The Oakland Raiders look to turn the page when they play the Denver Broncos at Mile High on Sunday. Here are five Raiders to watch in this rivalry game.
The Oakland Raiders can’t wait for their big rivalry game on Sunday afternoon. After losing a bad game to the Washington Redskins on national television Sunday night 27-10, the Raiders will play their second straight road game against the Denver Broncos. Kickoff from Mile High Stadium will be at 1:25 p.m. PT on October 1.
Last year, the Raiders and Broncos split their season series, with the home team winning both games. Oakland is coming off a year where the Silver and Black went 12-4 and made the AFC playoffs for the first time in 14 years. Denver failed to reach the AFC playoffs after winning Super Bowl 50 at the end of the 2015 NFL season over the Carolina Panthers.
It wasn’t just the Raiders that lost in Week 3 in the AFC West. Denver dropped a rough game on the road against the surprisingly decent Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park. The winner of this game will be able to keep pace with the undefeated division-leading Kansas City Chiefs. However, the loser of this game between Oakland and Denver will drop to 2-2 and be in a tough stop in the AFC West through the first quarter of the season.
For the Raiders to improve to 3-1, they’ll need a big game from a few players. Here are five Raiders to keep an eye on in Sunday’s big division rivalry game with the Broncos over in Mile High.
The lone touchdown the Raiders scored in Week 3 came on a sweet pass from quarterback Derek Carr to tight end Jared Cook. Albeit, the Raiders had a short field on that possession due to a Jamison Crowder muffed punt. However, that touchdown strike from Carr to Cook could be a sign of good things to come.
Denver may have the No Fly Zone defense, but the defense is vulnerable in the middle of the field. One area that the Raiders could have a mismatch is with Cook as a receiver. He may have Chris Harris Jr. on him at times, but Harris will likely want to keep contain on either Amari Cooper or Michael Crabtree as well.
Cook has the speed and the pass-catching ability to be a factor for the Raiders in the red zone and on third down. Not to say that a few catches by him will open up the field for the rest of the Silver and Black, but they will keep the chains moving for sure.
For Oakland to win on the road in a tough environment like Mile High, the Raiders cannot be as abysmal on third down as they were against the Redskins. Cook can help in that regard. We might see a game where he has five catches for 65 yards and a wonderfully clutch red zone touchdown.