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Five keys to the Raiders breaking the Broncos

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Victory eluded the Oakland Raiders against the Los Angeles Rams in the season opener. Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos won a close game against the Seattle Seahawks. A win over the Broncos on the road would do wonders to quiet some of the noise surrounding the Raiders. Here are the keys to doing that.

  1. Derek Carr must re-master himself — When under pressure Carr becomes a shell of the quarterback he can be. He must quiet the footsteps and noise from ghosts in his mind and allow the play to develop.
  2. Pressure Case Keenum — The Broncos went out and got a journeyman at the quarterback position. The veteran is solid but when pressured he can play like an absolute dog. That means turnovers.
  3. Block number 58 — Von Miller had three sacks, two fumbles and one fumble recovery last week against the Seahawks. If there is one achilles heel to Miller’s game it’s run support. He doesn’t like to have fight off double teams in the run game and it nullifies his speed advantage.
  4. Establish the run — Broncos front seven is more of a speed and penetrating front, not necessarily ready to stand up to a pounding rushing attack. The Broncos are not a quick strike offense per se and if Keenum has to play from behind, he will put the ball up for grabs.
  5. Raiders must not beat themselves — before the half was over the Raiders had 8 penalties on offense and 10 total penalties for over 145 yards. This was during the stretch of the game they played well. Stats are empty numbers without points, and those penalties all hurt scoring chances.

Jared Cook narrowly missed being a key to this game coming off 180 yards last week. He will be a safety blanket for Carr, because the whole world saw a Seahawks blocking tight end go for over 100 yards last week against these same Broncos.

The Raiders and Broncos are old division rivals which means absolutely anything can happen.