1.) Make Jimmy G Uncomfortable
After nine years with the Raiders, Derek Carr is no longer under center for the black and silver and will be playing in the NFC for the Saints this coming season. Raiders head coach, Josh McDaniels, had other plans in mind for the quarterback position and brought in Jimmy Garoppolo on a multi-year deal. Garoppolo and McDaniels have worked together in New England prior to this stint in Las Vegas and Garoppolo knows how McDaniels wants his offense run.
Garoppolo is not a mobile QB by any means, nor is he able to produce any off script plays on offense. McDaniels and Garoppolo’s game plan will be to get the ball out quickly to not expose Garoppolo to the Broncos pass rush. It is paramount for the Broncos defense, if they are to slow down an offense with Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, and Jakobi Meyers, to get pressure on Garoppolo and make him complete contested throws.
2.) Negate Maxx Crosby
With Chandler Jones likely not playing in week one due to personal issues with Josh McDaniels, that leaves just Maxx Crosby on the edge to provide pressure on Russell Wilson. It’s time to start this season on the right foot regarding pass protection. The Broncos spent millions upon millions of dollars to fix this major issue from last season and with Jones likely out of the equation, that leaves only one player on the Raiders defensive line for Sean Payton to worry about and to game plan for, and that’s Maxx Crosby.
3.) Take Care of the Football
I know some of you are reading this key and thinking “duh,” but it’s week one against a divisional rival. I’m sticking to the basics for the keys to victory until we start learning more about how these teams are playing this year on both of the sides of the ball. When looking back, week one is normally the most polarizing week of football during the season. To limit that polarization, getting pressure on the opposing QB, keeping your own QB’s jersey clean, and stressing no turnovers is always a good place to start. Week one is about establishing healthy, winning habits going forward for the rest of the season.