The Raiders are coming off a huge 34-31 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers and they know they can deal the Broncos a severe blow by defeating them.
But Peyton Manning will be ready. He looked very good in the season opener against Pittsburgh, but for Broncos fans, that seems like ages ago. Since then, the Broncos have dropped two games to a couple of very solid teams. In those two losses, Manning's timing with his receivers looked like it was just a little bit off.
Now they get the Raiders who come into this game with the 26th ranked pass defense in the league. But save for an amazing performance by Reggie Bush, the Raiders have been pretty stout against the run. What does that mean? Manning will be throwing early and often.
Manning is averaging 274.6 yards passing per game over the first three games but this is a game where he should top the 300-yard mark. Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Brandon Stokley, be ready, you're all going to see the ball coming your way often.
Running back Willis McGahee is now listed as probable, but he has been nursing some injured ribs, which just gives Manning all the more reason to put the team on his back.
The defense needs to step up and keep Darren McFadden in check, but ultimately, this game will be decided on the arm of Manning.
To be fair, the Raiders just don't have enough weapons to keep up with the Broncos, especially with Darrius Heyward-Bey out with a concussion.
The game will take place inside Sports Authority Field and it will be the first AFC West game for Denver. Manning has been around long enough to know when his team needs him most and this is one of those times.
Fans will see why the Broncos took the risk they did on Manning on Sunday, even more so than they did in Week 1. And what better time for that to come than in a game against Oakland?
Manning will have one of his best games of this entire season on Sunday, all at the expense of the hated division rival Raiders.
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