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Broncofan

GDT Week 2: OAK @ DEN

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Broncos Stadium At Mile High

2:25 PM CT September 16th, 2018

Coverage: CBS (Announcers TBA)

 

OAKLAND (0-1, 9-7 in 2017, 3rd in AFCW) DENVER (01-0, 5-11 in 2017, 4th AFCW) 

Line:  DEN -4.5/5, O/U somewhere around 45-46 pts

DVOA:  OAK (#19 overall - #13 on O; #29 on D; #17 on ST) DEN (#29 overall - #31 on O; #10 on D; #30 on ST),

DVOA Ranks:  https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teameff

 

So, we take care of SEA at home week 1 - and the schedule sets up for a fast start, with Jon Gruden's OAK Raiders.   Let's get down to the keys to the game:

1.  Keenum & DT/Sanders - one area where OAK did improve was their secondary.   Gareon Conley, Rashaan Melvin, Leon Hall and Nick Nelson actually form a decent set of CB's, and should challenge our WR's a lot more than SEA's porous crew.   While the matchup favored Sanders a ton last week, here there's more balance to DT's height and box-out ability.  I suspect we'll see a pretty even split.   While OAK's secondary is much improved from their bottom 3 D, their pass rush was just toothless (a guy wearing #52 would have probably helped...but hey, spend the $100M on a coach instead, OK).  So Keenum with clean pockets - I'd look for fewer mistakes than last week.

2.  Get ahead early, to lean on the run game - we saw the formula on MNF - the Rams were the better team, and as they got the 2H lead, they wore down the Raiders D.   I'd expect Musgrave & co. to draw up the same plan.  Unlike Week 1, where Lindsay got 15 carries, here's a game where I expect we might see 20+ touches from the hammer Freeman (and hopefully soothe those antsy owners who took Freeman early in fantasy lol).

3.  Get pressure on Carr - It's crazy how Derek Carr is a shell of his former self.  He's seeing ghosts, and while getting the ball out early is a great way to negate our pass rush (he was doing it in 2.2 secs instead of the 2.7 sec average), pretty clear if you can get pressure in his face, he starts to really shut it down. The 2H was eye-opening.

4.  Take out the Killer C's for OAK - Everyone will note the incredible game that Jared Cook had on MNF.  And he's clearly their top 2 option.   Just keep in mind that LAR's safety was a horrible mismatch at 5'10, while Justin Simmons actually should match up a lot better.   It would be a major mistake to use a hybrid LB/S on Cook, Simmons counters him best.     For that reason, I'd keep Harris on Amari Cooper, and take him out.  Jordy Nelson 2015 would be scary - 2018's version, not nearly as much.   If we take out Cooper & Cook, that really limits their pass game options.  On the other hand...

5.  Watch out for OAK's power run game - while OAK was clearly outclassed, give credit to Gruden for scripting a very good first 2 drives (his ability to adjust, however, was unsurprisingly limited - once LAR came out with adjustments in the 2H, Gruden & OAK had no adjustments to counter - one of the pitfalls of being out of the coaching game for so long).   That power run game is a potential problem for us, as OAK's OL is very good at run blocking (but had real trouble if Carr held it for 3+ secs).   Beast Mode will pose problems for us if we can't get ahead to force them into catchup mode.    

6.  RB pass coverage - it was a little under the radar, but the OAK pass catching RB Jalen Richard flashed nice skills in catchup time - expect to see him featured vs. our LB/hybrids.   Probably the sneaky opposing player no one is really thinking of.

7.  More PT for the reserves - having to face a team that will use the power run, I expect we'll see more of guys like Josey Jewell at ILB, and of course, Tramaine Brock at dime/nickel CB to spell Pacman Jones.   Let's see how they fare this week.

8.  Wear out the Raiders late - the Raiders are the oldest opening Day roster since they started tracking this specifically....as a rebuilder, well, lol.  What it means, of course, is that our ability to wear them down and take advantage of altitude, and then really take over the game in the 4Q, with a lead, a run game, and our pass rush pinning their ears back on Carr.

Overall, I said before I think we're a 7-9 to 8-8 team as most likely outcome.   I still feel that way, but the future has me excited with the young guys actually playing well.   But, even with all of that said, the September schedule has us set up for a fast start, and I'm calling a 27-20 win, although Gruden's coaching ability and preparation, along with the one key weakness of their power run game vs. us, and their improved secondary, makes this not quite as good of a matchup as SEA was (while we only won 27-24, the 3 TO's really kept SEA in the game that we otherwise completely dominated).   But it's still a plus matchup for us, and I expect barring a loss in the TO department or truly unfortunate injuries, we should be sitting at 2-0....and then the real test begins.  But, as this is a rivalry game, and intra-divisional one, I'm not worried at all of being complacent - the one silver lining when you go 5-11, you don't take any games for granted lol.

 

 

Edited by Broncofan

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So my brother in law is a raiders fan, and our mutual friend is a Gruden/Bucs fan.  

 

At our fantasy draft getaway a heated debate on how well the raiders would do arose

Now me and another sane friend have a shave cue ball bald bet with these 2. .500 or under we win

 

Ive never been more anti Oakland in my life 

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40 minutes ago, broncofan48 said:

Also just got an update that Carr is questionable?

That's a bit harsh.  He's playing horribly, but I don't know if he's questionable yet as their long-term QB.

Oh wait, that's not what you meant.  :D

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45 minutes ago, broncofan48 said:

So my brother in law is a raiders fan, and our mutual friend is a Gruden/Bucs fan.  

 

At our fantasy draft getaway a heated debate on how well the raiders would do arose

Now me and another sane friend have a shave cue ball bald bet with these 2. .500 or under we win

 

Ive never been more anti Oakland in my life 

OAK has to finish .500 or worse for you to win?

I think your opponents had better start looking up websites for hairpieces.  O.o

Edited by Broncofan

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1 hour ago, Broncofan said:

That's a bit harsh.  He's playing horribly, but I don't know if he's questionable yet as their long-term QB.

Oh wait, that's not what you meant.  :D

Yeah haha yahoo fantasy sent an update saying questionable not sure what it is in relation to.

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1 hour ago, Broncofan said:

OAK has to finish .500 or worse for you to win?

I think your opponents had better start looking up websites for hairpieces.  O.o

Haha actually .500 is a push they have winning record we have losing record.  My sister is going to kill me when her husband is bald but he isnt getting out of this

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Well our matchup just got a LOT more interesting - looks like Bryant avoided a suspension, so OAK is signing him again (LOL @ them releasing him after trading for him with a 3rd round draft pick - how do you not know for sure that he's getting suspended b4 releasing?  SMH lol).   Harris on Cooper would leave Roby on Bryant - that's a size mismatch I don't think makes a ton of sense.  OAK's matchup with us just got a lot more difficult for us to plan for.

 

Edited by Broncofan

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Another excellent GD post, so well done for that.

You touched on the two big points for me - ability to stop the power run game without selling out to do so, with then the ability to stop Jared Cook on the back of it. 

The two things are obviously linked. If we have to sell out to stop the power run game, our LB's play circa 3-5 yards to shallow and the Raiders will run Cook right behind them across the middle.

If we can get out to a lead and make the Raiders one dimensional, that massive OL ain't blocking our pass rushers. But, we aren't a good enough team to let the Raiders start the game how they did in the 1st half against the Rams, so we need to start quick especially on Defense.

I too agree that the Bryant signing is of interest. If his head is in the game, he's a matchup nightmare and a very good talent. 

I think we've got enough to win it but it will be another close one.

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20 hours ago, broncofan48 said:

Also just got an update that Carr is questionable?

This is true! 

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I'm not a fan of the Gruden hire for OAK simply because giving both GM/coach powers to 1 guy rarely works well, let alone for 10 years.  Plus, having been away from the game, it's not like he may be up to speed (and building the oldest roster ever assembled since they started tracking this stat kinda reinforces that concern).

But, I will tip my cap on 2 fronts - he called a helluva first 2 series with planned plays - that was the only time they had success, and given the talent difference, it was all coaching there.   He didn't adjust at all though in the 2H to what LAR adapted and put in place, though.  Still, you have to give him credit there. 

The second tip-my-cap item?  Pulling a B.B. and signing someone to the PS - who was on the opponent's roster just recently.   OAK signs Clinton McDonald...who was us all preseason long.   LOL.

 

On the other hand....maybe Gruden needs to set higher priorities in game prep than this....skunks lol.

 

Edited by Broncofan

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Definitely getting a "must win at all costs" vibe from the past few days in Oakland with some of the moves. Still no excuse to not win this one as the home team with far more talent,. 

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6 minutes ago, BroncoBruin said:

Definitely getting a "must win at all costs" vibe from the past few days in Oakland with some of the moves. Still no excuse to not win this one as the home team with far more talent,. 

Yeah, for sure, all hands on deck.

In that vein...this is actually a solid signing.   Davis probably paid the $ since that was what holding up Hankins joining a team in FA.

 

The ironic part, of course, is that maybe paying up the $ for another guy, an elite defender in his prime...well y'know.  

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Very good, well written write up from the OP.  Not much I can disagree with.  I have no idea what team you guys will see on Sunday.  Obviously I would like to see the first half of the Rams game Raiders, but I imagine Chubb and Miller can turn it into 2nd half Carr/Raiders in a hurry.  All we(Raider fans) can do is hope that Gruden can get Carr's head back into the game.  Im worried he is damaged goods, but will give him a few more games before I give up on him.  As for the Broncos I am still not sure what to think.  Keenum was up and down and threw some great balls and some awful ones.  If you keep him clean like the Rams did then I dont see us winning.  I am hoping for a good injury free game(by both teams) and hopefully coming out with a narrow victory.  Raiders 27 Broncos 24

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If Carr is the same than last game you guys would need to bring pressure and try to shutdown the short game. He's not even seeing the WRs going deep.

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