You’d think two days after the Raiders had a 500-yard passer and two 100-yard receivers the Broncos would respect the Raiders passing game. Nope.
Or having the league’s fourth ranked passing offense, a quarterback with the fifth most passing yards, a wide receiver with the third most receiving yards, and the only team in the league with two wide receivers in the top 12 in receiving yards would have them at least giving credit where it’s due.
The Broncos defenders have already begun talking trash about what is the most highly functioning aspect of this Raiders team which is tied with them for the division lead.
“Once they pass against us, I don’t think they have a chance, honestly,” safety Darian Stewart told Sirius XM NFL radio.
Ok, so maybe Stewart went rogue.
“I feel like they have two good receivers. I don't feel they have two elite receivers,” safety TJ Ward said of Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper.
"I feel like they have two good receivers. I don't feel they have two elite receivers." TJ Ward on Crabtree and Cooper.— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) November 2, 2016
Ward is a self-admitted Raider hater. He grew up a 49ers fan in the Bay Area and said it was bred into him to hate the Raiders. So, take that for what it’s worth.
All this just seems unwise. The Broncos do have the league’s number one pass defense, but why give the Raiders bulletin board material? I guess the simple answer is that they don’t care. They are confident/arrogant enough to think it doesn’t really matter. That they can say whatever they like and dare the Raiders to do something about it.
Two teams have done something about it this season – the Falcons and Chargers.
Matt Ryan threw for 267 yards and a touchdown against them in a 23-16 win. Philip Rivers threw for 267 yards (oddly enough) and 2 touchdowns against them last week, but lost due to throwing 3 interceptions. Rivers and the Chargers had beaten the Broncos two weeks earlier.
Ryan and the Falcons are the league’s number one passing offense. Rivers and the Chargers are the league’s 7th ranked passing offense. The Raiders are right in between them in 4th.
One of the picks against Rivers last week came courtesy of Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby — his first of the season — who returned it for a touchdown which earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Which is interesting considering Derek Carr’s 513-yard, 4 TD game earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Both sides should be respecting what the other side is capable of doing. You can bet Derek Carr has a healthy respect for their secondary, but clearly the feeling is not mutual.