Denver Broncos look to bounce back from their second consecutive loss. They get a reeling Raiders squad, that had their head coach resign mid-week, at home.
The Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders entered their respective week 4 matchups with undefeated records and a share of first place in the AFC West. Since then, both teams are 0-4 and share 2nd place in the division 2-games back of the L.A. Chargers. The Raiders had their season upended further this week as the Gruden e-mails were leaked by the league. Causing Jon Gruden to resign on Tuesday of this week. That was the truest real-life version of the fight scene from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. That escalated quickly.Embed from Getty Images
But the Broncos can’t count on a team with no will to show up at Empower Field. Much has been made about coaches “wanting out” and “calling for that next opportunity”. But this coaching staff is veteran and has head coaching experience in DC Gus Bradley. They know how to run a team, this is not a captainless ship. They just have a new hierarchy. I actually like the move of promoting the special team’s coordinator and leaving the offensive and defensive play-callers in their respective roles. This will help keep some normalcy and continuity in the building.
I would normally be happy to see the Raiders in such turmoil, but the facts around the story are just too horrible to glean any satisfaction from. If you would like further details on the Gruden situation you can listen to our Breakin’ Broncos Podcast here. And this article from The Athletic is a great resource as well.Embed from Getty Images
The Broncos coaching staff has been thoroughly outcoached the last 2 weeks. This is not debatable. As I stated in my Steelers game review here. Shurmur just can’t get out of his own way. He wants to run old-school blocking and running schemes, with new-age pass concepts despite whether or not he has the personnel to do so. For the second week in a row, despite constant pressure refused to go into 2 and 3-TE sets. He abandoned the run in the 2nd quarter despite average north of 6 YPC. And he used 3 wide sets with a return specialist, and practice squad players taking up the majority of the WR room.
Teddy had a third straight sub-par game against the steelers and a stout pass rush. The front 7 of the raiders is legit, their biggest weakness lies in the inconsistent back end. Casey Heyward is a bit underrated, but the rest are suspect at best. But Max Crosby and Co. make their lives much easier and will be going up against a suspect Bronco’s O-line that can’t even tout an “elite” Garrett Bolles anymore. Teddy has shown he tends to panic against misread blitzes pre-snap. He has shown all the tendencies, including backbreaking INTs in the 4th quarter that got Drew Lock benched. But again, somehow, Teddy gets a pass.Embed from Getty Images
If the Raiders come in and get anywhere near their offensive average of 399.6 total yards, it will be a long day for Broncos Country. If the Broncos can re-find their defensive efficiency from the first 3 weeks and hold the 29th ranked rushing offense in check while Von Miller and Co. get to Carr, Denver will be alright. Problem is, they just gave up almost 200 yards to the 32nd ranked rushing offense in the Steelers. And over 320 passing yards to a bottom 5 passing game the week before. The one area of this team that was supposed to be elite has been absolutely outclassed the last 2 weeks, in different ways. The game plans have been misguided at best, and absolutely horrible most of the time.
At least Teddy has been practicing with the team all week and he’s at home. So we should at least not see the embarrassing mistake of a delay of game on the first offensive play of the game. Think about that, you have a play you know was going to be called since Tuesday/Wednesday install. And you still can’t get the snap off. That is proof positive of bad coaching.Embed from Getty Images
Now, I do believe we will suffer the embarrassment of losing to a Raiders squad still licking their wounds created by their head coach. Denver will see heads roll, and a new QB on Monday. I won’t even call it Drew, it may be Brett Rypien. But changes will be made and the season will most likely fall off the rails over the next few weeks. I hope I’m wrong, but I cannot feel confident in this team, even this week, after the last two.
LV Raiders 24-Broncos 20