Can the Raiders compete with the elite Broncos on Monday Night Football? Check out our preview here.Week 3's Monday Night Football matchup is an AFC West divisional battle between the red hot Denver Broncos and the not-as-bad-as-everyone-thought Oakland Raiders. Who'll come out on top? -
Oakland Raiders @ Denver BroncosWhen and where: Tuesday September 24th, Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado. Coverage: LIVE ESPN 10:40am The Oakland Raiders come into this one with still some questions to answer, but the start to their season hasn't been as bad as some thought after a close-fought loss in Week 1 to the Indianapolis Colts followed by a 19-9 win last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. QB Terrelle Pryor -- who won the job from Matt Flynn -- has shown some dynamic play making ability, particularly with his legs and gives the Raiders a potentially potent offensive weapon who could give the Broncos a little trouble in this one. RB Darren McFadden had a monster game last week but this time comes up against the number one ranked defence against the run in the Broncos. The real challenge for the Raiders however is how do they plan on stopping one of the league's best offences? Yes they are a unit that's fourth in the NFL in yards allowed but last week they faced the worst offence in the league in the Jaguars, who lets be honest me and you could stop, so this will be a real test for them. The biggest question perhaps being asked is can they get any real pressure on Peyton Manning? If they don't it'll be a long night for them but this is a divisional game and some predicted the Raiders wouldn't win a game this season, which they have. This is the NFL, where anything can happen, right? The Broncos will be heavily favoured in this one and with good reason. They have the second ranked offence in the NFL and as previously mentioned are number one against the run. They do have one weakness so far this season and that is their pass defence has been disappointing, ranked number 29 to start the season. That shouldn't be too much of a concern in this one as the Raiders don't have the receivers to trouble the Broncos secondary too much. The Broncos offence is scary good, and if RB Knowshon Moreno keeps up his excellent form then the Broncos will win. One concern for the Broncos that the Raiders absolutely must exploit, is the loss of All-Pro LT Ryan Clady to a season-ending foot injury. Clady is not just one of the best LT's in the game, but perhaps one of the best offensive lineman period, so his absence is a big loss. But with all the offensive weapons that the Broncos have, I expect them to cope well with Clady's loss in this one. If however the Raiders can take advantage early then we may see an extra TE in for the Broncos to help protect Peyton Manning. It's also worth noting that RB Knowshon Moreno is effective in pass protection, one reason why he is currently the number one RB option in Denver. What out for: Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor may well need to use his arm to move the ball effectively if he can't do it using his legs. He's known to be a bit raw as a passer so if he needs to air it out, just how effective can he be? But perhaps just as important, will his receivers be able to step-up? Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno will need to have another solid outing with Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball waiting in the wings. Last week he was terrific in rushing for 93 yards on only 13 carries with two TD's, so will he continue to share carries in a crowded backfield? Final word and prediction: I know what you're thinking -- the Broncos will win easily. Conventional wisdom suggests you'd be right, but this is the NFL and divisional match-ups can be unpredictable. Still, the Broncos are also at home where they are just about unbeatable so I'm going with them to win 31-17. - Agree or disagree? Where will you be watching the game? Let us know in the comments below.