When the Raiders roll into Denver, they look to erase the thought of the 33-13 Monday night loss. With that in mind, they will encounter a Bronco offense that hung 27 on the Seahawks. While not the traditional team of years past, Seattle still enjoys a few quality pieces. Yet, Denver carved them up on the way to victory. If the Raiders quickly erase the Monday fiasco, Denver could provide an intriguing matchup for Paul Guenther’s defense.
While Jared Goff sought to punish the Raiders vertically, Case Keenum does not enjoy that luxury. Blessed with an average arm, Keenum cannot break the Raiders safeties. Unless Reggie Nelson starts again, the Raiders will not face the same issues. However, for what Keenum lacks in arm strength, he makes up for with accuracy. On intermediate throws, Keenum will feast on many defenses. In the Denver offense, Keenum uses a quicker release to slow any pass rush and allows his wideouts time.
Cure: Basically, the Raiders need to pressure Keenum heavily. Despite his diminutive size, Keenum is not a scrambler. As a result, waves of pressure will force him to move in every direction.
If you scan the Broncos’ depth chart, you will see an interesting array of backs. First, rookie Royce Freeman will evolve into the workhorse. Although, he tallied 1000 touches at Oregon, Freeman brings the ability to get to the second level and finish with flourish. That is to say, he will lower the shoulder, if needed. Next, last year’s starter, Devontae Booker. While not blessed with Freeman’s power, Booker owns wiggle and agility in space. Look for him to see crucial snaps.
Granted, Sanders and Thomas enter the latter stages of their career. However, each still does their job fairly well. Sanders lives to separate via quickness, while Thomas’ size and strength makes him a problem to bring down. Meanwhile, one rookie that will catch your eye is Courland Sutton. With Sutton, the Broncos appear to look into the immediate future. While he does not possess the acceleration of Thomas or the quicks of Sanders, Sutton’s sure hands and catch radius, combined with decent long speed will test the Raiders The subpackage corners will enjoy a steady diet of him. Look for the jump ball in the end zone as well.
In essence, the Oakland Raiders could succeed against the Denver offense. For them, the Rams game could be a blessing in disguise. As a result, games versus Denver could prove successful.