As the old saying goes, “when you get two bad teams together, you usually get a great game.”
That’s what it has come to for fans of the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders. And the last time these two teams met, it was a pretty exciting game. Of course, the Broncos lost 32-23, but facts and all that.
Now comes the rematch this Sunday in Denver. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Broncos as the -3-point favorite. The line has bounced around from 2.5 to 3.5 throughout the week. The total sits at 41. The under is 8-1 in Denver games this season, but the lone over was the first game against the Raiders. It’s unlikely that will happen again on Sunday.
To preview the game, we go behind enemy lines to get a feel for the Raiders, who has the worse head coach and what to expect in Sunday’s game with Matt Holder from Silver and Black Pride. For those interested, here are my answers to Matt’s questions.
MHR: How does Raider Nation feel about Josh McDaniels and the Raiders? How would a win over the Broncos change those feelings? Tied into all of this, who is the worse head coach, McDaniels or Hackett?
Matt: I’ll put it this way, if it were up to Raider Nation, McDaniels would have had to fly coach on the way back from Jacksonville. Just about everyone in the fanbase wants to see him gone but the problem is Mark Davis keeps saying that McDaniels isn’t going anywhere. Davis even went as far as to say McDaniels is doing a “fantastic job” at 2-7...
A win this Sunday would honestly feel like too little too late. I think the majority of the fanbase has accepted that the Raiders have no chance at the playoffs and are fully embracing the tank, so a win might actually piss more fans off!
As far as who’s worse, McDaniels or Hackett, ask me an easier question to answer like: “What’s the meaning of life?” Both have been really bad and could easily be one-and-dones, but I think I’d have to say Hackett is slightly worse. At least McDaniels hasn’t had to hire someone else to help him fulfill his job requirements as Hackett has.
MHR: What is the biggest reason for the Raiders sitting at 2-7? Can Las Vegas turn the season around?
Matt: It’s hard to pin-point one specific reason but probably the biggest is there seems to be a pretty clear divide in the locker room. Derek Carr and Davante Adams basically called out their teammate’s effort in their respective post-game press conferences last week, saying that guys aren’t fully bought-in. To make matters worse, McDaniels basically threw the two team captains under the bus by saying that he doesn’t have an issue with the team’s effort. It’s been a dysfunctional mess, and, no, there’s no way they turn this season around.
MHR: The last time these two teams played, Josh Jacobs went off. Is that the key for the Raiders on Sunday? And if Denver prioritizes stopping Jacobs, what will McDaniels do to counter that?
Matt: Jacobs is definitely the key to the Raiders offense as he’s arguably been the team MVP so far this season. Maxx Crosby is really the only guy who can give Jacobs a run for his money, so he really is the team’s best offensive player and Vegas has been running its offense through him ever since that first matchup.
With both Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow on IR, if Denver prioritizes and is successful at stopping the run, I’d expect McDaniels to pepper Davante Adams with targets. That being said, I thought Patrick Surtain II did a pretty good job against Adams in the first game so if the Broncos stop the run, it could be a long day for the Raiders offense.
MHR: What is your best bet for Sunday’s game at DraftKings Sportsbook? And what do you make of the Broncos being the favorite?
Matt: I’d take the under at 41.5. I know it’s a low number but both offenses are struggling and it’s going to be chilly in Denver this Sunday and Derek Carr has a bad track record of playing in the cold. As far as the Broncos being the favorite, I hesitate to say they’ve earned it but they do have one more win than the Raiders, and the Raiders have proven they can’t be trusted as favorites. If I’m remembering correctly, they’ve been favored in the last three games and lost all three.
MHR: What are your expectations/predictions for Sunday’s game?
Matt: My expectations are pretty low, and I’m really just hoping to see the young players start to play well to feel better about the future. Prediction wise, I’ll say the Broncos win 21-10. As you can probably tell, I’m not feeling too confident about the Silver and Black this season, lol.
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