What to watch for when Broncos host Raiders

Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum (4) before the game against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.
Aug 11, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum (4) before the game against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos put together a strong performance on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, but certainly were not perfect.

Denver while strong on offense, turned the football over multiple times. With Oakland coming to Denver for Week 2, there is much work to do for Denver to start 2-0.

But overall, there are many reasons to feel confident the Broncos will beat the Raiders this weekend and as Broncos Blitz podcast host Ronnie Kohrt discusses in the latest edition of the podcast. The Broncos are healthy, on a full week and have the up on offense.

  • Denver is healthy

“Loren has been great for us. Obviously, it’s football. Guy’s get injured. But, Loren’s been great. Our team is in great condition. It showed on Sunday,” Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said Wednesday of his strength and conditioning coach.

“It was a warm day Sunday and our guys played fast while they were tired. That’s important. Obviously, some of it’s luck. How we practice hopefully helps that, but the combination of luck, how we practice and Loren’s program is keeping us healthy so far—knock on wood.”

Denver as coach Joseph mentioned has been on a string of good luck and certainly will take it, but no doubt Landow’s program being implemented allowed the Broncos to remain fresh at altitude in the opener. Denver is nearly 100% top-to-bottom on healthy players moving forward and Landow absolutely has a part of that. The same however cannot be said for Oakland, who is battling the injury bug now.

Oakland currently lists multiple starters, including two offensive lineman as ‘limited’ on the practice report. Something to watch when it coms to effectiveness on Sunday.

  • Short Week for Oakland

The short week is a big deal in the NFL, particularly when traveling. That’s what Oakland faces and by no control of the Broncos, should immediately have the advantage because of it.

  • The Broncos are…better coached?

Are the Denver Broncos a better coached football team? Bill Musgrave crafted a brilliant game-plan against Seattle by utilizing the weapons they have at their disposal. Joseph may not be the strongest head in the coaching room, but Musgrave’s offense is off to a great start. Special teams also looked incredibly improved under Tom McMahon.

Meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders are hoping that Jon Gruden’s debut month finishes on a strong note. Gruden in the offseason has failed to communicate with some of his best players on the team and threw them under the bus afterwards. An added addition, in-game adjustments failed miserably for Oakland on Monday night as Oakland was outscored 23-0 in the second half in Week 1.

  • Broncos Offense Vs. Raiders Defense

The Denver Broncos nearly swept the Raiders last year even with dreadful quarterback play. With competency at the quarterback position, the Broncos offensive advantage will show very clear as the difference on Sunday.

Oakland’s defense wasn’t special prior to the Khalil Mack trade and now it feels like a depleted army without it’s leader. The Rams offense not only controlled the air, but the ground against the Raiders as they gashed the Raiders defense on Monday.

If Denver’s offense brings any sort of consistency to the rhythm and fluidity that they brought in Week 1, Keenum and the offense should have no problem making plays against the Raiders defense.

Click here to listen to the full Broncos Blitz podcast with Ronnie Kohrt.

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