The rival Denver Broncos come to town this Sunday to face the Raiders. It will be the second meeting of the two teams this season. The Raiders won the first meeting in the season opener in Denver on Monday Night. Now they look to sweep the Broncos but inside the game itself there are many things on which to focus.
Carson Palmer will make his first start as the Raiders' new franchise quarterback. The Raiders traded a first round pick in 2012 and a conditional first rounder in 2013 to get him from the Bengals so expectations are high.
Palmer made his first appearance in Silver and Black two weeks ago when he came into the second half of a blowout loss to the visiting Chiefs. He had only been a Raider for five days leading up to the game including three days of team practices. He said himself last week that he knew probably about 15 plays. The result was a disastrous three interception performance with one of those interceptions returned for a touchdown.
He has now had nearly three weeks with his new teammates and new playbook. In that three weeks he also had several days working with his new receivers to get used to their speed and route running. How quickly he was able to get up to speed with his new team will be the main story of this game. He also has a lot of rust to shake off after not having any training camp or practices in 10 months.
Broncos coach John Fox said that Tim Tebow will once again be his starter this week. Tebow has played horribly since taking over as the starter for Kyle Orton. He has shown a complete lack of read and recognition and is inaccurate or late on nearly all of his throws.
What the Raiders want is to force him to throw the ball. He is dangerous with his legs so the Raiders will stack the box and not over pursue in order to leave no gaps for him to run through. This will also force him to throw it which should lead to a couple turnovers.
The Raiders will be without starting running back Darren McFadden for the second week in a row. Again they will turn to Michael Bush to carry the load. He performed well last week against the Chiefs, carrying for 91 yards on 20 carries. And for the Broncos, facing Bush instead of McFadden is not necessarily good news.
Bush has played extremely well against the Broncos over the years. One of the biggest games of his career came against the Broncos. In late 2009 he rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown against them while averaging 7.39 yards per carry. Last season he had three touchdowns in two games.
Janikowski has not kicked a football for three weeks. He was at practice on Friday but he still was not kicking. If he can't play, the team will re-sign Dave Rayner who kicked off to open the game versus the Chiefs and that was it. If Rayner is re-signed, another Raider will have to be cut or sent to IR. Those possible cuts would be fullback Manase Tonga or tight end Robert Gordon. Or then again they could just let go of Lito Sheppard after having just signed him last week.
If Janikowski is able to go, you can bet he won't be the Janikowski we are used to seeing. Don't expect kickoffs through the upright or Hue Jackson calling for 50+ yard field goal attempts. That hamstring is sore at very least and playing him at all is risking aggravating the injury which would end his Pro Bowl level season.
Like Moss to a flame
Raiders starting defensive end Jarvis Moss has a lot of motivation for this game. He will be facing off against his former team in the Broncos which he relishes. But before Moss played for the Broncos, he was a Florida Gator. He will be trying to chase down his former super star teammate Tim Tebow.
When asked about Tebow on Friday, Moss said the Raiders had to be careful because Tebow can do a lot of damage with his legs. But when asked about Tebow's arm, he paused for what was timed as 12 seconds and then: "Uh, I don't want to answer that question because I really want to... Never mind. I can't answer that question."
He was also asked if he respected Tebow as a player to which he would only say, "Yeah, at college I did."
Rarely has so much been said by saying so little. We can expect to see an extra pumped up Jarvis Moss for this one.
Raiders control their own destiny
During the bye week, the Raiders moved into first place in the division. The Chiefs beat the Chargers which formed a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West at 4-3. If you want to get into division records it isn't technically a tie but none of that really matters right now. Right now the slate is basically clean. Each team is tied and has one in-conference loss. This means that each team controls their own destiny. The Raiders won't have to rely on either of the other two to lose in order to win the AFC West.
Granted, that could all change within a matter of a few days when each team plays again. But for now, if the Raiders want to win the division, it is entirely in their hands.
Another streak must go down and it must go down hard
The Raiders have ended a few streaks this season already. They ended two streaks with the first win of the season. It was the end of their seven game losing streak on Monday Night Football as well as their eight game season opening losing streak. The Raiders have lost eight straight games coming out of the bye week. Their last post-bye-week win was September 29, 2002. They beat the Tennessee Titans 52-25 in that game and later beat the same Titan team to win the AFC Championship.
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Definitely will be in attendance for this game...Looking forward to seeing a more polished Carson Palmer. Should be a high scoring event. Have to admit, I will enjoy watching the Raiders get after Tebow, though I was a fan of his in college. Tebow reminds me a lot of Pryor. A project player with vast amount of potential. However, Pryor, to me, has more of a legitimate chance of being a great NFL quarterback than Tebow, who, to his credit, has an incredibally strong work ethic like DHB...If Pryor can work at his game like Tebow does, then there will be no holding him back within a year or two. His talent level is just way too high...
My biggest question right now is whether Jones or Reece is the better "last-minute, total desperation, injuries and byes are killing me in a way too deep league" pickup for my third RB. Reece was a MONSTER for me last season when I was in this pickle--against Seattle--but I wonder whether Jones won't get a few screens to go along with his change-of-pace/Bush needs another freakin' breather carries.
T-Boner either improves this game or we could see him benched. We want to take a commanding lead so that it doesnt matter what they do at QB. Injuries a big concern, but we are still better than the Donkeys.
it's such a giant worry that DMAC may not even be ready for SD Thursday night. that HURTS US BIGTIME! we need that man very badly. DMAC isn't even off his crutches yet... and he's still in a boot. precautionary? or is he really that jacked up from the "SPRAINED FOOT" ?
If DMAC is to be out for the next 2 games, i want to see Taiwan Jones step up his game a lot on sweeps. he can get to the edge just as fast as DMAC, he just needs skip and bounce ability to get there... make your defenders stutter a bit on which hole to hit, and this kid will be eating mules for breakfast tomorrow and shove that lightning bolt back up these Doltz fan's azzes! Bush will do good in both games... we just need a speedy, change of pace RB do go along with it.
the V man hasn't allowed any sacks this year. not to mention allowing runners 8 ypc running his way... uhh yea, nothing but quiet IMO. when was the last time a raider LT was this good? you think of him... i'll wait. i'm sure V might allow a few coming up because of the QB switch ... but I DO KNOW that Palmer can feel pressure better than Campbell ... and throw decently on the run... and the fact that Palmer doesn't hold on to the ball nearly as long is something V will LOVE about CP, as he won't have to man handle the guy in front of him for as long as the unsure Jason Campbell, thus becoming less tired and having more strength throughout the game.
it's most likely going to be wet and slippery tomorrow in oakland, so it should come down to turn overs and who ever has the superior running game(and which D can stop it) ... i like our chances in that battle... since we're now in the middle of the pack in run D! something the coaches promised to fix and they seem to be doing just that. Curry and Wimbley should just continue to set the edge very well and our front 4 get the push they need... Teboner will have a tough time tomorrow if he cannot escape and run with the ball... much like last week against DET. if they can do it, we can also.
we should be alright this game. as long as we dont kill ourselves with penaltys(which would be the players fault) or we aren't prepared (which would be the coach's fault), we should be good to go. i got a feeling it will be relatively close for a half till we pull away. need to get taiwan jones involved some for the change of pace. we been blitzing alot lately and that should be the order of the day. also, we need veldheer to be on his game cause despite having a quiet season, we know dumerville is still a handful, and if he can make some plays it could ignite them defensively. last year, tebow came in here and put on somewhat of a show, rushing for a long t.d. as well as throwing one, which i think was a little lucky, but they wouldn't go away and that was after we embarrassed them in denver. cant take it lighly, just go play and we can win this one handily. alot of eyes are gonna be on palmer this week. he gets a home start and he better be ready cause the nation will be going nuts when he starts the game. raiders - 28, broncos - 10.
@ams2fx Could go either way, but should be TJ that gets the best opportunities to get you some points! Doom and Gloom has incredible speed when they rush the edges, and Action Jackson needs to run at them and inside their rush to make them slow down - Bush will do this sometimes, but he is not fast enough to really make them hesitate.. TJ is! Tj will be used to remove some of the edgerush and he will hopefulle see a couple of screen dumps as well, and anytime he hits second level he is a threat to take ti to the house!
Reece has some good mismatches ahead, and he could easily see a TD, but he has just come back, needs time to get a 100% on the field, and will be blocking most of the time, so would make most sense if TJ makes the most damage!
Also, TJ and Bush has been splitting reps on the first team - indicates they intend to use him!
@Harder2000 You know what, man? Good enough for me--off to make my waiver claim(s) now. Rest assured, you'll get all of the blame and none of the credit, whichever way this goes--at least in public!
@Harder2000 I hear ya--I'm not *quite* ready to sharpen the axe, but I'd be lying if I weren't wondering whether a new GM could convince The Chin to give it a whirl, for example.
@ams2fx Reece did good! Thought for a second when he went down after the fumble it might be serious, but luckily not!
And yeah, the same option play over and over again - WTF! It's college football, not supposed to work here, and we had 2 weeks to scheme against THE ONLY thing they can bring! Really don't get it!
Somethings really off right now! DHB, leading WR, supplanted by Housh and every other WR available "because he wasn't on the chosen WR sets"? Kidding me?
Worst was the benching of Boss in favor of Myers - I mean, Myers is horrible! And Boss played on ST, so wasn't the concussion! Really don't get it! Action Jackson needs to get a grip and get back to basics, he's starting to be a little too cute when Al isn't around to bring him down a little! Hope theres a point to the madness, but as of right now, it really doesn't seem like it!
@Harder2000 Man, when I saw Reece take that ball in, I thought, "oh damn it!"--but it turns out that it was better to save up my irritation for the second half, the WThalF. The Raiders were beaten--and beaten BADLY--but an inelegant college offense that ran the SAME PLAY OVER AND OVER. SMH.
Anyway, I appreciate the advice anyway--turns out that Jones got me three points of of ST tackles (I still got whipped, by the worst team in the league, no less, thanks to more than half of my roster underperforming. Oh well. I can still take my brother in another league if McCoy and Maclin come through for me ...)
@ams2fx Worst advise ever - sorry bro! Really hope you managed a W anyway! Reece was a beast! Despite reports saying otherwise, TJ wasn't used, really sucks! Especially on top of a devastating loss! Chucky B was ridiculous - they ran the same freaking play over and over again all through 2nd half: Off tackle sprinkled with a couple bootlegs and keeps! Simple, should have been stopped!
Anyways, sorry bro!
@ams2fx LoL, let's hope for none of the credit then! I'll be rooting for you bro!