For the first time that I can recall, the Oakland Raiders will be hosting a game on Sunday Night Football. They have played in plenty of Monday Night Football games, but I am not so sure they have been featured on SNF in Oakland. The Raiders will get quite the competitor in the spotlight tonight, a divisional matchup with the Denver Broncos. Most of the SNF matchups have been a bit below par for me, but this is one that is sure to excite. The Raiders have the potential to stake their claim as real contenders in the AFC West.
With a record of 6-2, the Raiders are already in this to win it, but there are a lot of people who want to see them beat a team like the Broncos first. A win tonight would give them a record of 7-2 and send the Broncos to 6-3. The division would be long from over, but it would be a marquee win for the Raiders in Week 9.
Derek Carr has asserted himself as one of the best in the NFL. The selection had people thinking of his brother, David Carr, who was a major bust for the Houston Texans. David was supposed to be the future of the franchise, their first pick ever as a team, but he was never able to get things going. The Texans are still searching for a franchise quarterback to this day. The Raiders have their guy, as Derek has turned into a star in a Raiders jersey. Carr has thrown for 17 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions, with a staggering completion percentage of 66.3%. He also holds a superb quarterback rating of 100.9. Carr has thrown his hat into the MVP discussions with his play in 2016.
His most difficult chore will come this week against the Broncos. Carr’s merit will be tested tonight against the Broncos. He’s already one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL today, but beating up on the Broncos’ defense would put him on another level. He also has the potential to do it in the premier game of the week on Sunday Night Football. Trevor Siemian, the former Northwestern product, will look to spoil the night for Carr. Let’s get to the pick below in this huge AFC West showdown on Sunday night.
Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Raiders -1(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Broncos vs. Raiders Pick:
Carr has been nearly perfect this season, but he’s going to have to actually be perfect against the Broncos tonight. He is certainly capable of throwing a perfect game. Cam Newton found out rather fast in the Super Bowl that this is some kind of good pass defense the Broncos have. However, Carr already knows what it’s like to beat the Broncos, as he already led the Raiders to a 15-12 win last December. The defense was solid for the Raiders, but Carr was good as well, throwing for 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. It’s exactly what the Raiders will need tonight.
Denver is 1st in the NFL against the pass, allowing only 183.9 yards per game. That is very good, especially in this era of the NFL which favors offense. Overall the Broncos are 3rd, giving up an average of 301.2 yards per game. They are surrendering 17 points per game. The Raiders are 4th in the NFL passing the ball, with Carr averaging 285 yards per game. Despite the Broncos having problems moving the ball, accumulating just 326.4 yards a game, they are scoring 24.2 points. Why? The Broncos can thank their defense for that, who has continually set them up with good field position.
The Broncos have been playing well lately without Aqib Talib, with key players like Bradley Roby stepping up and playing a big role. What the Raiders can’t do tonight is get a ton of penalties. Penalties are going to result in a loss against a defense like the Broncos. Oakland have been having problems avoiding the injury bug. Note that they are 1st in the NFL in penalties. It’s good to be 1st in the league most of the time, but nobody wants to be 1st in penalties. The Raiders are also 31st in yards allowed per game in 2016. Carr might have a decent game, nothing too bad, but I expect the Broncos to edge the Raiders out in a close one.
PICK: BRONCOS +1 (-110)