The Oakland Raiders are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Washington Redskins in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football and have another incredibly daunting task ahead of them as they travel to the Mile High City to take on the Denver Broncos during NFL Week 4.
The Broncos are also coming off a disappointing road loss to the Buffalo Bills and don’t carry much momentum into this battle of 2-1 AFC West teams, but can take solace in the fact that they will play their heated rival in front of the Sports Authority Field at Mile High faithful.
With the Kansas City Chiefs sitting pretty atop the AFC West at 3-0, both the Broncos and Raiders desperately need a win on Sunday to keep pace with the Chiefs, who are thought of as seven-point favorites over the Washington Redskins in their upcoming Monday Night Football showdown and should move to 4-0.
So, will Jack Del Rio be able to get his squad to put what can only be described as a disheartening Week 3 loss in its rearview mirror and execute against a tough team in a brutal environment, or will Vance Joseph cook up an absolutely brilliant game plan for the Broncos to stave off the Raiders?
Find out from the bold predictions below.
Raiders Offensive Line Struggles Yet Again, Derek Carr Sacked Six Times By Broncos
The Washington Redskins aren’t exactly known for having a dominant front-seven, yet Derek Carr was under immense pressure throughout all four quarters in Week 3.
Carr finished the game with two interceptions, and the Raiders were only able to muster a total of 32 rushing yards.
Against a far more intimidating defense in Denver, expect Oakland’s offensive line to struggle and Carr to be sacked no less than six times.
Amari Cooper Pulls Another Vanishing Act
Amari Cooper was held to just one reception for six yards despite being targeted five times in Week 3, which is hard to believe for a player of his stature.
According to SF Gate, Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio wasn’t overly concerned about Cooper’s lackluster performance, but did admit it was something Oakland would work on moving forward.
“He’s a dynamic player for us, not a good thing when he’s not catching the ball and making those plays. We’ve gotta find a way to help that be rectified.”
“We’d like to find a way to help him get through that, He’s a dynamic play-making option for us, and when we get him free and get the ball to him delivered like that, we’ve got to be able to catch it and go get bus.”
However, it’s hard to believe the habit Cooper’s made of dropping passes this season isn’t immensely troubling to Del Rio deep down.
Amari Cooper has already dropped 6 passes this season after that one.— Will Reeve Jr (@WillReeveJr) September 25, 2017
Amari Cooper's drops are officially a major concern.— Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) September 25, 2017
Cooper has dealt with a knee injury this year and it’s possible that it’s bothering him still despite his removal from the Raiders injury report.
Whatever the problem may be, it’s difficult to imagine Cooper will be able to figure things out against Aqib Talib and the Broncos stingy secondary.
Expect Cooper to be rendered irrelevant on Sunday.
Trevor Siemian Electrifies
In Week 3, the Raiders defense gave up an abysmal 363 passing yards and three TDs to Kirk Cousins and only managed to sack him on a single occasion.
Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian is coming off a poor performance of his own, as he threw for two INTs and failed to throw for a TD against the Buffalo Bills.
However, Siemian seems to play on a different level at home and shouldn’t have much of a problem rebounding against the lackluster Raiders pass defense.
Expect Siemian to mimic his performance in Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys and expose the Raiders utilizing play action passes once Denver establishes the run.
When everything is said and done, Siemian will have thrown for no less than 275 yards and three TDs.
Broncos Dominate Raiders, Win By 10 Points At Minimum
According to Football Locks, Las Vegas favors the Broncos by 2.5 points over the Raiders in this AFC West matchup.
In reality, however, this game won’t be incredibly close. Led by Von Miller and Co. making life miserable for Derek Carr and the Raiders offense and a sensational showing from Trevor Siemian, Demaryius Thomas, and Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos fans all over the country will be treated to a convincing 10-point win.
[Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]