OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Oakland Raiders throws against the Kansas City Chiefs in the third quarter on October 23, 2011 at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Chiefs won 28-0. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Ahoy, Raider fans! It is I, RaiderDamus, the poobah of prediction, the sultan of surmising, the chief of conjecture, and the World's Freshest Man. This week is our second annual Broncos Week. Our heroes take on the Tim Tebow-led Broncos in a rematch of Oakland's Week 1 victory at Mile High. What does the future hold for our beloved crew? Do we have smooth sailing before us, or are we heading right into a squall? As usual, it shall be revealed to you as it was revealed to me.
This game hinges on two things, like most games do: the quarterbacks. Both of them are huge question marks. Does Carson Palmer have enough grasp of the offense to march the Raiders consistently down the field? Conversely, does Tim Tebow have enough tensile strength in his ribcage to withstand the repeated beatings he will suffer from Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly? Denver's offensive line has gone from bad to worse this year, giving up 3.14 sacks per game. You may recognize that number, it's pi as the Donkeys have given up 22 sacks in 7 games thus far. The Donkeys have given up seven sacks in each of Tim Tebow's two starts, and gave up five against the Raiders in Week 1, two of which were executed by Richard Seymour. It's going to be a long day for Tim Tebow.
The good news for Tebow is that he is at his best when things break down and the defense is undisciplined. The Raiders are known for having a lot of speed and little discipline, so Tebow may have some success, but he won't have enough. Tim Tebow will run, he will pass, and he will fall down with a large man on top of him. Such is the way of things for Raider opponents. Tebow has the misfortune to face the Lions and Raiders consecutively. He will be very sore come next week's game against Kansas City.
The Raiders, on the other hand, are not so much 'awful' as 'injured'. I doubt McFadden will go, but McFadden hasn't exactly been a world-beater without Marcel Reece in the lineup. Michael Bush will get to follow Mr. Reece through the line on Sunday and he will have plenty of success doing so. This will take the pressure off Palmer to win the game on his arm, something he was forced to attempt against the Chiefs and many times last year with the Bengals.
The Broncos really don't have a lot going for them. With the Raiders having two weeks to prepare for them, this game should be a win for the Raiders, but divisional games are never easy. The Broncos were terrible in Week 1 but still played the Raiders tough. This game won't be as close but the Broncos will play hard.
I want to say something here about Tim Tebow. By now you all know I am a fan of his, and it's fine if you're not. He is a pariah in these parts, a hated rival, but the general feeling on him in the media is somewhat negative at this point. I don't really get that. Kyle Orton only won a single game for Denver this year, and that one barely over the Bengals. Orton was awful in every conceivable way. Tebow has already matched Orton's win total, and did so in rather dramatic fashion. To take a beating against Detroit is something several teams have done this year, but fourteen sacks in two games is absolutely inexcusable for the offensive line. The Lions are one thing, with the best D-line in football, but Miami is a different story. I watched that game, Tebow had someone in his face every time he dropped back. Ryan Clady is the only decent lineman they have, they need to completely rebuild their line. Tebow was the greatest college football player of all time at Florida, Orton was pretty good in Chicago, but all of a sudden in Denver they are awful? Forgive me for not pinning the blame on either of them. If Tebow had a line even as good as the Raiders, he would have vastly more success. I hope the Donks don't bail on Tebow before addressing their line, because if they acquire someone else in the draft or through free agency or turn to Brady Quinn, he is gonna get killed too. However, as John Elway is a horse-faced buffoon, that is most likely exactly what will happen. /end rant
In any case, unless the Donkeys line suddenly turns into the strength it was during the Shanahan years, more of the same for them this week. Raiders win, 27-16.