Eric Decker breaks free for a touchdown on a kick return against the Raiders on Monday Night. (Eric Lars Bakke/Denver Broncos)

Broncos vs. Raiders: Inside The Villain's Venue

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It’s that time of the week. Once again, I asked Chris Shellcroft of Just Blog Baby some questions about the Raiders. Chris is Fansided’s Raiders expert and truly runs one of the best Raiders’ sites around. Yes, I used ‘best’ and ‘Raiders’ in the same sentence. Make sure to check out his site prior to Sunday’s game to get the full scoop on the team that we love to hate.

Without further ado, let’s go Inside the Villain’s Venue with Just Blog Baby.

It’s like Frankenstein’s ongoing QB experiment in Denver and in Oakland. Do you like the Raiders’ move to pick up Carson Palmer? What does he bring to the table?

I do like the message the Carson Palmer trade sends. Hue Jackson is not messing around. He wants to just win now, baby! However Palmer hasn’t looked like the same franchise QB he once was and there is no telling which Carson is going to be playing in the East Bay. What he brings to the table is veteran leadership and the ability to put his players in position to make plays. Palmer still has a live arm and can make every throw in the book. The real question is how soon will he learn his new offense, teammates and adjust to NFL after going into semi-retirement. Time will tell. Oakland paid a huge price so there is really only one way the Palmer trade could ever truly payoff. Super Bowl or bust.

Not only did the Raiders lose to the Chiefs at home, but they were shutout 28-0 in the game. Why was that game so out of character compared to their wins over the Jets and the Texans earlier this year?

There is no denying that the quarterback play in that ugly loss to the Chiefs was a huge factor. Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer split a six-pack of INTs plus Darren McFadden was out of the game after only two touches. With all due respect, the Chiefs didn’t play a great game. They ran the ball well enough to control the clock and had a few crucial third down conversions. That being said, Coach Jackson always sticks to his motto of “next man up” whenever there are injuries. The Raiders are talented enough that they should have made that game a better contest. Two pick sixes didn’t help at all. Still, if these  guys are serious about stepping into the NFL elite then they’ve got to find ways of winning in adverse circumstances.

The last time the Broncos and the Raiders met, the Raiders ran all over the Broncos with 190 rushing yards. If Darren McFadden plays, how can the Broncos stop him?

It doesn’t look like Run DMC will be playing this Sunday. One thing Coach Jackson firmly believes in is not rushing players back from injury. McFadden had an MRI that revealed not damage to his foot, he had a week off and still Jackson is keeping him out of practice this week. Should McFadden go the Broncos would be advised to put an extra man in the box whose job is to spy on McFadden. He is dangerous in all aspects of the game. If, instead, it is Michael Bush who gets the nod then Denver needs to be ready for a lot of power football. Bush is a bruiser who can eat up 4 to 5 yards a touch and then break a long one. Behind him is the wildcard, Taiwan Jones. Jones is, perhaps, the fastest man on Oakland’s roster. Now that is saying something. He is simply electric and could become a real weapon with more touches. The guy is actually a physical runner despite being small and he makes cuts at full speed. Overall the Broncos just need to have an effective scheme that keeps contain on Oakland’s runners and they cannot afford to miss open field tackles.

Sebastian Janikowski and old Broncos’ kicker Jason Elam (in his prime) are each given 10 attempts at a 65-yard field goal in Denver. How many do each make? 

Here is how I feel about NFL kickers. They’ve all got the talent, some more than others. The difference is who handles the pressure and who doesn’t. Jano and Elam are two of the best in recent history. If we’re talking practice then I have no doubt Seabass could hit, at least, 50% of his kicks from 65 while Elam could probably do the same. Now if it’s a game situation then that number drops to 20% and below.

Finally, your prediction for Sunday’s game?

I think Denver will be up for the game. The Raiders are coming off a bye so chances are they’ll start slow. That being said, if Tebow has another JaMarcus Russell-esque first half then it could get ugly. Oakland’s ground game combined with an ability to throw the ball down field could equate to a long afternoon of football. I like Oakland in this one with more scoring than most anticipate. Raiders 32, Denver 25.

Many thanks to Chris for answering my questions.

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Tags: Carson Palmer Darren Mcfadden Denver Broncos Oakland Raiders

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