The Denver Broncos are taking on the Oakland Raiders in Week 1 on Monday Night Football. The Raiders finally ended their soap opera with Antonio Brown by releasing him on Saturday and by Saturday afternoon Brown was on the New England Patriots roster. Funny how that all worked out for a team known for cheating and other scummy bullcrap.
For Broncos fans this week, we’re feeling a lot more confident that they’ll curb stomp the Raiders on Monday. Collectively, we have the Broncos winning 26-13 over the Raiders, but I personally feel like Brown’s departure puts an advantage on the Raiders in this game as they will want to prove to Brown they didn’t need his clown ass anyway.
More on my take later. Let’s get on with our staff’s individual predictions for this game.
Broncos 17, Raiders 16
I am probably one of the few people who thinks Brown’s departure helps the Raiders in Week 1. They will come out with playoff intensity and a desire to prove Brown they don’t need him. Long-term, Brown’s departure will hurt the Raiders, since he is extremely talented - but not here in Week 1.
I’ll stick with a win, but I am very nervous about this game now. Hopefully all of that worry will be gone by halftime on Monday... - Tim Lynch
Broncos 31, Raiders 14
The Broncos defense is going to wreck the Raiders on Monday Night Football. As we saw in the opening game of the season between the Bears and the Packers, offenses that haven’t prepared in the preseason are going to struggle. The Broncos probably fall into that category, but I have a lot more faith in Denver’s defense. They will put the offense in a position to score. I also think they will produce a score of their own. Couple that with the craziness that surrounds Oakland right now, and the Broncos should come away with a win. As I predicted on the MHR Radio Podcast, 31-14 Broncos. - Adam Malnati
Broncos 17, Raiders 9
I’m with Adam here. Defenses have an early season advantage while offenses work their kinks out and offensive lines gel. And that’s when the opposing offensive line isn’t missing a couple of starters and the opponent’s top offensive weapon hasn’t gone off the rails and
missed the large majority of the prep work lost all of his guarantees and been released just 58 hours before kickoff. Considering the chaos this has to have caused in the Raiders’ locker room, I’d be a bit surprised if the Raiders’ offense isn’t terrible on Monday night.
One thing I want to see is if Fangio’s defense can shut down the quick, short passing game the Raiders have successfully used in past years to negate Von Miller’s ability to get to Carr. They’ll have to lean on that heavily with AB gone, so look for a lot of passes to TE Darren Waller and RB Josh Jacobs. Defending those will be a key to victory for the Broncos.
It won’t be a beautiful game by any means, and may drag at times, but I fully believe this Broncos team has the necessary coaching and enough talent to start the Raiders’ final season in Oakland off with an embarrassing home loss to a division rival. - Taylor Kothe
Broncos 34, Raiders 17
Joe Flacco and Rich Scangarello want to send a message to the Raiders, AFC West and NFL that the Broncos offense can beat you. Look for Flacco and his receivers to test the Raiders defense to get the chunk plays that we’ve heard so much about in the longest preseason ever. But also look for Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman to bring balance to the offense with the running game in order to keep Oakland’s defense honest. We know what the Broncos defense is capable of, the offense wants to send a message that it can beat you too. - Ian St. Clair
Broncos 24, Raiders 10
The plan will start by shutting down Jacobs and the Raider’s run game in order for Fangio to go after Kolton Miller and Jordan Devey on passing downs. Without Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams becomes the Raiders most dangerous receiver. He’s a vertical threat who Gruden will count on to open things up for J.J. Nelson and Hunter Renfrow underneath. The toughest part may be keeping Darren Waller in check as he’s a 6’6 receiver playing tight end.
On offense, Scangarello’s going to make liberal use of Twins and misdirection in order to get the backs into the second level where Oakland has perhaps the worst linebacker corps in the league. When they go to shotgun look for Flacco to motion receivers across the formation and make use of 3 X 1 personnel.
I think the offense does enough for the D to carry the day, and Denver wins 24-10. - Joe Rowles