296

Raiders have Broncos on the run

In the days leading up to the first day of training camp, I’ll review the state of the rest of the AFC West and how they match up with the Raiders, as well as all Raiders position groups heading into the first practice on July 24. Today’s entry takes a look at the Denver Broncos.

If there is one thing Mike Shanahan enjoys more than beating Al Davis and reminding him of the bonus money he insists he is owed, it is the way his Denver teams have been physically superior through their ability to run the ball.

That changed in 2007, and when Davis was tallying up the plusses and minuses of Lane Kiffin’s first season, one of the biggest things in his favor was the way his teams played against Shanahan and the Broncos.

They came within a Sebastian Janikowski field goal hitting an upright of sweeping Denver for the first time since 2002, falling 23-20 in overtime in Week 2 and manhandling the Broncos 34-20 in Week 13.

You wonder if Davis’ favorite moment of the entire season wasn’t the sight of watching Shanahan sit on the ball on Denver’s final possession, essentially saying “uncle” as Justin Fargas ran for 146 yards, the Raiders gained 175 and ran up a 10-minute advantage in time of possession.

The Raiders beating the Broncos on the ground is real man bites dog stuff, as Shanahan’s 20-6 record against Oakland since 1995 has been in great measure due to Denver’s rushing superiority.

Oakland outrushed Denver 2,086 to 1,957 last season _ only the third time in Shanahan’s 13 years the Raiders gained more yards than the Broncos on the ground.

What’s more, it was accomplished with an offense in large measure stolen from the Broncos _ zone blocking, lots of bootlegs and and getting effective yardage from different running backs.

Whether the Raiders can continue beating the Broncos at their own game will be determined quickly _ Denver is at Oakland in a late Monday night game at the Coliseum in Week 1.

Broncos review

Denver was 7-9 in the AFC West, 1-1 against the Raiders. Ranked 9th in rushing, 11th in total offense, 19th in total defense, 30th in rushing defense.

What’s new

Running back Travis Henry, a rare Denver foray into free agency for a running back, was dumped after being a no-show in the offseason program and faces a suspension under the NFL substance abuse policy.

The Broncos will run by committee with Selvin Young and free agent acquisition Michael Pittman. Fourth-round draft pick Ryan Torian of Arizona State has the classic look of a one-cut, zone-blocking runner.

Linebacker Boss Bailey, brother of cornerback Champ Bailey, joins the defense, along with San Diego castoff Marlon McCree at safety. Niko Koutovides, a free agent from Seattle, will also play a large role.

What’s to like

Quarterback Jay Cutler’s mysterious weight loss last season was solved. He has Type 1 diabetes and must constantly monitor his blood sugar. The word is Cutler not only looks healthy, but is throwing the ball extremely well and appears confident and secure, perhaps relieved he knows what he is dealing with.

Not content to go the usual route with castoffs, the Broncos used a first-round pick on tackle Ryan Clady, who was a zone-blocking terror at Boise State and a perfect fit for the system.

What’s not

There was a lot of snickering when the Broncos cut Javon Walker rather than pay him a $5 millon roster bonus, only to have the Raiders sink some $16 million into him during free agency. It no doubt got louder when Walker ended up getting rolled in Las Vegas.

But the Broncos best not laugh too loud. The wideout expected to make the big plays, Brandon Marshall, sliced tendons in an offseason accident. He says he slipped on a McDonald’s bag and fell through a television set.

Considering Denver’s offseason acquisitions at wide receiver were Keary Colbert and DarrellJackson, joining Brandon Stokely, the Broncos have issues outside.

Those creaking sounds are coming from Denver’s center position. They went younger at center, signing 13-year veteran Casey Wiegmann from the Chiefs and relegating 15-year vet Tom Nalen to backup status.

Tears of joy were wept in Oakland when perennial Raider-killer Jason Elam escaped to Atlanta as a free agent. The place kickers going to camp are Matt Prater and Garrett Hartley.

There were no huge moves by the Broncos in the offseason defensively despite giving up 409 points, more than even the Raiders (398).

  • Share/Bookmark

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Brien

    Attention women of Denver:
    Michael Pittman and Brandon Marshall are on the same team. Don’t get your lights put out LOL

  • Brien

    A shot of insulin is Trevor Scott beating your Left Tackle to slap Jay “overrated” Suckler

  • Brien

    Pat Bowlen doesn’t have enough to cheat like he did from 96-98= cheating franchise

  • Brien

    Denverr= inbreed cowtown……….how’s that iverson/melo combo working out?

  • 909raiderlifer

    ” I was born a rebel”.–Tom Petty…

  • Brien

    Whoooooooo National Champion Keary Colbert is on the Broncos I should be worried because the Pac 10 defense will be played out in California hahahahahahahaha

  • Brien

    Cramp Dailey= loser overrated chump who isn’t a winner.
    Dre”Fly by me” Bly= smoked sausages cant cover a stove

  • Brien

    909- Denver Broncos “Reeling in the Years since Elway” new hit song in cowtown ass denver

  • Brien

    gas=over 250 dollars
    beers=100 dollars
    condoms=50 dollars
    traveling to a denver nightclub and one night standing a nice blonde while you wear Raider gear=priceless

  • Brien

    denver 2008= Please come back Jake sorry we didn’t appreciate you being better than Grieseball and Suckler……….bring the caveman beard and erratic turnovers…anything is better than being swepted by Oakland

  • Brien

    Anyone got one of those logos pissing in a bronco emblem? Well I want one taking a sh-t on it!!

  • 909raiderlifer

    Brien….

    Get the DVD, “Running Down A Dream–Tom Petty & The Heart Breakers”.

    Look around, can get it for less than $20.00

    Spark one, pour one, turn it up LOUD and enjoy…3+hrs. of, good ol’ rock n’ roll….

  • Brien

    Those who are scared of Denver= go get your 49er apron and cook Rudy Galindo’s meal

  • Brien

    O–o
    () = Shanny’s face after September 8th
    —-

  • 909raiderlifer

    Got 2 Go……Peace…. And, take care all….

  • Brien

    909 I might have to do that I’m always willing to try something except 49er lifestyle

  • Brien

    Brien<——-something wrong with this guy……but something so RIGHT

  • 909raiderlifer

    FINAL, last word….

    “I’ve been a RAIDER, all my life.”—Jim Otto….

  • Brien

    Black players in Denver= please dont Kobe me!!

  • Brien

    Raiders do a quick knockout of Denver like Sikahema did Canseco

  • Brien

    It will be like Mike Tyson vs Paris Hilton………….before the passing of every STD known to man

  • Finzel

    Re post #47 – “do you not see parody in the NFL?” Awesome Freudian slip. Yeah, I see all kinds of it. Ring Lardner would be proud of you.

  • Finzel

    Made me fall out of my chair, I couldn’t stand it.

  • http://raidersnews.net patrick

    I think the Raiders should have the upper hand on the Broncos this year.

    http://tfdssports.com

  • Brien

    Ring Lardner yes..especially Niles Football team LOL…….all jokes aside the curse of the 49er signings from 2001 are being lifted. No way in hell we could ever win a title with Mrs 49er Rice froting like a Raider

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    this insomnia is gettin old Morning NATION…….

  • La Milicia Negra

    o/~ We’re jammin’ – To think that jammin’ was a thing of the past; We’re jammin’, And I hope this jam is gonna last. o/~

    LMN hopes this ‘Jammy’ is gonna last…

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    Great read Jerry.. 1 thing tho donkeys is the only exceptable term to use when refering to that lame azz team that ratface coaches…. I know that hate is a bad thing but I HATE THE DONKEYS!!!!

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    Josh McCown, the Dolphins’ most-experienced quarterback heading into training camp, injured his right index finger two weeks ago chopping wood at his home in Jacksonville, Texas, according to the Palm Beach Post. He reportedly was holding a piece of firewood while his younger brother—Tampa Bay backup quarterback Luke McCown – cut Josh’s finger instead of the wood.

    u cant make this stuff up..

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    bleacherreport.com/articles/38308-an-oakland-raiders-fan-gets-revenge-the-tuck-rule-revisted

  • Drinkraideraide

    Lol yeah that’s so freaking funny man luke and josh! Sounds like something from a disney sitcom lmbo!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Drinkraideraide

    Broncos I mean what’s to say about them………………….I really don’t care what they do as long as we can line up on sunday punch them in the mouth for 60 min and come away with a win I’ll be happy with that

  • La Milicia Negra

    dang, my pc acts like an 8 year old… so NATION, this will be a good day for ya, because I’m probably not going to comment much today…

  • http://www.dontbotherresponding.com Bo Schembechler Jackson

    LMN, perhaps your PC is out of bounce?
    ;)

  • http://www.dontbotherresponding.com Bo Schembechler Jackson

    For some reason I’m in a good mood today…can’t be sure why.

    I got a laugh out of the last 50 posts or so, above^. Brien was hopped up on somethin’, I can only imagine what.. I bet he’s not up yet!

  • La Milicia Negra

    Bo…

    Good one =) it looks like it, it happened last time too, when it got updated with a service pack… I hate windows…

  • Raider Joseph

    The Raiders had a bad year last year and were an amazing catch by Reggie Wayne away from beating the Colts. I’m not scared of any team out there. Kiffin has this team prepared mostly for every game – he will be a great Raider coach, and is less conservative – or should I say more aggressive than John Gruden. Many would say this is crazy, but think: we were close to having at least 7 wins last year a ten win (conservative) season is not out of the question.

  • http://www.dontbotherresponding.com Bo Schembechler Jackson

    LMN, you post at realfootball365 was pretty funny. Their daily article is almost always fluff, but it was reassuring to note that the Postons don’t represent Aso thank geeyawd.

  • Raider Joseph

    Raiders will have the number one rushing attack in the NFL.

  • Drinkraideraide

    RJ don’t get ahead of yourself man while we have a pretty strong run game I wouldn’t go that far……….we have to see how our new “toys” fit into the whole scheme

  • Mistabrown

    THANK YOU!!! My fav band! I just set my DV-R to record the 1130am replay!

    909raiderlifer Says:
    July 16th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Last word….

    For all you old farts on the west coast…

    RUSH, to peform on, “The Colbert Report”…

    Check your local listings…..

    Take care, all…

  • Mistabrown

    NFL LIVE & NFLN is almost unwatchable these days with the Bret Favre saga…..GO AWAY FAVRE you won 1 SB in 18 years! Country bumpkin..

  • http://none MR

    Hey, Drinkraideraide, I got your new toys, right here.

  • http://www.dontbotherresponding.com Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Al Davis should be in the HOF twice.

    Gruden will never make it, but Kiffin might if he listens to Al.

    Just win baby.

  • Dakota

    Al needs to step down ala Bill Gates.

  • Drinkraideraide

    Mr……………………………..

  • http://none MR

    Drinkraideraide…………………

  • Drinkraideraide

    Lol!!!!!!!!!!

  • Drinkraideraide

    Funny mistabrown you are right though all this darn farve talk is outrageous and I bet brett is loving every min of it

  • Thec

    F@(k farve….
    He is not a member of the NATION.