Week Four of the NFL season brings us the first divisional matchup of the season. The heated rivalry with the Broncos resumes. Denver is always a tough matchup, and this year will be no different, though some changes might give an edge to the Raiders that they could very well exploit. This is a road game as well, and playing at Mile High is always a treat as Broncos fans are just as welcoming as the Black Hole is to the Donkeys.
One of the major changes to the Broncos this offseason was the departure of head coach Gary Kubiak, health concerns were the main reason for his early retirement. The Broncos tapped Vance Joseph to be the new head coach, he in-turn, picked Mike McCoy as the Offensive Coordinator. McCoy returns for his second stint as the coordinator. The Broncos also have an inside man as Bill Musgrave now works for the enemy as their quarterbacks coach. This will be a huge advantage to their already dominant defense when dealing with our explosive offense.
Subsequently, with someone that knows our offensive scheme so well in Musgrave, our own offensive coordinator will no-doubt add in some new wrinkles. Plus, along with the well-known fact that Carr will have more freedom at the line will hopefully be enough to confuse and expose the championship caliber defense that Denver fields. Last year, our offensive line dominated during the November meeting against the Broncos in which we ran to the left side at will. This might be the same tactic employed with our new sledgehammer, Mr. Beast-Mode.
Again, the Broncos have a capable quarterback at the helm in Siemian. He can throw the deep ball accurately. Yet, he tends to hold it a bit too long, letting Khalil Mack gets to him consistently. The Broncos upgraded their offensive line this offseason with their first pick in Garrett Bolles. The University of Utah prospect is a bit older than most coming off an LDS mission. However, he’s an upgrade. The other notable draft picks for the Broncos are Carlos Henderson and Jake Butt, who will add firepower t.
Also, C.J. Anderson returns this year in the mix at running back for Denver. While Devontae Booker struggled to earn decent yards behind their sub-par offensive line, Anderson will be a big upgrade at the position. Also, free-agent Jamaal Charles joins the backfield. If Charles can stay healthy, the Broncos will bring a three-headed monster. The Raiders offense seems more explosive. Provided Carr retains healthy, I expect the Raiders to win both matchups. Again, I wouldn’t be surprised if either of these games came down to the wire. This is the first game of the year the Raiders face a test.