This game immediately brings back a memory from last season, when Mike Shanahan called a time-out as the Raiders were kicking the game-winning field goal. The time-out resulted in a Broncos victory, and a continued familiarity with losing for the Raiders.
A new season, and a new offense for the Raiders.
JaMarcus Russell actually made his NFL debut in the Raiders' last matchup with the Broncos, a game in which the Raiders defeated Denver 34-20. This season, the Raiders are fielding a much different offense, with Russell taking the snaps from the get-go, Darren McFadden now available as their second running back (could move up the depth chart quickly) and Javon Walker now starting alongside Ron Curry at wide receiver.
If the preseason was any indication, McFadden could be as good as advertised. He rushed for 182 yards on 34 carries in August, which puts him at almost five and a half yards per carry. What's even more exciting is that a performance like that from him, means that the offensive line has to be blocking. This is something that was seemingly non-existent on this team over the last few years. If the line can step up and offer protection for Russell, Fargas and McFadden, these Raiders might raise some eyebrows by mid-season.
As for Denver, they've got Selvin Young and Andre Hall in the infamous Broncos backfield. It seems like you can stick any two or three guys in that system and they will produce yards, and that is proven by the fact that they've had a different rushing leader in each of the last five seasons.
While a good running game is usually the key to success for the Broncos, their season, and this game, may very well be dependant on how they perform through the air. They've definitely got the tools to do well, but it's up to Jay Cutler to settle in and solidify his presence as the Denver Broncos starting quarterback. I don't know about you, but outside of Broncos fans most people weren't sure if he was still their guy. I know I had to check and make sure before writing this preview.
Of course, that could also just be caused by my lack of interest in the team.
Let's have a look at the picks:
House of Steel: Broncos
Not too much love for the Raiders there. I'll tell you what though, you can add one more in favor of Oakland. I (NEsince92) picked the Raiders, and I'm pretty confident about it too. Regardless of the outcome, I'm really looking forward to watching this one.
If you're interested in submitting your own picks to be displayed in Game Previews, feel free to post your picks in this thread, and I will gladly include your predictions. If you're not yet a member at TheScoreBoards, feel free to register and join in. We take any and all opinions into consideration at TSB.
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This article was originally posted here, and while comments are more than welcome in the comment section below, you will also find an increasing amount of comments at the link provided as we get closer to game time.