Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos
Just as important as any numbers or stats that can be dug up is the human side of a game, and that philosophy will not be more on display anywhere else than in Denver, where the Raiders begin anew.
With the emergence of various disgusting old emails costing former head coach Jon Gruden his job this week, the franchise is now turning to Rich Bisaccia in the interim. Whether or not that can save Las Vegas’ season remains to be seen, but in the short term, this could have a profound negative impact on the Silver & Black.
That’s not a diss on Bisaccia, who has been an assistant head coach on every team he’s been a part of since 2008. It’s human nature, though, to maybe struggle a bit.
Derek Carr had formed a close bond with Gruden ever since the latter returned to the Raiders three seasons ago, so much so that in the wake of his firing, the eighth-year QB declared: “I love the man, hate the sin.” Love isn’t only a strong word in relationships, but in pro football as well.
And not only must Carr and his boys navigate through a very treacherous predicament, they have to do it against one of the league’s best defensive units.
The Broncos, as usual, are looking really stingy on defense, allowing the third-fewest yards per game (292.4). In turn, they’re yielding fewer points each week (15.2) than all but one other NFL team. This group has been the driving force in why four of their first five bouts thus far have registered as clear, decisive unders.
As it is, Carr has averaged 226.5 passing yards per game in his 13 outings against the Broncos, his second-lowest output among any opponent he’s faced more than three times. This will be one of the best Bronco defenses he’s stepping onto the gridiron with, being that Denver is shackling quarterbacks to a puny 75.8 passer rating — third-best in the NFL.
So it’d be really difficult to expect some type of strong showing from the Raiders offense. But what about the other side?
Should you even ask? This is a Teddy Bridgewater team, and whenever it’s Teddy time, expect plenty of short passes and check-downs because that’s just his style. In other words, not many big plays.
Watching any Broncos game requires extreme patience as their slow, plodding offense tries to grind out methodical, time-consuming drives that are an under bettor’s best friend. Taking on a respectable Raiders D, expect more of the same. Being a divisional rivalry that usually consists of close matchups, I’m buying a full point on this total to be sure.
Pick: UNDER 45 (-130)