the sideline. A key stat to watch on Sunday is carries by running backs. For Denver that number needs to be in the 30s. That opens the offense to become methodical and exciting. On the opposite side of the ball, continue to dominate the line of scrimmage and watch the No Fly Zone rebound. On the Mile High Report Radio Podcast, my bold prediction was Broncos would win 63-6 because of how much I hate the Raiders, though I know that’s a skosh unlikely. - Ian St. Clair
Broncos 27, Raiders 10
There's a lot of layers to this game that make it fun. This is the first big divisional clash between the power houses of the AFC West (sorry Chargers). Both teams lost a game that most on paper thought they would win, making the weight for this game even bigger.
The winner of this game gets to look at Week 3's loss as a speed bump in the rear view in their race for the top of the division with Kansas City. Meanwhile, the loser of this game will head into week 5 trying to figure out how to snap a two game losing streak.
For Denver, add in the fact that this was a rookie head coach's first loss. Everyone is interested in how this team responds.
For Oakland, how will they respond to just getting downright out played and out physicaled all game on national TV?
And that's just what's happening lately. We haven't even talked about the fact that Denver has more recently won a Superbowl than they have beaten Derek Carr, and the last time Oakland was in Denver they were still trying to lock up a playoff bye and Denver was done for the year, yet the Raiders looked listless and horrific on their way to getting pummeled by a lame duck Head Coach about to retire.
Have I mentioned yet that this is a big game?
Denver's secondary matches up with the Raiders weapons better than anyone in the National Football league and the emergent run defense has already shut down 3 running backs who aren't 5 years past their prime.
Pair that with Oakland's bottom 5 overall defense and Jack Del Rio is going to have to show a pretty kick-ass animal hunting video to get his guys hyped enough to avoid this buzz saw.
Hide your chains and hold on to your butts, it's going to be a good one. - Jeff Essary