Greetings, Raider fans! It is I, RaiderDamus, the savvy sage who says all the sooths. As you may know, RaiderDamus has had a lot of predictive success in the past but is 0-3 this year. This is likely due to the fact that the hardest thing in football to predict is a team with a new coach and a new quarterback. After hearing what the Great Beyond has to say about this week's game, I want nothing more than to be 0-4 going into the bye. So let's all go full reverse jinx together like last week and we're golden.
The Broncos have looked less dominant than advertised so far, but that's likely due to the fact that they have played in successive weeks the Falcons and Texans, two undefeated teams that appear to be the two best teams in football this season. Peyton Manning had a nightmare first half against Atlanta, throwing three interceptions. However, he still nearly brought Denver back in the game. Last week, Houston demolished Denver in every facet of the game and Matt Schaub threw four touchdowns. Still, Manning nearly brought Denver back in the game.
Be that as it may, Denver is 1-2 (same record as Oakland) and will be without MLB Joe Mays this week due to his vicious hit on Matt Schaub last week that cost Schaub part of his ear. Apparently, Mays comes from the Mike Tyson School of Linebackery.
If Oakland were to win this game, they could be tied for the lead in the division at the end of the day and drop Denver to 1-3 and last place. I would like this very much, not necessarily because I am a Raider fan but rather because I would like to see Mark Schlereth poop a brick on national television when he has to review the game on NFL Live or Sportscenter or whatever lame-ass show he is on. There is nothing funnier than Schlereth trying to defend an awful Broncos team. Glorious, sweet schadenfreude.
However, this is still Peyton Manning the Raiders are dealing with here, and they are coming off a game in which they allowed Ben Roethlisberger to pass for over 400 yards. The Raiders have a ridiculously injured secondary with players out of position and Manning will do everything in his power to exploit that. The good news is that the Raiders have (Reggie Bush notwithstanding) stopped the run with aplomb this year. If the front seven can stop the rush without safety help, the secondary will be freed up to defend Manning's passes like Atlanta did, with man coverage and free-roaming safeties looking to make the pick on every throw.
I feel the Raiders have a good shot at winning this game and I would not be shocked if they did. They haven't given up many sacks this year, and should be able to handle Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil at a reasonable level. Denver's defense isn't that great and the Raiders should be able to move the ball. I just remember what happened the last time the Raiders played Peyton Manning; it was a game they should have won by a lot and Manning single-handedly beat us. There is no reason Denver should win this game other than home field and Manning, but I think that combined with the Raiders' depth issues will be enough.
Denver wins, 26-24.