Raiders vs Broncos
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

 

New FSM Game Preview: Raiders vs Broncos – Week 11

Las Vegas Raiders (2-7) | Denver Broncos (3-6)

Franchise Sports Media

 

After being stampeded by the Colts, the Raiders will next be saddled up with the Broncos at Mile High. Can the Silver & Black stop a three-game skid against Denver for the second time this season?

 

Raiders vs Texans
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

As the Autumn Wind continues down this dark voyage, there’s solace in knowing the Raiders’ next opponent is one they have had some recent success against. When it comes to Raiders vs Broncos, Las Vegas has won five straight, not losing to the Ponies in nearly three calendar years.

Further back, the Silver & Black have won eight of their last ten head-to-head matchups against the Broncos (dating back to November 2017). Everybody around the NFL talks about having a “get right” game (similar to what the Colts just did in Vegas last week): For the Raiders, in a time where desperation has pinnacled, Sunday’s game in Denver may be precisely that.

These longtime AFC West rivals have already faced off once this season, meeting at Allegiant Stadium back in Week 4. In that contest, the Raiders pulled ahead late after RB Josh Jacobs ran through the opposing ranks for 144 yards en route to a 32-23 victory. You probably remember, but that was the game CB Amik Robertson had the 68-yard fumble return touchdown (which still serves as the high point of the Raiders 2022 season).

Snap back to the present, and neither side is playing any better, winning a game each since the Week 4 meeting. For the second time this year, the Raiders are seeking to snap a three-game losing streak against the Broncos. So let’s dive into what we may be in store for when Raider Nation heads to Broncos’ Country this time around …

 

Previous contests

HOF game: Raiders 27 – Jaguars 11
PRE1: Raiders 26 – Vikings 20
PRE2: Raiders 15 – Dolphins 13
PRE3: Raiders 23 – Patriots 6

WK1: Chargers 24 – Raiders 19 (L)
WK2: Cardinals 29 – Raiders 23 (OT)/(L)
WK3: Titans 24 – Raiders 22 (L)
WK4: Raiders 32 – Broncos 23 (W)
WK5: Chiefs 30 – Raiders 29 (L)
WK6: BYE
WK7: Raiders 38 – Texans 20 (W)
WK8: Saints 24 – Raiders 0 (L)
WK9: Jaguars 27 – Raiders 20 (L)
WK10: Colts 25 – Raiders 20 (L)

 

KEYS TO THE GAME:

 

Bread & butter

 

Raiders vs Broncos
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Despite the Raiders’ 2-7 record, they have been productive in certain phases of the game. Overall, the offense has been more productive than the defense, with Jacobs and WR Davante Adams being the two statistical leaders of the unit that entered 2022 with expectations as high as Luxor’s light beam. Las Vegas will do well to establish Jacobs’ physicality early (like in Week 4 against Denver) while passing lanes should open up for Carr & Adams.

Of course, Adams will again go head-to-head with sophomore CB Patrick Surtain II. In their first meeting, Surtain showed confidence and a willingness to get handsy, but Adams ended up getting his numbers (nine receptions for 101 yards). Although the Raiders will no longer have to worry about LB Bradley Chubb (now a member of the Miami Dolphins), the Broncos are stronger on the back end with the likes of S Justin Simmons. So will the Pro Bowl safety suit up this time around? Derek Carr and inquiring minds want to know.

 

Weathering the broken plays

Opposing quarterback Russell “Let’s Ride” Wilson has made a Hall of Fame career on broken plays. In his younger days as a pro in the Pacific Northwest, Wilson’s slick footwork and ability to extend plays combined with deep ball throwing accuracy made him one of the most exciting players in the NFL. Although this “Mile High” version of Wilson may not be as explosive as in previous years, he still warrants full containment from the defense.

Downfield targets Courtland Sutton, Kendall Hinton, and Jerry Jeudy are not entirely on the same page as Wilson yet (at least not to the caliber that WRs Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, and Doug Baldwin have been), but still possess top-end skills of their own. Since the Raiders are shuffling players in the defensive backfield, this will need to be an area of emphasis.

 

Big Fof & Prison Mack

 

Raiders vs Broncos
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

With star pass catchers Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller sidelined for the immediate future, the Raiders’ supporting skill roles must be bolstered by TE Foster Moreau and WR Mack Hollins. Both players are big-bodied targets that have Carr’s trust, and both players have found the end zone this season. Still, Hollins and Moreau both missed individual opportunities in Week 10 against the Colts to make plays that would have swung the outcome (despite having solid performances overall).

Nevertheless, I firmly believe these two are made of the right stuff to answer the call, no matter how steep the uphill climb is. Look for one, the other, or both to have a big game in Denver this Sunday.

 

Coaching matchup

 

Josh McDaniels vs. Nathaniel Hackett: At this point, who really even knows anymore? I want to lean toward McDaniels, but I feel like this is a push in its current state.

 

INJURY REPORT:

Below are Friday’s (Nov. 18) practice participation sheets for the Raiders and Broncos

Las Vegas – RB Ameer Abdullah (Full – Illness), WR Davante Adams (Limited – Abdomen), QB Derek Carr (Full – Back), RT Jermaine Eluemunor (Full – Elbow), LB Luke Masterson (Limited – Ribs), LT Kolton Miler (Limited – Shoulder/abdomen), LB Denzel Perryman (Full – Hip/ribs), CB Sam Webb (Full – Knee).

Denver –  FB Andrew Beck (DNP – Hamstring), WR K.J. Hamler (DNP – Hamstring), WR Jerry Jeudy (DNP – Ankle), DL Eyioma Uwazurike (Full – Illness), CB K’Wuan Williams (DNP – Wrest/elbow), OLB Baron Browning (Limited – Hip), OL Tom Compton (Limited – Back), OL Cam Fleming (Limited – Quad), OL Graham Glasgow (Limited – Shoulder), WR Kendall Hinton (Limited – Shoulder), S Justin Simmons (Full – Knee), ILB Jonas Griffith (DNP – Ankle), RB Latavius Murray (Full – Wrist), CB Darius Phillips (Full – Illness).


WEATHER REPORT:

Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Coloradois a horseshoe-shaped venue notorious for funneling wind through its open (South) end. Additionally, conditioning and endurance will be on full display at 5,280 feet above sea level. As for the forecast, expect it to be cold but not freezing–We’re looking at clear skies in the mid-40s with winds 5-10 MPH.

 

In Week 11, the Raiders will head to Mile High for their second matchup against the division rival Denver Broncos. Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 20, at 1:05 pm, with the game airing locally on Fox 5 (radio play-by-play on RNR AM920).

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-Gabe Santiago – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Gabe on Twitter & Instagram at @gps_onthemic

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