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. After throwing for more than 300 yards in Week 1 against the Lions, Raiders quarterback Josh McCown returned to earth in Denver on Sunday, going 8-for-16 for 73 yards while throwing three interceptions. He did manage one touchdown — and, in his defense, was suffering from foot and hand injuries — but clearly, those numbers are going to have to improve if Oakland is going to be able to keep up with the Browns. If he continues to make mistakes, don’t be surprised if backup Daunte Culpepper takes the reins.
2. One quick look at the numbers will tell you these two teams have struggled stopping their opponents. The Browns have given up more yards than any other team, while the formerly tough Raiders have been porous of late, entering the game with the 28th-best defense. Since the Browns have the offensive edge, the Raiders better focus on making stronger tackles if they want to win this one.
3. Will the heartbreaking end of last week’s loss to the Broncos still be on kicker Sebastian Janikowski’s mind? If the game is on the line and the Raiders just need three points, fans better hope not. Then again, no one could accuse Sea Bass of being too pensive.
JAMAL LEWIS VS. KIRK MORRISON
Lewis: Cleveland’s bruising HB will look to keep comeback going after 216-yard day against Bengals.
Morrison: Raiders’ MLB will be integral to their run-stopping efforts, which thus far have been dismal.
TED WASHINGTON VS. LAMONT JORDAN
Washington: Aging former Raider will have to dig deep to stop a game plan that should rely on the run.
Jordan: The RB hada career day in Week 2, going for 159 yards on the ground — he’ll be the Raiders’ horse.
BRAYLON EDWARDS VS. NNAMDI ASOMUGHA
Edwards: Speaking of career games, the Browns’ young WR had two TDs and 146 yards in Week 2.
Asomugha: Can the Raiders’ secondary return to their suffocating coverage and stop giving up big plays?
Lane Kiffin tasted blood in Denver, only to see his prey slip away. Expect the young Raiders coach to pull out all the stops — possibly pulling out some new plays — to get his all-important first victory.
Romeo Crennel and the Browns — for once — got some good press after beating the heavily favored Bengals. But the hard-edged leader will undoubtedly try to draw up some schemes to put pressure on the shaky Raiders QBs.
THE EXAMINER PREDICTS …
The Raiders will finally end their 11-game losing streak at the expense of the still-learning Browns. Last week’s loss to Denver was brutal, but proved they can win — now they just need to take care of business and close the deal. Raiders 24, Browns 22
BROWNS at RAIDERS
Sunday, 1:05 p.m.
TV: KPIX (Ch. 5)
Radio: KSFO (560 AM)