Inside The Villain’s Venue: Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders


Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston flexes his biceps in celebration after a tackle against the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE)

We’re going Inside the Villain’s Venue this week with Chris Shellcroft. He’s the editor for Just Blog Baby which is the greatest Oakland Raiders site out there. Did I just use ‘greatest’ and ‘Raiders’ in the same sentence? Ugh!

Anyway, let’s go Inside the Dark Side.

Predominantly Orange: Broncos fans were sad to see Dennis Allen go. He did a great job in Denver for the year he was here. Do you think he was a good hire as the Raiders new head coach?

Just Blog Baby: I have nothing but respect for Dennis Allen and think he’ll become a very good coach in the NFL. Problem is it’s hard to tell how good he is at the moment given all of the major changes the Raiders have undergone and are still going through. To give an honest answer I’m holding out for at least two years until giving a proper opinion on Allen. He’s already made a few rookie mistakes like not having a backup long snapper and mismanaging a few game situations. But he’s also shown himself to be a quality leader with the ability to get the attention of an NFL locker room. He was a good hire the only question might be the timing of it. My feel is he’s not quite ready to be a head coach but then again who ever is?

PO: The Raiders are ranked 31st in rushing even with Darren McFadden. What’s going on there?

JBB: The most hated name in Raider Nation these days is Greg Knapp. This is his second stint as Oakland’s offensive coordinator and last time he was replaced by Tom Cable and the offense improved over night. Knapp some how decided that the zone blocking scheme was going to be better than the power blocking approach Oakland took under Hue Jackson. No real surprise that McFadden is struggling behind a line that was never meant to play in the zone scheme and no shock at all that Knapp’s play calling has once again brought the Oakland offense to new lows. Last week did offer some hope so we’ll see if they can build on the success against the Steelers.

PO: The Raiders have a mediocre defense. How do you think they’ll fare against a hungry Peyton Manning-led offense?

JBB: You’re being kind. The Raiders can only hope to be mediocre.This defense is painfully terrible against the pass and I’m dreading seeing Manning like a Vampire rave dreads seeing the sunrise. The Raiders are already down to starting practice squad castoffs at corner. Last week Michael Huff made the first ever start of his career at corner. Yeah, let’s just say there are natural childbirths that aren’t as painful as watching Huff trying to cover. The good news is Manning still doesn’t have the arm strength to stretch the field. The bad news is he could just stand tall in the pocket and pick apart the Raiders with short, quick routes all day long.

PO: The Broncos and Raiders have such a long and storied history. What’s your favorite all-time game between the two teams?

JBB: Great question! I’ve got two that come to mind instantly. One is from my childhood when the Raiders were in L.A. and the Broncos came to town. It was an exciting game that went into OT with the Raiders winning on an 80-yard TD to a backup tight end named Mike Dyal. Sadly, what I remember most is that everyone in the L.A. Coliseum stood the moment Dyal hit the open field. Me and my dad stood only to realize nobody was looking at Dyal, all eyes were on the section above us as one poor guy in an Elway jersey was being given the business by a group of rowdy fans. I lost my Raider innocence that day.

Now the game that I enjoyed the most was the infamous snow game on Sunday night a few years back. That game was back and forth with plenty of action including Ron Curry’s amazing one-handed TD grab and Langston Walker blocking a kick to seal the deal.

PO: Finally, your prediction for Sunday’s game?

JBB: The following is for entertainment purposes only: As a betting man I’ll take the Raiders to cover at +7 and the over on 49 points. Does that answer your question? No…it doesn’t. But it’s what a degenerate does when he doesn’t want to bet against his team if he’s pretty sure they’ll lose.

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