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Raiders vs Broncos preview: Time for Denver to ‘Just win, baby!’

The Raiders are a mess (you hate to see it) and the Broncos need a win on Sunday to snap this losing streak.

Mike Shanahan is about to his place in Denver Broncos history.

It’s no coincidence that his Ring of Fame ceremony is when the Broncos play the Loss Vegas Raiders. Now Denver needs to honor the legendary head coach with a win over the team he more than likely still hates.

Any time these two rivals get together, especially for the more seasoned fans, the hatred oozes out. But this Sunday, the Broncos need a win to snap this two-game losing streak. The Raiders are also on a two-game losing streak and they no longer have a head coach. Needless to say, Denver needs a win in a major way.

Offensive Rankings

Loss Vegas: Thirteenth in overall offense (377.0 yards per game), 29th in rushing (78.6), fourth in passing (298.4), tied for 19th in scoring offense (22.6 points per game).

Denver: Eighteenth in overall offense (357.8 yards per game), 12th in rushing (118.6), 22nd in passing (239.2), 24th in scoring offense (20.4 points per game).

Defensive Rankings

Loss Vegas: Tenth in overall defense (339.8 yards per game), 25th in rushing defense (134.4), fourth in passing defense (205.4), 17th in scoring defense (24.0 points per game).

Denver: Third in overall defense (292.4 yards per game), sixth in rushing defense (85.4), sixth in passing defense (207.0), second in scoring defense (15.2 points per game).

Here are the MHR staff’s keys to Sunday’s game.

Just win, baby!

I hate the Raiders with a seething passion. I’m a born-and-raised Raider Hater. So to steal a line for the now-deceased Raiders owner, the Broncos just need to win. However it needs to happen, Denver needs to send the black-and-silver back to Sin City with a loss. And there’s no better way to honor Shanahan than with a win over the Raiders. — Ian St. Clair

Coach better

For two weeks running, the Broncos have been outplayed and outmatched by teams that looked better prepared than they are. Vic Fangio and his staff need to get their heads out of the sand and coach with some modicum of fire this week. There are no excuses left ... the Broncos have a decent quarterback and plenty of sound depth on both sides of the ball. The coaches have got to start leading better, innovating more, and put their players in a position to succeed. — sadaraine

Red zone offense

Under Teddy Bridgewater, the Broncos offense has shown consistency moving the ball between the 20s despite all of the injuries we’ve seen on offense through five games. The issue in every single game — even those they won — has been finding ways to punch the ball in for touchdowns. It seems every time they get close, the playcalling gets too cute and results in negative plays. I’d like to see Pat Shumur get his head out of his rear and stick with what is working instead of trying to outsmart everyone. He’s only outsmarting himself, in my opinion. — Tim Lynch

Run the damn ball

For the second week in a row, Shurmur abandoned the running game while his running backs were averaging several yards per carry. Why? I don’t know, but it feels like this is not a winning strategy. A solid running attack is what the offense needs to help a passing game that is missing some of its best weapons. Run the ball! — Adam Malnati

Discipline on defense

What we saw against the Pittsburgh Steelers was a defense capable of being top five but playing like my son’s high school team — a bunch of athletes running around the field thinking Najee Harris will tackle himself and Big Ben can’t throw (*also a footnote to Fangio — don’t put Von in coverage. Yes, he’s an amazing athlete, but he’s built to go to the backfield, not cover speedy wide receivers over the middle). On offense, the key is whacking Shurmur upside the head with the playbook open to page “best ways to use a running back who is awesome at breaking tackles” and a page tab on “how to use 2-TE sets so your blocking tight end can block and your genuine mismatch tight end can catch.” — Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

What are your keys to Sunday’s game?