Lito Sheppard defends Demaryius Thomas at the Oakland Coliseum. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE)

Looking Ahead To Week 4: Raiders at Broncos


Now that the Denver Broncos schedule has been released, we are going to take a game-by-game look at the regular season that the Broncos have in front of them.

The Broncos spend their first three out of four weeks at home. In week 4, the Broncos have their first division game against the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders went 8-8 like the Broncos in 2011, but lost four of their last five.

The Broncos lost to the Raiders 23-20 at home last year in their home opener, a Monday Night game. Then in November the Broncos went to the black hole and thumped the Raiders 38-24.

Even when the Raiders and Broncos had some below .500 seasons, the rivalry still stood strong.

As for the Raiders offense, they were ranked 16th in points (22.4 per game), 7th in rushing, and 11th in passing. Now that Carson Palmer isn’t coming off the couch and has a full offseason to work, expect the Raiders passing game to be more explosive. As for their rushing game, the Raiders better hope Darren McFadden stays healthy because Michael Bush moved on to Chicago.

Defensively, the Raiders have much work to put in. They were ranked 29th in points allowed (27.1 per game), and they were 27th in rushing and passing defense. Dennis Allen was a great addition to this franchise.

The Raiders missed in free agency. They let Michael Buch go as well as Chaz Schilens, Kevin Boss, Kamerion Wimberly, Samson Satele, Rock Cartwright, and Trevor Scott. They lost a lot of depth on their roster, but then again, they’re trying to clean up the high-spending ways that Al Davis left behind.

Early Prediction: Broncos – 30 Raiders – 20.

Raiders Leaders in 2011:

Carson Palmer – 199-for-328 (60.7%), 2,753 passing yards, 13 TDs, 16 INTs. 

Michael Bush – 977 yards (61.1 yards per game), 7 TDs, 1 Fumble

Darrius Heyward-Bey – 64 receptions, 975 yards, 4 TDs, 1 Fumble

Tyvon Branch – 109 tackles

Matt Giordano – 5 INTs, 70 tackles

Tommy Kelly – 7.5 sacks

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Tags: Denver Broncos Featured Oakland Raiders