The Denver Broncos play the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football in a bid to start the season 3-0.
On paper the game is a blowout. In two games this season the Denver Broncos have scored 90 points. In three games, only the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have scored more.
Things aren’t as cheery in Oakland. Despite a 1-1 record, the Raiders have only scored 36 points in two games. And their one win came against the helpless Jacksonville Jaguars.
All signs point to a blowout at home for the Broncos. Case closed.
Wait! Not so fast!
Terrelle Pryor has shown promise as the Raiders quarterback of the future and Darren McFadden was brilliant in week two. The Raiders also have a strong defense that has only allowed 30 points. In comparison, the Broncos defense, while good, has allowed 50 points.
The Broncos will score, but Monday Night Football might be closer than people think.
Then again, Peyton Manning torched the Baltimore Ravens stalwart defense for 49 points. He threw for seven touchdowns in a historic performance to open the NFL season.
That same week the Raiders came incredibly close to upsetting the Indianapolis Colts. You know, the team that just destroyed the 49ers in San Francisco 27-7.
Yep, the Oakland Raiders are playing better football right now than the San Francisco 49ers. You read that correctly.
Also in Oakland’s favor, Manning cooled downed considerably against the Giants in week two. He only had two touchdown passes. The bad news, the Broncos run game controlled the tempo as Knowshon Moreno ran for 93 yards and scored twice.
Here is a game preview for tonight:
By the end of Monday Night Football the Broncos should be 3-0 and the Raiders should be 1-2. Peyton Manning will find the endzone, but not to the tune of 40 plus points again. The Raiders will score also, but not more than 21. A final score of 31-17 feels right, with the Raiders continuing to open eyes playing hard against tough opponents.
[image via Wikimedia Commons]