There’s hardly a bigger week in Denver during the fall than when the Oakland Raiders come to town to take on the Denver Broncos. Entering Sunday’s contest, both teams are coming in 1-2, with their only win coming against the Pittsburgh Steelers (what happened to them?).
Peyton Manning will get his first taste of the Raiders at the divisional opponent level.
“I guess being a guy that has an appreciation of football and the history of it, I certainly understand what an important rivalry it is, the great games that have occurred in this series, the great players that have played in this game,” Manning said in his Wednesday press conference. “I can’t tell you much about it because I haven’t played in it. I probably won’t be able to tell you everything about it until I probably go to Oakland.”
What Manning does know is that the Raiders bring a good defense that likes to create turnovers. While they don’t have an interception this season, the Raiders are ranked 4th in forced fumbles with four in three games.
“I know their defense does an outstanding job of stripping the football,” head coach John Fox said. “That was critical in that victory against the Steelers.”
They also have a lot of power and experience up front on defense.
“(Richard) Seymour and (Tommy) Kelly, you kind of know what they’re going to do up front. Big, powerful guys.
The Raiders are 20th against the rush and 26th against the pass, so the Broncos should be able to get off to a better start than in their previous two games against the Atlanta Falcons and the Houston Texans.
“What’s tough about these past two games that you’re playing against the defense, but you’re also playing against the clock,” Manning siad. “You’d like to cut your opponents down to one if you could per game.”
Manning is 3-2 all-time against the Raiders, and he averages a 61.4% completion percentage. He also has 12 touchdowns and 8 interceptions against the dark side.