Carr vs Siemian II

AFC Game Of The Week

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos

Raiders: They looked absolutely terrible last week against the Washington Redskins on Sunday Night Football. They couldn’t anything going on either side of the ball. They entered that game as the only team not to turn the football over, until then. Derek Carr threw two interceptions and he and his teammates weren’t on the same page. We all know how the Raiders offense operates now. They want to pound the football in between the tackles and gain small yards and that running game allows Derek to hit short passes and eventually hit the deep pass down the field. Despite their efforts on Sunday, they’re still in a really good place and they have the ability to bounce right back and get to its winning ways once again. Another big thing I took away was how their offensive line was just dominated by the Washington Redskins. They couldn’t protect their quarterback, they struggled to really establish themselves on the line of scrimmage and the Redskins defense, which hasn’t been all that great, mixed up a lot of looks up front. I’m still concerned about their defense moving forward because they can never get off the field and they rely too much on Khalil Mack to do everything all around and that’s the thing, he can’t cover receivers, he can’t be the only one to rush the passer and make tackles, it’s all a team effort. They play their first divisional game on Sunday against the Broncos, a team with a very stout defense all around.

Broncos: They deserved to lose that game on Sunday in Buffalo and here’s why. You didn’t allow your best offensive player to have an impact and you decided to get away from what’s helped the offense and in the end in week three, it hurt them. C.J. Anderson is their go-to offensive weapon and he’s made a huge impact since coming back from an injury. I can truly sit here and say that if he didn’t go down last year with that injury, the Broncos are a playoff team, but he was gone for a crucial stretch during the end of the 2016 season. Denver has the third-ranked rushing offense in the NFL. We saw through the first two games of the season what an offense looks like and is capable of when it has balance. The opposing defense is on its heels and doesn’t know what offensive coordinator Mike McCoy will call. That also was a huge reason the Broncos were so good on third down and in the red zone the first two weeks. They were methodical, kept drives alive, controlled the clock and scored touchdowns. They decided to throw the football 40 times and that isn’t Trevor Siemian’s game at all. When any quarterback has balance whether it’s a young quarterback still learning or he’s a veteran, a little bit of balance goes a very long way. Their defense is back as well. Not the 2015 version that we saw, but they’ve improved compared to last year. This will be an interesting battle on Sunday with the Raiders in town.

Raiders Player To Watch: Seth Roberts– This will be the best secondary that the Raiders offense will see all year. Let me explain the luxury of those slot receivers. They’re almost like tight ends in a way, those reliable targets down the middle of the field that can create mismatches with a safety up top or even a linebacker. Seth has always been a sure-handed threat for Carr and this offense. I see him getting a few catches in this one.

Broncos Player To Watch: Menelik Watson– If I’m Khalil Mack, I’m extremely excited to line up against this guy. He’s been absolutely annihilated early on this season. He’s given up six sacks, two quarterback hits, six hurries, and 14 total pressures. And, he is going up against Mack who already has two sacks, a quarterback hit, six hurries and nine total pressures. Mike McCoy and Vance Joseph have probably lost sleep over this matchup all week. If Watson doesn’t hold his ground, Siemian could be in for a long day on Sunday.

Final Analysis: This rivalry has always been intense, but it’s finally got its spotlight back and both teams feel they’re contenders in the AFC. The Raiders will have to be better up front with their protection of Carr. If the Redskins go after him last week, what makes you think the Broncos won’t? As I said up top, The Raiders depend on the running attack to help open up their passing game and this is the top-ranked run defense in the NFL right now. Denver will come out and definitely make Carr throw the ball more than 25 times. Oakland’s ground attack against that stout front of the Broncos defense will determine the outcome of this game.

Prediction: Broncos 28 Raiders 17