Greetings, Raider Nation! It is I, RaiderDamus, the sultan of soothsaying, the pundit of prophecy, King of the Britons, defeater of the Saxons, and sovereign of all England.
After a week in which I predicted a final score of 26-9, which preceded a game that ended 19-9, I come to you today with another completely and totally accurate message concerning the Monday Night Football tilt between our beloved Raiders and the skanky, slimy, smarmy, smug Denver Broncos, led by horse-faced GM John Smellway and actor/quarterback Peyton Manning, who does not have a fore-head, he has an eight-head. I should like to point out right here that Peyton Manning never beat Florida and lost the Heisman trophy to our own Charles Woodson, and John Elway, while playing for Stanford, never went to a bowl game because THE BAND IS OUT ON THE FIELD
Unfortunately, that may be about the only solace we take from this particular game. Manning is simply on another planet right now as far as quarterback ability. I haven't seen anyone with that quick a release and that level of accuracy and mastery of an offense since... well, ever. The closest I can think of is Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills Death Machine in 1993.
It's no fluke that Manning dropped seven passing TDs on the defending champ Ravens on opening week. Manning is a boss and that's all there is to it.
It doesn't matter how many rushers you bring. Manning is in your base, killing your dudes, and he may as well be in your defensive planning meeting. He is not only one of the most accurate passers in football, he is also the smartest and the one most adept at reading defenses. If you drop guys deep, he will beat you underneath. If you cover the flats, he will beat you in the seam. If you try to jam his receivers, he will hand off behind a pretty good offensive line. If you blitz, he knows who the blitzer was responsible for and he will carve you up.
The only chance teams have is to be able to cover his receivers straight up and rush with five or six guys. There is currently one team in football I trust would be able to do this- the Seahawks. While the Raiders secondary has improved, it is not at the level yet where they can blanket Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, AND Wes Welker on the same play for more than five seconds at a time. Even so, that leaves one of the Broncos fifty-seven quality tight ends on a linebacker and Antonio Gates' entire career shows us what a dreadful idea that can be.
The only good thing about having Wes Welker on the Broncos is that he isn't on the Patriots anymore, and seeing Tom Brady try not to cry while he chastises his inept receivers warms the cockles of my heart and makes life worth living.
The Raiders will attempt to play a running-oriented, ball-control game. That will work about as well as the University of Tennessee's game plan worked against the University of Oregon last week. For those of you who were watching Juan de la Futbol take on Alabama last week, the Ducks-Volunteers game ended 59-14 in favor of the Ducks. Running the ball doesn't work if you can't get first downs and you face a buzzsaw offense whom you cannot stop. Tennessee did not have the personnel nor the talent required to run the game plan they should have, which was to open it up and air it out in an effort to keep the score close.
The Raiders will fall behind early and they do not have a prolific passing attack that would help them catch up, nor do they have a defense dominant enough to keep the game from getting completely out of hand. We know the Raiders are an improved team, but this isn't the week they will get to show how good they actually are.
It's only a flesh wound.
Broncos win, 47-19.