How the Raiders can overcome a tough week to win in Denver
Focus and continue to play good defense
The Raiders defense has been under the control of Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley since OTAs. They will see very little shift in philosophy with the changes at head coach, but they need to remain focused.
The loss of Jon Gruden will no doubt impact the whole team and these players seemed to have bought into Gus Bradley, and it’s time for Bradley to lead his defense.
The Raiders defense continues to outperform expectations. Even with the injuries to Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette in the secondary, the Raiders defense played well all season including last week. Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has played well this season, but the Broncos have also lost multiple receivers to injury.
Bridgewater isn’t an imposing quarterback and will need the rest of his offense to play well to succeed. If the Raiders can play sticky coverage, continue to get pressure on the quarterback, and get some stops in the run game, the defense will be able to force turnovers and stop the Broncos’ offense.
The run defense is the question. The run defense has been a negative all season, but with nose tackle Johnathan Hankins likely to miss the game, the Raiders may need to load the box and hope their secondary can hold up. Bradley has proven to be able to adapt this season with blitzing, but the defense needs to force some turnovers, especially since they haven’t since Week 2.