December 29, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) watches from the sideline during the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 34-14. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Since his arrival in Denver, Peyton Manning and the Broncos have absolutely owned the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders haven’t exactly had anyone’s number, but the Broncos have especially been dominant against their division foe Oakland, their least impressive win coming by a final score of 26-13 in Oakland back in 2012.
At the end of last season, the Broncos pulled most of their starters after a 34-point outburst in the first half in Oakland, keyed by Peyton Manning who threw a touchdown pass to end the half to Demaryius Thomas while simultaneously breaking the NFL’s all-time record for passing yardage in a single season.
It wasn’t a bad day at the office for Manning or the Bronocs, and it was the beginning of their run in the playoffs that led to an AFC Championship.
The Broncos face a tough task against the Raiders despite the fact that they are 0-8 so far this season. They gave the Seattle Seahawks a nice little scare on their home field last week, and Derek Carr has proven that he’s capable of making some plays. Here are what I believe to be the keys to victory for the Denver Broncos in Oakland, taking on the Raiders.
1. Pressure Derek Carr
As solid as Derek Carr has looked this season, he’s been terrible under pressure, completing less than 50 percent of his passes. The Broncos have the pass rushers to get after Carr, but they need to make sure that — unlike last week — they force the Raiders to use longer developing routes because apparently passes over the middle of the field and on drag routes will be there every time.
Denver needs to be aggressive in getting after the young Raiders’ quarterback and attacking him all game with relentlessness. He struggles when pressured, so obviously a key to beating Oakland is to get pressure on him early and often.