Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders Week 9 Preview

The Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders will face off for the first time this season with first place in the AFC West at stake.

I never thought that I would be saying this, but the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders will be playing for first place in the AFC West on Sunday.

To make this matchup even better, the two teams will square off in prime time as this game is the Sunday Night Football game this weekend.

This will be the Broncos’ fourth prime time game of the season while the Raiders will be playing in their first prime time game.

It is more common to see these two teams face off in prime time on Monday Night games, but fans should be in for quite a treat.

The Raiders come in with one of the top offenses in the league while the Broncos will look to counter punch with one of the top defenses in the league. This has all the makings to be such an excellent showdown.

Let’s take a look at some key’s to the game going into this matchup between the two longtime rivals.

Key’s to the Game

  • Shut Down Derek Carr and the Raiders offense

The Denver Broncos must do what they can to stop Derek Carr, who threw for over 500 yards last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Granted the Bucs secondary is not exactly top in the league, it still shows what the Broncos “No Fly Zone” needs to work on. I do not see Carr putting up those same numbers, but a healthy secondary should be able to help the cause.

  • Eliminate the opening drive touchdown

The Broncos defense has been getting off to some slow starts this season, allowing an opening drive touchdown to the opposing team. Not to mention they have been outscored by quite a bit in the first quarter.

While the Broncos’ MO has been playing from behind at times, I honestly think the team can’t fall behind the Raiders early or it is going to be a long day. The last thing is to have the Black Hole fired up.

  • Get The Running Game Going

Devontae Booker will be starting his second game of his career. C.J. Anderson has been placed on IR and will not be available until near the end of the season, if the Broncos choose to bring him back.

Booker looked solid in the second half. The only thing that he needs to work on is his ball security. A fumble near the goal line with the Denver Broncos looking to go up 24-7 ended up turning it into a score for the Chargers last week.

With Juwan Thompson and Kapri Bibbs backing Booker up, hopefully all three of them can get something going.

  • Trevor Siemian- Make good decisions

I am not going to lie, I felt like a parent saying that. While Trevor Siemian has been limiting his mistakes, some of his decisions have been questionable. Last week, he had his first interception since Week 2. He should have had a lot more.

But what impresses me so far with Trevor Siemian is his ability to shake off poor decision making and rebound. He does not get rattled easily.

His leadership on the field is what has earned him team captain status. It’ll be interesting to see how he performs in the last half of the season. I am, for one, looking forward to it.

Injuries to keep an eye on

  • The “No Fly Zone” got some rest in practice on Wednesday. Aqib Talib is still dealing with a back issue and was held out of practice. The hope is that he can go on Sunday, but this week will determine that.

  • Broncos center Matt Paradis is still dealing with a hip injury. While he did play on Sunday, it should be interesting how his progression is this week.

  • Key Matchups

  • Amari Cooper/Michael Crabtree vs. No Fly Zone

  • Broncos Offensive Line vs. Khalil Mack

  • Raiders Offensive Line vs. Von Miller/Demarcus Ware

Prediction

This is going to be quite an interesting matchup. The Raiders have yet to face a challenge quite like the Broncos. Under the prime time lights, I can see them with some butterflies in their stomach.

The Denver Broncos have been used to being in situations like this. I believe the defense has a solid game and that will be the difference maker. Especially the No Fly Zone and the line backing corps.

With that said, the Denver Broncos will secure a close win.

Broncos 24 Raiders 20

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