The Raiders will play their first division rival game Monday Night as they head to Denver to take on the Broncos. This article will have all the storylines and links to have you well-informed and ready for the game.
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver CO
When: 5:40pm Pacific time
Radio: 102.1 KFOX in the Bay Area
Online: ESPN.com WatchESPN live broadcast
Before we get to this week, let's get caught up on last week.
The Raiders come off a week two win over the Jaguars. They were expected to beat the lowly Jaguars so even in the win, it was somewhat concerning their inability to finish drives for touchdowns. They had an early touchdown on a short field and then settled for field goals the rest of the day.
The big loss was Tyvon Branch who left the game in the second quarter and reports have him out for at least six weeks with a broken fibula. He will be replaced by Brandian Ross at strong safety with Usama Young getting some work there as well.
Related: Raiders week 2 Ballers & Busters
Check out the final injury report heading into the game
There was one additional injury that happened after that injury report was released. It was Sio Moore who suffered a possible concussion in a car accident Saturday morning before the team headed to Denver. He traveled with the team and is questionable for the game.
One of the more interesting names on the injury report for the Broncos is Shaun Phillips. He is their current sack leader and he is questionable with back issues. The Broncos have lost every one of their sack leaders from the past six years and may be without their current sack leader as well. That leaves their pass rush very suspect.
See my Five Good Questions with Bronco's blog, Mile High Report, to get some
homerism insight into the Broncos for this game.
The Broncos are heavily favored and in our staff picks, we all picked the Raiders to lose this game. Even Raidersdamus didn't have positive outlook for the Raiders in his Friday Foretelling. Then again, we all picked the Eagles to beat the Chiefs and were wrong about that, so anything can happen, right?
One of the more shocking revelations this week was that the Raiders lead the league in rushing and sacks through two games this season.
Raiders' pass rushers such as Lamarr Houston will be licking their chops to get at Peyton Manning in this game. They will have a much better shot at getting to him too because the Broncos lost All Pro left tackle, Ryan Clady, for the season. He will be replaced by Chris Clark who looked pretty bad in the preseason and was a tight end just two seasons ago.
Despite the Raiders solid defense this season and their league leading nine sacks heading into week three, they have yet to create a turnover this season and will need to do so if they hope to have any chance in this game.
This will be a tough game for the Raiders even with the difficulties the Broncos will have pass rushing and in pass protection. An elite quarterback like Peyton Manning can make up for a lot of faults.
The Raiders defense has stepped up big time this season and will need to take it to another level in this game. That means turnovers first and foremost. Sacks are great but Peyton will just get up and then burn them on the next play.
The Raiders' offense, despite leading the league in rushing, has yet to really get on track which is to say actually put points on the board. They haven't scored out of the teens yet (17, 19) and those numbers will very likely mean a blowout in Denver. Terrelle Pryor has been great on the ground but not so much through the air -- especially on long throws -- with just one passing touchdown on the season to two interceptions.
The Broncos defense may not bring a lot of pressure, but they're still among the best in the league. Must of that has to do with putting their opponents in desperation mode early in the game. That means if the Raiders fall behind early, the problem could just snowball.
I hope you are ready for another epic Monday Night showdown between the Raiders and Broncos.