The Examiner breaks down the Raiders-Broncos game, including what it will take to win, the matchups, a word about the coaches, our humble predictions and broadcast information.
THREE KEYS TO A VICTORY
1. Combine the Denver Broncos’ intimidating secondary (anchored by cornerbacks Dre Bly and Champ Bailey) and the uncertainty of who will be the Raiders’ quarterback on Sunday, and one thing becomes clear: The Raiders will need to run the ball. LaMont Jordan picked up 70 yards and a touchdown against Detroit, but will have to carry even more of the offensive load if Oakland plans on controlling the clock and stealing a win in enemy territory.
2. QB Josh McCown looked good in Week 1, save for a couple of costly miscues. But lingering injuries might force him to carry the clipboard while Daunte Culpepper takes the reins. The only certainty is that it won’t be just-signed JaMarcus Russell, who is nowhere near ready.
3. While many would have figured that WR Jerry Porter would be due for a big Week 1, it was Ronald Curry who shined, netting 133 yards and a TD on 10 catches. He will have to have a career day to put up those numbers against Denver’s stingy pass defense.
Barry Sims vs. Simeon Rice
<strong>Sims: The Raiders’ left tackle will have his hands full protecting his QB from the Broncos’ rush.
Rice: The newest weapon in the Broncos’ “D” is a cagey veteran who will be eager to get his first sack.
Warren Sapp vs. Jay Culter
Sapp: Proved last year he can still be a nightmare to opposing QBs if he gets through the line.
Culter: The talented young QB went for 304 yards with a TD and a pick against the Bills in Week 1.
Sam Williams vs. Travis Henry
Williams: He and the rest of the Raiders’ LBs know stopping the run is crucial when facing Denver.
Henry: The veteran seems a perfect fit for Denver — he picked up 183 yards of total offense in Week 1.
It’s only Week 2, but Lane Kiffin is facing his new team’s biggest rival in its Raider-hating backyard. If Oakland can somehow pull off the upset and earn its first win, consider the young coach a quick fan favorite.
The Broncos’ Mike Shanahan has a stacked offense, a bruising defense and the home-field advantage. Still, don’t expect the master of fundamentals to take anything for granted against any opponent.
THE EXAMINER PREDICTS …
Sure, the Silver and Black looked leaps and bounds better in its debut than it did last year, but this is still a young team that will have to learn from adversity. Expect a big heap of that as the Broncos pound theRaiders on the ground. Broncos 22, Raiders 6
RAIDERS at BRONCOS
Sunday, 1:15 p.m.
TV: KPIX (Ch. 5)
Radio: KSFO (560 AM)