Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) drops back for a pass during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders VS. Denver Broncos: Game Preview, Keys to Victory, & Game Prediction


The Raiders are coming, the Raiders are coming, the Raiders are coming…!  I hope this is the nightmare that plagued Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning as he had nightmares about his blind side last night.  Make no mistake, Lamarr Houston and Jason Hunter will be gunning for the 37-year-old who has a replacement left tackle.  I’m sure that Defensive Coordinator Jason Tarver will dial-up some blitz packages to make Manning miss his targets, get flustered, and possibly get the first of many turnovers this season.  Yes Raider Nation, even the great Manning can get flustered and throw a few picks here and there.

This 17th meeting between the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos is shaping up to be a very interesting game.  There is more on the line for the Raiders than the Broncos.  Let’s face it, nobody thinks that the Raiders will contend in the AFC West this year.  Apparently this is the year of the Denver Broncos or Kansas City Chiefs?  Still, both teams have to come through Oakland to get to their pedestals, and the Oakland Raiders can hurt them big time.  Beat the Broncos tonight, and the sky is the limit for the Raiders.  Lose tonight, and the pundits will all say that things are as they should be.

What’s on tap for Monday Night Football?  A lot of Terrelle Pryor and Darren McFadden.  Where will the Broncos focus their defense?  If they focus on stopping the run, Pryor will simply use his legs to get his receivers open and move the ball down the field.  If the Broncos focus on stopping Pryor, McFadden will be “running with the night,” per se.  That’s not even scratching the surface of the Raiders offense.

Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece (45) scores on an 11-yard touchdown run in the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Wide-outs Rod Streater, Denarius Moore, Brice Butler, Jacoby Ford, etc…, will be finding the open spot to allow Pryor to reach them.  Go for single coverage, man-on-man, and these quick receivers will burn the Broncos for a big gain.  Let’s not forget the improved tight ends.  Oh, and there is still Terrelle Pryor the pocket-passing quarterback or running back or read-option quarterback, etc…  Don’t worry Raider Nation, I’m not forgetting Marcel Reece, and the Broncos won’t be able to account for every weapon on the offense for the Raiders.

In order for the Raiders to have success offensively tonight, the team will need to get off to an early lead.  No cruise control tonight, Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson is going to have to pull out all of the stops.  He will need to use the weapons he has, and he cannot play conservatively.  Hit them hard, keep hitting them, and don’t let up until it’s over.

Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders tackle Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (32) during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders tackle Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (32) during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Defensively, the Raiders must attack Peyton Manning every chance they get.  Get Manning on the ground as many times as possible.  Make him think about his blind side, keep changing up the look of the defense, and don’t settle into any type of prevent mode.  Stuff the middle of the offensive line and make the running backs bounce outside.  This will allow the quick LB’s and DB’s of the Raiders to run with the RB’s and keep them from getting big yardage.

Contain the receivers.  Keep Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, and Eric Decker in front of the defense.  Never allow these receivers to get behind the defense, or there will be hell to pay.  Give them the short yardage plays, but jump some of the routes that are all too familiar in the Manning passing game.  This will get the ball back into the hands of Terrelle Pryor and Darren McFadden where the Raiders need it.

Jacoby Ford and Philip Adams will need to get down the field and give the offense impressive field position on kickoff’s and punt returns.  This will be a big key to winning this football game, field position.

The Raiders must remember to play their game and remain within themselves.  Don’t let the hype of this game get out of control, and don’t allow Manning to have any type of opening.  If the Raiders can remain calm and keep within themselves, Manning is in for a very painful and sore Tuesday morning.

Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski (11) kicks the extra point with a hold by punter Marquette King (7) against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski (11) kicks the extra point with a hold by punter Marquette King (7) against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders can win this game.  It’s not out of reach, and the Broncos haven’t faced very tough defenses yet.  I think this will be a very hard-fought game that will be won by one kicker, and only one kicker, Sebastian Janikowski.  Remember, the air is thinner in higher elevations, and the ball will travel farther.  Seabass can easily hit from anywhere in the 40’s and 50’s, and he’s even hit from the 60’s in Denver before.

I have two game predictions for you Raider Nation.  First, if the Broncos are able to stuff the run and contain Pryor, for the most part, then the game will be won by the Raiders 27-24 off the leg of Janikowski.  However, if McFadden rushes for over 100 yards, Pryor rushes for 50+ yards, and Pryor passes for 200+ yards, the Raiders will defeat the Broncos by a larger margin, 34-21.  Either way, I’m taking the Raiders for the win.  It’s time to unhitch the wagons and release the offensive weapons upon the Broncos defense.  Go Raiders!

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Tags: Darren McFadden Denver Broncos Greg Olson Jason Tarver Monday Night Football Oakland Raiders Peyton Manning Terrelle Pryor

  • Mark from Section 122

    Once again you trumped my enthusiasm, but I am truly excited. I can’t believe that I’m actually looking forward to the Raiders playing against one of the NFL’s highest rated teams. I’m more excited than I have been in far too long. I agree that the Raiders have to start fast. They have to find a way to put up big points in a hurry and demonstrate that they can score touchdowns. I too think that think the key is defense, specifically Lamarr Houston. Houston is in his contract year already playing at his highest level yet. He will be showcased in a game with the entire NFL and nation for an audience. He is playing against an untested, (essentially a rookie), 2nd string left tackle that has never started in that position in a NFL game. He has the chance to put the brakes on a guy considered one of the best QB’s that have ever played the game, and…..it is Denver, and it’s in their house, where he recovered a fumble last year when Demaryius Thomas fumbled. If that’s not enough fuel to get his motor running, I don’t know what is. Sims and Walker will have to have a big game plugging the middle and pressuring the pocket to help out or defensive ends, with his quick release, Manning can’t be allowed to step up into the pocket and stand comfortably. The other key is our secondary, led by Mr. Woodson keeping Manning’s favorite target on a crossing route, and his go to guy when he’s under pressure, Wes Welker, covered like a blanket. That guy has hands made of pigskin velcro and is as tough as they come. That is where we will miss the punishment Tyvon Branch served up. Hopefully Ross or Young will take over that role and plant a couple of Raider tattoos on Welker and company. The Raiders need three and outs. There is no better way to accomplish that then to put the old man on his can a few times and make him start hearing footsteps. Manning is so good at pre-snap reads and identifying mismatches, especially those created by blitzes, that the pressure has to come from the middle and blind side on every play. That way when Tarver blitzes, the defense won’t be able to pick it up. Even Manning panics when a 305 pound monster keeps coming at him trying to stuff a piece of plastic up his nose. Once Manning is sidelined, keep him there. The next key on offense is slow steady ball control and time of possession, a thing the Raiders have been doing well this year already. I love the long game as much as anyone else, but once the Raiders get a fast start on the board they need to start on a steady diet of game clock and keep Manning’s hopefully very bruised fanny on the bench for as much of the game as possible. I’m hoping that is where McFadden finds his mile high mojo again. I don’t know about the 34-21 scenario, I really think it will be much closer than that if the Raiders pull it off. But if we are going to entertain our own fantasies, my storybook version is 33-31 after Run DMC has run for 200 yards, Pryor thrown for 200 and ran another 100, with Sebas kicking a 64 yard field goal with 4 seconds left. (Drinking the black rum, Captain Morgan pose)

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  • DXW

    If the Raiders aren’t up by at least 28 points at the half, they don’t stand a chance. Denver is unstoppable after their halftime adjustments.

  • Carl Dumler

    Haha oh goodness this was a good read. First off everything you just said to try and do to Peyton is about the exact opposite that you want to do against him. You sit back all game Peyton is patient enough to just take all the underneath stuff and watch as the defense creeps up little by little until he hits them over the top. Throw in sitting back should open up the run game which the Broncos actually do have the ability to do as they showed last week. Also the whole blitzing thing against Peyton is what he hopes defenses do against him. Last year he was 70% completion with 15 touchdowns to only 4 interceptions on plays that teams tried to blitz him. With the Broncos now having Wes Welker and Julius Thomas for those quick routes it makes it that much harder to blitz. Teams have to get pressure with the front four and be able to have 7 back in coverage to stand a chance.
    Now you talk about the Raiders being able to run on the Broncos just remember the Broncos are #1 in the NFL against the run. They haven’t allowed a hundred yards total for the year. IF you think the Read-Option is going to have success remember the Broncos are the ones who started that trend in the NFL with Tebow so the coaches have studied more tape than any other team in the league on how to be successful with the Zone-Read and how to best stop it.
    Throw in when the Raiders decide to throw the Broncos have been one of the better Secondaries in the NFL at least in causing turnovers and that is without their top Corner Champ for the first two games against better passing quarterback and receiving cores than what the Raiders have at this time.
    Now I am not saying that the Raiders automatically lose this game as any given Sunday any team can beat another but you make it sound like the Raiders are some offensive and defensive Juggernaut in the NFL. They have yet to score over 20 points a game against two pretty weak defenses while the Broncos are averaging 45 points on offense. You say the Broncos haven’t played a good defense even though the Ravens in the last two games since the Broncos game have not allowed a touchdown. I can agree that the Giants are not a good defense this year but the Broncos did what they were supposed to do against a weak defense.
    Honestly for the Raiders they are going to have to try and force turnovers which obviously has not been easy against Peyton this year. They are the great equalizer in the NFL these days.

  • Tony Mullen

    17th meeting? This is the 107th time these teams have played. Since you didn’t even know that I guess i can’t rip apart the fantasy that is your analysis of the game too much. You obviously don’t know what you are talking about.

  • chase ruttig

    This is their 17th meeting on Monday Night Football, 107th all time

  • Tony Mullen

    Context is everything. He did nto say 17th meeting on MNF. As for the rest of it…