Oakland travels to Denver to square off in a divisional battle with the Broncos on a short week of preparation. New head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr imploded in the second half of their Monday Night Football affair in Week #1. Denver held serve at home in their season opener with a 27-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks. AFC West Preview and Free Pick: Broncos vs Raiders.
Teams: (285) Oakland Raiders at (286) Denver Broncos
Time and Date: 4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday, September 16, 2018
Venue: Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
Line: Denver -6, 45.5
TV Broadcast: CBS Sports
Fortunately for Gruden’s staff and the Raiders’ faithful the AFC West is a pedestrian division in which any of the four franchises have a chance to win this season. Oakland couldn’t maintain a high level of energy in their season opener at home resulting in a second half meltdown and 33-13 loss to the LA Rams.
The Raiders front office resigned Martavis Bryant on Wednesday after releasing him nine days earlier. While top receivers Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson combined for only 32 yards on four receptions last week and veteran tight end Jared Cook carrying the majority of the receiving load Oakland thought it wise to add depth to the receiving corps.
Derek Carr was anything but sharp in the MNF loss tossing three interceptions against zero touchdowns. Carr and the Oakland offense will have an opportunity to solve yet another solid defensive unit this Sunday afternoon. Von Miller wreaked havoc in the Denver Broncos’ season-opening victory and the plan is to rinse and repeat that performance today against AFC West-rival Oakland.
Miller recorded three sacks and forced two fumbles in the team’s Week #1 victory over Seattle. And on offense the veteran presence of quarterback Case Keenum was significantly more productive than last year’s quarterback carrousel at Mile High.
Keenum debuted successfully. The journeyman signal-caller connected on 25-of-39 passes for 329 yards with three touchdowns. Keenun did toss three interceptions but against a much more savvy defense, the Seahawks, than he faces today in the Raiders.
Denver offers their fan base a running back by committee that includes the talents of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. The pair combined for over 140 yards on the ground and a receiving touchdown. Talented wide outs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders make the Broncos contenders in the West after a two year hiatus from competitive play.
The Broncos are better on both sides of the ball than the current Gruden roster. It is going to be an inconsistent season from all of the AFC West squads. And Gruden and the Raiders begin the 2018 campaign with a perfect 0-2 mark after falling to the Broncos at Mile High.
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AFC West Preview and Free Pick: Broncos vs Raiders