Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos: Game Day Open Thread


The Oakland Raiders finished the first quarter of the season with a 2-2 mark – which could have and possibly should have been a 3-1 mark except for a poor showing against Chicago last week. Worse than fans with high hopes and expectations wanted, but better than most of the so-called experts believed the team capable of.

They enter today’s game against the 4-0 Broncos looking to keep pace in the AFC West. A win will keep them one game behind the division leaders, but a loss will put them three games back – a scenario the Raiders would rather avoid.

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The Broncos come into the game riding a seven game winning streak over the Silver and Black. Since Peyton Manning came to the Mile High City, Denver has owned the Raiders, outscoring them 222-85 in the last six contests. In 2014, Denver outscored the Raiders in their two meetings 85-31.

Suffice it to say, the Raiders are looking to end Denver’s run of dominance over them.

And with the young, explosive playmakers on the roster, the Raiders have a legitimate shot to do it. With a mix of young guys like Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, Latavius Murray, and Khalil Mack, and veteran leaders like Charles Woodson, Justin Tuck, and Michael Crabtree, the Raiders have a more formidable and dynamic roster than they’ve had in years.

Times are changing, and the Raiders hope, so are their fortunes against Denver. And the Broncos have certainly taken notice of the changing face of the Raiders.

Let’s look at some notable quotes from some of Denver’s key people that appeared on Oakland’s official website.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak:

"“First off, they have a great young quarterback. That’s the No. 1 thing that jumps at you. He’s very talented, makes a lot of plays, not only with his arm but with his feet. I think he really does a great job of spreading the football around and being a headache defensively as far as what they do. Talented group and another challenge for our football team.”"

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  • Quarterback Peyton Manning:

    "“I’ve known Coach Del Rio going back to when he was in New Orleans and of course we played against each other a lot in the old AFC South when I was in Indy and he was in Jacksonville. He’s an excellent coach. He’s been around a long time as a player and a coach. It’s a physical group. They’re playing physical, playing fast and I think that’s what he instills in them.Obviously, both those guys – Khalil Mack and Aldon Smith – are excellent players. Everybody has to account for them. Obviously receiver have to get open on time. Obviously offensive line has to be on top of all communications. You have to just account for those guys because both of them can create turnovers and cause long downs and distances.”"

    Linebacker Von Miller:

    "“I think the progress has come from Derek [Carr]; he’s a better quarterback than he was last year. You can see he’s poised. He makes a lot of quick decisions. He’s not holding the ball, four, five seconds. He’s starting to become the quarterback that I think that they drafted.I think he’s [Khalil Mack] an outstanding player though, and I think if you look at him play, he is more physical than I am, so it wasn’t like a false statement or anything. You look at him and he’s a beast out there. I don’t think there’s another player in the league that’s playing like Khalil.”"

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    Cornerback Aqib Talib:

    "“[Derek Carr’s] improved a lot. He just looks more comfortable. You can see his maturity, he gets the ball out of his hands and he’s running their show. The offense looks pretty decent, and Carr is the one running it. You can definitely see the maturity from last year.”"

    Of course, the jokers that are the Denver faithful don’t have the same sort of respect or optimistic outlook for the Raiders – as one might expect.

    Christopher Hart over at SB Nation’s Mile High Report had plenty of less than flattering things to say about the Raiders and their chances against the Broncos tomorrow. The best line of course, was Hart’s reference to Oakland’s 2002 Super Bowl debacle.

    Said Hart:

    “Alas, the Raiders haven’ been to the playoffs since their 2002 defeat in the Super Bowl to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they were outsmarted by their former coach Jon Gruden, whose team put up 48 points on the board in a lopsided affair that wasn’t even close to being Super Bowl worthy.”

    Wasn’t even close to being Super Bowl worthy? Clearly, Hart has a highly selective memory – a selective memory that allows him to forget Denver’s 43-8 Super Bowl beatdown by the Seattle Seahawks in SB XLVIII. Or the 55-10 thrashing that the San Francisco 49ers gave them in Super Bowl XXIV. Or even the 42-10 whooping that Washington laid on them in Super Bowl XXII.

    Nope. Don’t remember those ones at all apparently.

    But it’s Hart’s prediction for today’s game that should give the Raider Nation a good laugh. Said Hart:

    "“Nothing about this game screams major upset. In fact, all signs point to a good old fashioned Broncos beat down of their arch rival Raiders. Denver has the opportunity to storm into the Black Hole and make this weekends affair a statement game against Jack Del Rio, who mailed it in late last season knowing he had the opportunity to coach the Raiders in 2015. The defensive players he abandoned will show on the field why it was a mistake to leave them. Furthermore, Wade Phillips will show that he is a much better commander of defenses than Del Rio ever was.”"

    You have to love their instinctive hate of all things Jack Del Rio.

    But what say you, Raider fans? What do you think of Hart’s commentary? Is the praise being handed out by Denver’s key people just false flattery? What do you think of Oakland’s chances today?

    This is your place to talk all things Raiders – as well as talk trash about all things Denver. This is your game day open thread. So have at it, folks.

    Next: Raiders Looking For Signature Win