Good morning Bronco fans! It is week 4 in the NFL as we are back at home against our division rivals, the Oakland Raiders. Both teams come into this contest with a record of 2-1 after losing in week 3. Both teams will look to rebound and continue to chase the division leading, 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs.
Oakland is coming off of a 27-10 loss to the Redskins and Denver is coming off of a 26-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Last week against the Redskins, the Oakland Raiders couldn’t muster up any offensive momentum as the Redskins dominated them throughout the whole game. QB Derek Carr was just 19 of 31 passing with 118 yards. Oakland will also be without the services of WR Michael Crabtree who is inactive today due to an injury. RB Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch will look to rebound after a poor start last week, in which he had just 6 carries for 18 yards.
Denver will look to avoid making costly mistakes on offense, as Trevor Siemian knows he must protect the “billion dollar” football. Turnovers have been a huge momentum killer for the Broncos this season as Siemian has now thrown 4 interceptions on the season. Denver certainly has the offensive weapons to give opposing teams nightmares with arguably one of the best WR duos in the league. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have combined for 33 receptions, 399 yards and 2 touchdowns, while WR Bennie Fowler is also making his presence known with 8 catches for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns of his own.
The Denver defense is ranked #1 in the NFL against the rush, allowing just under 60 yards per game. Their defense is also ranked 4th overall, allowing 263 yards per game. Washington showed the world how to manhandle and beat the Raiders, so the Broncos will just need to follow suit.
5 Keys to Victory
- Get pressure on Derek Carr. Last week, Carr was sacked 4 times and pressured all day long. With the Denver secondary locking down receivers and the ferocious pass rush of the Broncos, getting into Carr’s head early will be a huge factor in this game.
- Continue to run the football. With RBs C.J. Anderson and Jamal Charles, the Broncos have a formidable two-headed rushing attack. Anderson is averaging 4.4 yards per carry as Charles is averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Establish the run early and continue to pound the ball. Rush for over 100 yards, and I can see a Denver victory.
- Keep Siemian upright. Oakland boasts one of the best pass rushers in the NFL with Khalil Mack. Mack has the ability to single handily disrupt the flow of a game and make huge, game changing plays. Protect the QB.
- Again, win the turnover battle. Siemian must protect the football. This includes interceptions and strip sacks. Always know where Khalil Mack is and make smart throws, not throws across your body that goes to the other team.
- Do not allow Marshawn Lynch to go into beast mode. Denver is going to have to attack the ball carrier, hold on tight and gang tackle. Lynch will run through arm tackles and make defenses pay dearly.
Final Score Prediction
Oakland Raiders – 13
Denver Broncos – 20
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