There is surely no stopping Peyton Manning. However, like any other superstar in the league, the veteran can be contained.
Manning is a special type of quarterback who recognizes where to go every pass play. As soon as number 18 is at the line of scrimmage, he begins to read the defense, and understands where to go with the ball.
The game has revolutionized in all sorts of ways, especially at the quarterback position. There is now a plethora of athletic, big armed quarterbacks leading NFL teams. Nonetheless, the brilliance of a quarterback like the veteran Manning does not come around very often. He is a rare species, and his breed is as dangerous as they come.
Now, the Oakland Raiders defense has looked remarkably sharp thus far. Through the first two weeks, the Raiders rank fourth in the league in total defense, giving up just 261 yards per game, and lead the league with nine sacks.
Coming into the season, the defense of the Raiders was an enormous concern. Nine new defensive starters were acquired by Oakland in the off-season due to the atrocious performance of last year. The free agent signings and draftees brought much optimism to Raider Nation; until the preseason came, and the defense continued to look as inept as it did a year ago.
Regardless of what happened in the off-season, Oakland’s defense has turned tables these past couple weeks. They’ve been able to stop the run, rush the passer, and cover the pass – all three of which were nonexistent throughout last season. In spite of that, the silver and black will have their hands full with number 18 on Monday night.
Denver’s electrifying offense has thrown for 752 yards and a NFL high nine touchdown passes in their first couple of games. As a result, they are riding a 2-0 record and unquestionably have been the most dynamic offense in the league.
Manning seems to already have chemistry with former New England Patriot Wes Welker, who was recently acquired in the off-season. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are two receivers who remain serious threats as well, and tight end Julius Thomas has quickly evolved into one of Manning’s favorite targets.
The Raiders will try to contain the best offense in the league, and they must take precaution.
Oakland’s defensive coordinator Jason Tarver has done an outstanding job calling the Raiders defense. Tarver’s been very effective throwing in different types of blitz packages, particularly the DB blitz. In regard, Tarver understands he needs to be extremely careful when he decides to load the box on Manning. Manning is a genius at figuring out where the blitz is coming from, getting the ball out of his hands quickly, and throwing in the defense’s weak spot. However, if the Raiders are able to put the pressure on Manning and keep him under duress, this can certainly be a closer game than anticipated.
Another key for Oakland is to stop the run. The Broncos do not have any major threats coming out of their backfield, although they do have an excellent offensive line. Running back Knowshon Moreno rushed for 93 yards on 13 carries, and tacked on a couple touchdowns last Sunday against the New York Giants. If the run game gets going, the pass attack for Manning and company becomes even more deadly.
Unfortunately, there is no existent recipe to stop number 18, but there are ways to keep him contained. The Raiders are a hot team right now that can very well be 2-0, therefore I’m expecting a close, exciting game on Monday night.