Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos, 4:25p.m. EST
Round two of Broncos/Raiders falls in Denver. Mile High Stadium in January means cold air and a high probability of snow. Not quite as warm as Oakland, CA…. Advantage, Denver. The game will come down to more than just weather, but it’s going to have a significant impact on the way this game is played.
Keys to the Game
The Raiders will be hoping for clear skies and no wind. Why? They’re going to need to pass in order to leave Denver with a victory — and that’s going to be difficult enough with Denver’s shutdown corners. Oakland is going to have to get creative in order to get Amari Cooper open and in space. If they can get some sort of running game going, it will help them immensely, but that’s just not one of their strong suits. If they can get out to an early lead, it will likely give Kahlil Mack more opportunity to come off the edge as a pass rusher, which is always a good thing for them.
If the weather in this game turns bad, Denver won’t be too upset. They have a stable of capable backs that can tote the ball and move the chains. It would also help to take Khalil Mack out of the game plan — though he is still effective against the run, so don’t count him out. If the Broncos do need to pass, they’ll benefit from avoiding whoever Sean Smith is matched up on and taking what they can get. The pass will be used to keep Oakland off balance, but not too much more.