Regardless of the playoff implications, there’s plenty at stake in Week 16.
The Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders will both enter this contest at .500 and in need of two wins over their last three games to have their first winning record in five seasons. A victory would also mean Fangio avoids four straight losses to the hated division rival. With Teddy Bridgewater in the league’s concussion protocol, the Broncos will need to hope Drew Lock looks better than the sub-50% completion, four pick performance he had the last time he played in Vegas.
In order to dig into the upcoming matchup I reached out to Silver and Black Pride’s Matt Holder for this week’s episode of Cover 2 Broncos. What follows is a brief rundown of our conversation.
Raiders’ offense vs Broncos’ defense
- Last time around it seemed like Vic Fangio wasn’t ready for Greg Olsen until the second quarter - Raiders averaged 8.2 yards per play in the first quarter as Carr led three scoring drives, and they also averaged 4.2 yards per carry.
- The Broncos philosophical approach to the end of the first last week cost them 3 points, and it deserves extra scrutiny this week because it blew up in their face against Vegas too. The Raiders got the ball back with a minute on the clock in the first half. They only needed 31 seconds to score a touchdown. Carr found Darren Waller for 33 yards to set Vegas up at the Broncos 36. On 1st and 10, the Raiders came out in a 3X1 bunch set to the right and the isolated receiver split out in the slot to the left. The lone receiver ran a post while Kenyan Drake ran an out and up from the backfield, which left him alone on Alexander Johnson. Easy pitch and catch.
- Carr’s been money vs. Fangio for years now. Why?
- In five games against the Broncos since 2019, Carr’s completed 67.28% of his passes for 1516 yards, five TDs, and two interceptions. He’s taken seven sacks.
- Believe it or not, the Broncos are a top ten team vs. tight ends by DVOA on the year. They do tend to struggle against Waller, however. Last time around he caught all 5 of his 5 targets for 59 yards and that was a “good” game for Denver.
- Since the Broncos game, it looks like the Raiders offense has gone through a precipitous decline. How much of it’s losing Gruden and Henry Ruggs? Is there more to it?
Raiders have averaged 20.66 points per game since Gruden resigned.
Less 12 and 21 personnel, more 11.
- How should the Broncos attack Carr?
- What should the Broncos expect on the ground?
Raiders run the ball 27% of the time out of 11, but average 4.9 YPC when they do
- They run 12 on 15% - 51% run rate (4.1 YPC)
- They run 21 on 6% - 55% run rate (3.8 YPC)
- 22 is the only other grouping to see 10+ plays.
- 15th by passing
- 27nd rushing
- 26th ranked past schedule
- 19nd in variance (average-ish leaning inconsistent)
- 19th overall
- Bad in power situations
- Stuffed on 15% of runs
- 28th in second level
- 24th in open field
Adjusted Line Yard ranks by direction
- 31st off left end (8% of carries)
- 23rd off left tackle (17% of carries)
- 14th mid/guard (63% of carries)
- 6th off right tackle (10% of carries)
- 6th off right end (3% of carries)
Broncos’ offense vs Raiders’ defense
- How does Drew Lock starting change the gameplan for both clubs?
- This won’t be the same offense Gus Bradley saw the first time around. Bridgewater looks unlikely to play and Jerry Jeudy is back in the lineup.
- Bradley’s received a lot of criticism for his gameplans vs. the Chiefs because Vegas rarely deviated from their single high shells. Is this simply a coach being stubborn or is it due to personnel limitations? (Abram in deep zones)
- Broncos run game probably comes down to the plan of attack. Raiders have issues defending between the guards, but they’re quite good outside that and they do a good job in short yardage.
- Despite a healthy Garett Bolles and Bobby Massie, the Broncos had no answer for Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue last time around.
- How should Pat Shurmur attack this Raiders defense?
- The Broncos play a little less 90% of their snaps out of 11 or 12 personnel. The next most used grouping is 13, but they dabble in 21, and 22 and could use it in this game.
- Broncos have a ton of issues with allowing stuffs, but they’re good in power situations and a top 5 rushing team at the second level. If they can get Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon past the LOS they could be running for awhile.
Raiders defense by DVOA - 25th
- 25th pass
- 13th run
- 2nd in variance (consistent)
- 11th past schedule
- 15th overall
- 2nd in power success
- Stuffed on 16% of runs
- 18th defending second level
- 25th defending open field
Adjusted Line Yard ranks by direction
- 6th off left end (9.6%)
- 19th off left tackle (12.7%)
- 27th mid/guard (57% of all opposing carries)
- 6nd right tackle (13%)
- 9th right end (6.8%)
- 17th vs WR1s
- 25th vs WR2s
- 23rd vs WR3+
- 28th vs TEs
- 25th vs RBs
- 31st vs passes to left
- 12th vs passes to middle
- 28th vs passes to right
- 11th vs deep passes
- 29th vs short passes
- At least on paper this looks like a weak vs. weak matchup that could go either way.
- Raiders are pretty weak across the board on ST. Is that because Bisaccia is stretched too thin?
- Broncos special teams is a mess: 14 games into 2021 and the Broncos’ special teams are among the worst in football. What’s even more frustrating is that they’ve had huge blunders on every unit. Diontae Spencer’s muff in Kansas City cost the Broncos a touchdown and he’s among the least effective kickoff return men in the NFL. They’ve allowed a field goal block, they’ve given up a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. They’ve been gashed by long punt returns, and they’ve allowed two blocks to get blocked in some fashion. had three punts come painfully close to getting blocked, Once against the Jets, and once against the Cowboys. They’re among the more penalized special teams in the league and it cost them a touchdown in the loss to the Steelers.
- What are the Raiders biggest needs?
- $43,957,830 in ‘22 cap space, and can create almost $20 M more if they cut Carr.
- Will the Raiders cut Carr?
- Thoughts on the 2022 QB crop?
- What position groups look strong in this class?
- What position groups look weak?
With Drew Lock, do the Broncos beat the Raiders on Sunday?
This poll is closed