Week 4: Oakland Raiders At Denver Broncos

Oakland Raiders v San Diego Chargers
Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos
Carson Palmer has struggled since coming to the Raiders, but he got it together in the Raiders’ Week Three win over the Steelers. He has all the attributes – size, arm strength and a smooth release – but he looked comfortable in an Oakland uniform for the first time.
Winner Peyton Manning is finding it quite difficult to find the form that made him one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. His passes appear to lack steam and that may be the result of grip issues. However, he deserves a full shot before anyone writes him off. He still thinks the game better than nearly anyone.
The Raiders will try to run the ball with Darren McFadden as their first option. He exploded for 118 yards against a tough Steeler defense and he can break long plays. Wide receiver Denarius Moore figures to be a key option for Palmer since Darrius Heyward-Bey (concussion) is questionable after a frightening hit.
Winner The Broncos don’t have a lot of explosive weapons, but Demaryius Thomas can break the long one if he gets the ball in stride. However, he does not have dependable hands. Willis McGahee runs with heart and effort, but previous injuries and year of getting hit hard have robbed him of his speed. Eric Decker and tight end Jacob Tamme are dependable.
Winner The Raiders are dependent on Richard Seymour in the middle of the defensive line. He had a sack against the Steelers and he occupies multiple blockers. Linebacker Philip Wheeler is a big hitter who had 10 tackles and forced two fumbles against the Steelers.
The Broncos secondary features cornerback Champ Bailey, who remains one of the best cover men in the league. However, the rest of the Denver defensive backs are vulnerable. Defensive end Elvis Dumervil is a notable speed rusher who could cause havoc for Palmer if the Denver crowd gets loud and confuses the Raider offense.
Special Teams
Winner The Raiders left the game on the leg of powerful Sebastian Janikowski and he came through with the game-winning 43-yard field goal in overtime once again. Janikowski has the most powerful leg in NFL placekicking history and he has a chance to set a new distance record every time he plays in Denver. Punter Shane Lechler is a Pro Bowl candidate every year.
Broncos feel good about Matt Prater, who made 3-of-3 FG attempts against the Texans, including a 53-yarder. Punter Britton Colquitt averaged 47.6 yards per punt against Houston and dropped three inside the 20.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Oakland Raiders v San Diego Chargers Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos

The Broncos would seem to have an advantage playing at home, but the edge that Peyton Manning has over Carson Palmer is narrow at quarterback. It hasn’t been easy for Manning in his comeback and the Raiders come in with momentum after beating the Steelers in overtime.


  1. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Sam Bradford #8 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass in the first quarter against Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 21-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) GREENBAY, WI - OCTOBER 20: Running back Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by nose tackle Kenny Clark #97 and cornerback Demetri Goodson #39 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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  2. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles avoids Everson Griffen #97 of the Minnesota Vikings as he runs for a first down during the second quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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  3. GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers scrambles out of the pocked during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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