Peyton Manning: Why Broncos Quarterback Will Have Career Day vs. Raiders

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 29, 2012

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 23:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos delivers a pass against the Houston Texans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 23, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Texans defeated the Broncos 31-25.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos will welcome the Oakland Raiders into town this Sunday, and this game will lead to a career day for Manning.

The Broncos offense got off to a slow start against the Houston Texans last week. Denver only mustered up 11 points in the first half, only to score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone.

Denver's passing attack didn't look so great at the start, but the only reason the Broncos made their matchup with the Texans close was because of their passing attack. As the game went on, the Broncos got better at moving the ball through the air against the Texans' elite defense.

This week, the Broncos won't be facing the same caliber of defense.

Oakland's defense, as a whole, isn't very good as evidenced by the 88 points it's allowed in three games this season. But more specifically, the Raiders' passing attack is downright dreadful, ranking 26th in the NFL.

In Week 3, the Raiders allowed Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers offense to throw the ball all over the field to the tune of 384 yards and four touchdowns. Big Ben left that game with a quarterback rating of 123.2.

At the very least, the Broncos are as talented passing the ball as the Steelers are, and that doesn't bode well for the Raiders. Manning should have no problem picking apart the Raiders' inferior secondary.

On top of that, Willis McGahee (questionable, per ESPN) isn't a certainty to take the field this week, and while the Broncos do have viable backups, none are as talented as McGahee. That could leave the Broncos throwing even more passes this week, and that means Manning will have the chance to rack up major yardage.

It doesn't even matter if Oakland knows Denver will be throwing the ball. The Raiders simply don't have enough talent on defense to stop all the weapons the Broncos have.

The only thing stopping Manning from exploding for a big game is the rest of his teammates.

Clearly, it's taking time for the Broncos offense to learn the new system that Manning is running, but scoring two late touchdowns against a top defense like Houston's shows the rest of the team is catching up with the Hall of Fame signal-caller.

With another week under their belt together, Manning and the Broncos offense will be even more experienced than they were last week, and that experience will, no doubt, help Denver dominate Oakland through the air.