Denver Broncos: Inside scoop on the Raiders with Just Blog Baby

Dec 24, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; An Oakland Raiders fan holds a towel reading "raider nation" during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 24, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; An Oakland Raiders fan holds a towel reading "raider nation" during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos host the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. We catch up with Brad Weiss of Just Blog Baby to talk about the matchup, as well as other Raider developments…

The Denver Broncos face the Las Vegas Raiders in their first division matchup of the 2021 season on Sunday, with this being the Raiders’ second such matchup. There are several key developments ahead of this game.

For one, Las Vegas no longer has their head coach Jon Gruden, who stepped down from the position after some disgusting developments regarding the discovery of emails sent a decade ago.

Both the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders are on two-game losing streaks. It will be crucial for either team to get back on track with a divisional win. They’re ultimately some of the most important games teams play.

Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders: Inside Scoop with Just Blog Baby

This game may very well be a must-win for the Denver Broncos, as it has been apparent that getting on a hot streak is difficult for the team.

We get an inside look at the Las Vegas Raiders prior to the first Broncos-Raiders matchup of the season, as Brad Weiss of Just Blog Baby answers a few questions regarding both teams.

After starting the season 3-0, the Raiders have dropped their last two games. What has been the biggest cause of those losses?

BW: The biggest issue for the Raiders during their last two games has been the play of the offensive line. This is a group that is downright banged-up, and they have recently moved 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood inside from right tackle, to right guard. That enabled the team to start Brandon Parker in Week 5, but the issues still remained, especially along the interior.

The Raiders have done a lot of nice things this season, but the fact that the line has struggled has really affected both Derek Carr, as well as the running backs. Until they can finally get it right up front, the Raiders are not going to be able to do what they want to do on that side of the ball.

Falling behind every week does not help at all, as they have been down 14-0 on three occasions, and 14-3 at the half last week.

What can the Denver Broncos fans expect from the Raiders in the first matchup of the season?

BW: It has been a crazy week for the Raiders, as their head coach, Jon Gruden, resigned after the release of some horrible emails. Las Vegas is still figuring it out on offense, and have yet to really get the run game going at all this season.

The Raiders are going to put the ball in the hands of [quarterback Derek] Carr, and hope that he can deliver some of the magic we have seen from him this season. On defense, you can expect good pressure from the likes of Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue along the edge, as well as strong linebacker play from Denzel Perryman. This is a tough and resilient group, and one that will be playing with a chip after the Gruden issues.

What has been the biggest surprise for the Raiders in 2021?

BW: The biggest surprise for the Raiders has been the improvements on the defensive side of the ball. Gus Bradley has been a great addition and the team is playing better on defense than they have in a long time.

Unfortunately, injuries are rearing their ugly head on defense lately as well, as Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette went to the IR last week, so we will see if the secondary can step up against the Broncos.

How will the Raiders respond to Gruden resigning, and can Rich Bisaccia get the job done?

BW: Word around the building is that Rich Bisaccia is an incredible leader and someone who already has the respect of the locker room. That is going to be huge during this kind of situation, and based on the leadership in terms of the players, I believe this is the right combination to push through the whole Gruden fiasco.

Bisaccia may not have been a head coach at the NFL level, but he is a veteran NFL coach, and I am excited to see what he brings to the table.

Where do you feel the Raiders may have an advantage over the Denver Broncos on Sunday and why?

BW: I feel that the Raiders pass rush is going to be able to get to Teddy Bridgewater early and often in this game. Yannick Ngakoue and Max Crosby are monsters coming off the edge, while Quinton Jefferson and Solomon Thomas have been solid on the interior. If the Raiders can get pressure on the quarterback, this is going to be a good game on Sunday, and the group has proven to be quite consistent this year.

On offense, Darren Waller is basically unguardable, so the Raiders need to find a way to get him the ball early and often.

Which player of the Denver Broncos on offense and defense are you most concerned about on Sunday?

BW: On offense, Javonte Williams. I actually cover the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for FanSided and got to see how good Javonte Williams was at UNC last season. This guy is chunk yardage waiting to happen, and if he and Melvin Gordon get it going, it will open up Teddy Bridgewater and the multiple weapons the Broncos have on the outside in the passing game.

On defense, really whoever is matched up against Brandon Parker at right tackle. Parker and this Raiders offensive line is going up against a tough unit in Denver, and Parker has shown that he is not always the most consistent offensive lineman. If I were the Broncos, I would bullrush that side of the ball all game long.

What do you think will be the final outcome of the Broncos-Raiders game?

BW: I was pretty confident the Raiders would win this game before all the Gruden stuff came down, and now I am not sure how they will respond. This is a close group and will band together as a unit, but having your $100 million head coach resign on a Monday night is just not normal.

Las Vegas will keep it close, and could certainly come away with the victory, but that is only if they can get off to a fast start. If they fall behind again, it could be a third straight loss, but I actually like them winning 24-21.

Thank you, Brad, for taking time to chat about the matchup! The Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders square off at 4:25 ET on Sunday.