The Raiders face another familiar offensive coordinator this week, but this one does not have ties to the Silver and Black. Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy will lead the eleventh ranked offense versus the Raiders this week. The Raiders should be familiar with McCoy’s play calling and scheme since it is his second stint in Denver. McCoy formerly coached the Chargers.
McCoy brings 17 years of coaching experience, including four seasons as the Chargers head coach from 2013-16. He worked with the Carolina Panthers from 2000-08, which included stints as the quarterbacks coach and receivers coach.
From 2009-13, McCoy was the offensive coordinator for the Broncos. His resume includes offensive Pro bowlers Jake Delhomme, Ryan Clady, Zane Beadles, Brandon Lloyd, Peyton Manning Brandon Marshall, Willis McGahee, Philip Rivers and Demaryius Thomas.
The Broncos offensive coordinator deserves some credit for the resurgence Denver is having on offense this year. They currently have the No. 3 rushing attack and No. 20 passing attack.
McCoy’s roots tell us that he will lean heavily on the running game. In the past, the Broncos made the zone run blocking scheme infamous by allowing runners to make one cut and go. However, McCoy is more of a power running game. He used this scheme with San Diego, Carolina and Denver too. In the modern NFL, offenses usually use both. Considering Denver’s offensive line is both athletic and big they should be able to execute both schemes. Oakland has seen a mix of zone and power this year and they’re No. 13 versus the run. The Broncos would be smart to use both running styles especially since they will run the ball a ton to wear down the Raiders defense.
Last week, Washington exposed the Raiders using the running back as a receiver. Denver would be smart to use Jamaal Charles use this way especially since Charles has his own history of torching the Raiders.
Denver should also look to move the quarterback a lot since Trevor Siemian is mobile and Broncos offensive line is barely solid. Siemian has been up and down this year but his offensive line is ranked No. 20 by Football Outsider’s adjusted sack rate. Expect some quick passes and deep bombs to take advantage of a Raiders secondary that will take some risks. Play action should also be utilized against a inexperienced defensive line that has a tendency to over pursue. With Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders at receiver Denver can score some home run shots if Siemian has enough time.
Denver’s biggest weakness is on the offensive line, specifically at right tackle. Menelik Watson, as we know, is a very inconsistent starting right tackle. The Broncos should keep a tight end or running back to help Watson in pass pro, especially if Khalil Mack is lined up opposite him. McCoy would also be smart to roll out the quarterback left and run left since that side is less likely to hold than edge the opposite that Mack usually plays on.
Ultimately, this is the kind of game where the Raiders will call on their defensive line. The young group needs to find ways to get pressure from the interior which will keep Siemian from scrambling. That should also make it easier for Mack and Bruce Irvin to finish the quarterback from the outside. Not to mention, this is a rivalry game where both teams will test each other’s will with the running game. Oakland needs their defensive tackles to continue playing solid versus the run. The higher elevation in Denver means more fatigue for Oakland’s big men. Therefore, we should see a mix of defensive tackles. Hopefully, a couple of them will stick.
Additionally, Denver is weak at QB. Siemian is inconsistent, but he’s mostly been average. He is unlikely to lead the Broncos to a comeback from a big deficit due to his conservative play calling.
He’s a much better quarterback when the team is maintaining a lead. The same can be said for a Raiders defense that plays better with a lead than when they’re trailing. Oakland is better protecting a lead cause they can take chances in their play calling and they’re more rested.
Either way, this group will have to find ways to out execute McCoy and a Denver offense that knows the Silver and Black well.