No one is giving the Oakland Raiders much of a chance to beat the Denver Broncos on Monday night. The Raider Nation should not be surprised by all the doubters. Remember when everyone said the Raiders had one of the worst rosters in history and they would be lucky to win one game? Yeah, I think those haters are all hiding in the bushes after seeing how good the silver and black has looked this year. While it will be a huge upset if the Raiders beat the Broncos on Monday, it is something that is not out of the realm of possibility. You can throw out last year’s tape between these two teams because the Raiders will have 10 new starters on defense and a whole new offensive scheme heading into Monday Night’s clash. Here are three things the Raiders need to do to shock the sports world on Monday night.
Attack Chris Clark
Lamarr Houston must be licking his chops as he gets to go up against backup left tackle Chris Clark on Monday night. Houston leads all pass rushers in the NFL with 16 quarterback pressures. In order for the Raiders to have a chance to win, they must follow the old Al Davis mantra,” Somewhere within the first three plays, the quarterback must go down and he must go down hard.”
We all know that Peyton Manning has had neck problems over the last couple of years, so Houston and company must hit Manning hard in order to take him out of his comfort zone. The Raiders are remarkably leading the NFL in sacks through 2 games this season, so they have shown that they can get to the quarterback. Although you don’t want to blitz Manning too much because of his knack to throw his way out of blitzes. The defensive line will need to create the pressure without the help of blitzing linebackers and defensive backs. A great pass rush will also negate the presence of rising star Julius Thomas, who might be forced to stick to blocking.
Nickel back Tracy Porter has looked good so far in his first two games with the silver and black. The former Denver Bronco Porter, will have some extra motivation to prove the Broncos brass wrong that he wasn’t worth a contract extension. Porter will be charged with covering Peyton Manning’s new favorite target Wes Welker. In order for the Raiders blitz to be effective, Porter must play shut down defense against Welker. Hopefully, Porter still has that Super Bowl swag with him as he made the famous Super Bowl winning interception against Manning at Super Bowl XLIV.
Control the clock
The Raiders are leading the NFL in rushing with 198 yards per game this season. They must put up over 200 yards rushing to have any chance of beating the vaunted Denver Broncos. Not only will they tire out the Broncos defense if they control the ball but they will also keep Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense on the sideline by controlling the clock. If the Raiders can keep the score close in the first in the first half, the running game can take control of the game in the latter parts of the game.
Terrelle Pyor will be the fastest player on the field on Monday night, so if he can get some tired defenders chasing him Pryor will break some long runs. Hopefully, Darren McFadden’s big performance last week was not just an aberration because of the awful Jacksonville Jaguars trying to tackle him. McFadden has owned the Broncos throughout his career so hopefully seeing those ugly orange jerseys will motivate him to have another huge game.