SM: Where do you think the Raiders excel on Sunday, and where do you think they may struggle?
BM: If Josh Jacobs is available on Sunday, I think that is where the Raiders excel. I think the Raiders’ biggest area of struggle would be the pass defense. Drew Lock is pretty mobile and has the ability to extend plays. Much like the Broncos, The Raiders’ secondary struggles covering tight ends, and Noah Fant has improved with each passing week, and of course, Courtland Sutton will be hard for the Raiders to contend with.
SM: Who is an X-factor that the Broncos should watch out for on Sunday?
BM: One to watch for would be rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow in the slot. I expect Chris Harris Jr to trail Tyrell Williams, so he may get more opportunity. He is very clutch, and very efficient on picking up first downs. Overall, he is the go to in key situations. I don’t remember the exact statistic, but majority of his receptions have picked up a first down.
SM: Heading to Vegas in 2020, the Raiders have officially played their last game in Oakland. What is the mood of Raider Nation as the move gets closer?
BM: From what I see on social media and hear on the Raiders podcasts and radio, it is a bit of mixed feelings. Raider Nation is sad to see the team leave Oakland, as many grew up with this team playing at the Coliseum, but going forward, I think most of the fans are excited that the team is getting a state of the art stadium and a brand new training facility. The 2020 NFL Draft will be held in Las Vegas, which is also exciting for Raiders fans.
SM: The Raiders hope to grab that last playoff seed and get the season sweep of Denver, while the Broncos hope to play spoiler and eliminate their divisional rival from contention. How do you think this game shakes out?
BM: I think it will be a close game, but my gut is telling me that Denver likely pulls it off and gets the win. The Raiders have not won in Denver since 2015. It’s a rivalry game and the Raiders tend to struggle in the Mile High City. I think this game may come down to special teams, and to be blunt, Brandon McManus is better than Daniel Carlson. The game will be competitive, and I think the score will be something similar to 24-20 Denver.