Your calendar may read “Monday” but in the Denver Broncos’ playbook it’s Wednesday. That’s because the team plays the Oakland Raiders Thursday night.
Because of the short week, the team had to turn in an injury report to the NFL today even though they didn’t practice. The team will resume practice on Tuesday, but they will not be in pads at all this week in order to recover from Sunday’s physical win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“We’ll tone down the on-the-field time and spend more time in the meetings,” head coach John Fox said. “Our quality control coaches jumped ahead last week to help in the game planning.”
The Raiders are in the same boat, however, having played a game on Sunday. They’re actually in a worse boat because head coach Dennis Allen won’t be with the team until Wednesday as he’s tending to his ill father, and the team lost to the 4-8 Cleveland Browns 20-17 on Sunday.
Not only that, but the Broncos put a pounding on the Raiders 37-6 in week 4.
“The beating them or not doesn’t matter much, but the familiarity as far as knowing what they do in all three phases or having an idea,” Fox said. “Teams change a little bit, so you redo everything as far as your breakdown. There have been personnel changes, like [RB Darren] McFadden played against us last time. He hasn’t played recently. I anticipate he’ll be back versus us on Thursday night. Little things like that. ”
One of the Broncos’ goals at the beginning of the season was to go undefeated in the division. Right now, they’re 4-0.
As a coach, that’s kind of your job. You’re just looking for little carrots out there to maybe get guys a little extra juice,” Fox said.
The next carrot is to go 4-0 in the fourth quarter of the season. Win out the next quarter, and the Broncos could have that No. 2 seed in order to help them win out in the playoffs.