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Raiders can send Broncos reeling

We interrupt the latest sideshow and return to regularly scheduled programming, finding the Raiders with a chance to send their division rivals into a tailspin.

Check out the Broncos schedule after they play the Raiders Sunday. Dallas, New England, at San Diego, at Baltimore, Pittsburgh, at Washington, San Diego and the New York Giants in a row before they visit the Chiefs.

Hard to see Denver winning more than two of those games unless Josh McDaniels is really on to something after a tumultuous offseason.

The Raiders will have none of that in mind as they face the Broncos. It’s how Tom Cable has approached things since taking over in the worst circumstances possible last season and why Gannon-gate amounts to nothing when it comes to what happens at the Coliseum.

“Don’t worry so much about the opponent, who they are and how they do things,” Cable said. “Let the emotion of the rivarly with the Denver Broncos handle that for you, but the focus as a football player, as a football team, is on us. Better execution. Sharper focus. More attention to detail. Us, us, us, us. That’s it.”

The Broncos come in with a 2-0 record, but closer inspection finds a fluke win in Week 1 against Cincinnati and a one-sided win in Week 2 over a Cleveland team that could easily be headed down a road to 3-13.

Figure the Raiders defense ought to be able to hold its own against a conservative offense led by Kyle Orton, who is charged with taking care of the ball and distributing it smartly and without a great deal of risk.

The Broncos have retained quite a bit of their zone blocking technique, but the truth is that other than last season’s Week 1 Monday night face plant, Oakland would have beaten Denver in three of the last four games had it not been for a Sebastian Janikowski off-the-upright special in 2007 and has beaten the Broncos decisively twice.

The Raiders’ biggest challenges seem fairly apparent _ do something positive in the passing game other than on the last drive of the game, and successfully block a Broncos defense that has changed its personality in a 3-4 defense under the direction of Mike Nolan.

On the first score, JaMarcus Russell’s passing struggles have been sufficiently scrutinized and analyzed. He can’t continue to pass at a 35.2 percent clip and there’s really no reason to believe he will. He was over 60 percent in the last seven games of 2008. He couldn’t have forgotten how to pass overnight. He’s going to come out of it to some degree.

If Russell does sharpen things up today, the shift from Robert Gallery to Erik Pears at left guard will be an area of concern. Gallery and left tackle Mario Henderson have operated side-by-side for enough games and enough practices to understand each other. Henderson knows when Gallery will be there if he allows his man to get inside. Nolan has placed Elvis Dumervill, a 5-foot-11 barrel of a pass rusher, on both sides as an outside linebacker, and can either go after Cornell Green or the suddenly weakened left side.

The Broncos have not been shy about bringing blitzers, and that includes veteran free safety Brian Dawkins.

All of which would make it incumbent on the Raiders to stay balanced (57 rushes, 56 passes through two games), avoid falling behind and get good games out of their kickers, who were nothing short of spectacular a week ago.

Could be a prime opportunity for Darren McFadden to get loose on a screen with defenders already committed to the rush, or for Michael Bush to do the same, smaller defenders scattering like bowling pins.

Beat the Broncos, and longterm its not hard to imagine them heading into Week 13 at 4-7.

Kansas City has lost 25 of its last 27 games.

After the opener, the Raiders are convinced they can beat San Diego and even Norv Turner is telling people his team isn’t all that.

It’s the AFC West.

Anything is possible.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • tazZraider

    yeah i know bro. 408 who you playin next?

  • big chill

    anyone know what online site to go to so i can watch game, i went to one site before but can’t remember

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    First place in 7 and half hours!!!!!!

    Please Jamarcus, don’t put me through that again this week.

    PS….I got money on the Lions winning today, can they do it?

  • http://Raiders.com RaiderTW

    Big, channelsurfing.net

  • kidseven

    I agree Murphy looks like a prime time WR already, but I don’t think we really know anything about DHB yet. He’s only a kid and was obviously nervous the first game, but he looked pretty good catching last week. Although I’d have a problem with Cable giving DHB more time than Murphy, it’s possible DHB will be as valuable or even more valuable than Murphy by season’s end.

    Provided DHB continues to look decent it’s a good problem to have. I’d have to think a 3 WR set with Chaz, DHB and Murphy would worry defenses—assuming Jamarcus isn’t throwing balls at their feet all day.

  • RaiderRobG

    My ass was supposed to be out of Iraq last week, here I am missing week three and Denver at home. This bites.

    Although, it’s just not the same with out hating on Shannahan, Sharp, Trevor Price, McCaffrey, TD, Rod Smith and the Old Horse head Elway.

  • http://FunnyAsACrutch TVs Anson Williams

    Why do people make such a big deal out of the way Al Davis seized control of the Raiders? He had the other general partner in his corner, did it legally and, as always, everything was upheld in court. Or is it the forcing out of Valley, who brought him in in the first place, that people don’t like? Well, that happens sometimes. It’s like Brian Jones recruiting Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to be in the Rolling Stones, only to be kicked out of the band (his band!) by them a few years later. That’s life.

  • Mistabrown

    Nolan has Den playin DEFENSE this could be ugly if JaMeatloaf doesn’t focus!

    CABLE keep Gradkowski warm!

  • Richochet

    The following is spoken by a true juvenile.
    You know, I commented about your mommy taking you to buy your Russell jersey, partly in jest, when you jumped on the bandwagon after one win. (No, we won’t relive the hilarity of YOU posting that “I’m off with Mom to get my jersey” as a silly attempt for acceptance as a fan, not realizing you proved you weren’t) but now I know I was dead on.
    You just stated Herrera should “save his energy for a situation he’s forced to defend himself’??
    AGAIN, HOW OLD ARE YOU?
    WTF??
    See, “big people”?? uh…in his case “older people” as you put him? They don’t usually read something someone said, and THEN GO ATTACK THEM. See, there’s this little thing called assault. Jails are full of those ‘slow’ people, who realize thinking isn’t their forte’, who forgot to take their Adderall, who go and swing.
    The good news?
    They get Sunday visits.
    The bad news? In many cases the other guy gets to beat the living hell out of him, legally, which means the peanut gets visits in the hospital, and then jail.

    Now is when you try and act like you COULD take that swing..when you get older..and taller..and a little less..oh..let’s just say ‘chunky’.

    How’s that extra small jersey fit ya? Still a little loose? Don’t worry, you’ll grow into it.
    ———————-
    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    September 27th, 2009 at 12:49 am
    My father always said that those who look for fights usually get them, and someday you’re going to meet your match. Herrera really does have a bully’s attitude. And he’s a little too old for it. And, let’s face it, small for it, physically. If this guy doesn’t learn to relax and to save his energy for a fist fight, or threat thereof, for a situation where he’s forced to defend himself or someone else who needs his help, he’s eventually going to run into someone who doesn’t have the civility of a Rich Gannon or Tim Kawakami, and Jerry’s going to be asking him what’s up with the black eye.

  • Richochet

    TVs Anson Williams Says:
    September 27th, 2009 at 9:27 am
    Why do people make such a big deal out of the way Al Davis seized control of the Raiders? He had the other general partner in his corner, did it legally and, as always, everything was upheld in court. Or is it the forcing out of Valley, who brought him in in the first place, that people don’t like? Well, that happens sometimes. It’s like Brian Jones recruiting Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to be in the Rolling Stones, only to be kicked out of the band (his band!) by them a few years later. That’s life.

    =================================
    It’s not that Al was a snake in the grass, who managed to wrest control of the team, albeit in a underhanded way..IT’S THAT NOW HE HAS THE GALL TO WHINE LIKE A LITTLE CHILD ABOUT LOYALTY.
    Al bit the hand that fed him..AND HE CROWED ABOUT IT.
    He was proud of it.
    You know..the ‘all fair in love and business’.

    In other words, he’s a hypocrite for demanding everyone that EVERY WORKED FOR HIM TURN A BLIND EYE WHEN AL SCREWS THEM OR SOMEONE ELSE OVER.

    He’s the poster child for “SNAKE IN THE STADIUM GRASS”

    Karma’s a beyotch, lol..isn’t it, Al?

  • AZ Raider2

    I agree Murphy is a great player and will continue to get better for us. I also believe he was more polished coming out of college than DHB. But, with patients, DHB will become the #1 Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson type player worth the #7 pick. He is so young and so raw but if you look at his skill set and the litle things he needs to tweak, you can see him for his potential.

  • RaiderRobG

    I believe I can take the credit for waxing on how great Murphy is going to be as a rookie and how he’s going to be another Raider great.

    No one listened, but I said it from day one. After the draft and before the first day of spring training, while everyone was either loving or hating on DHB, I was calling him the next Ricky Dudley.

    I told you all Murphy would be the guy when the smoke cleared. It’s early, but I’ll say it again; Murphy is the next Tim Brown…somewhere Norco Bob is saying, “Eh, it must be cocktail hour!”

  • AZ Raider2

    coaching is key for WRs. See Jerry Rice for the proof.

  • AZ Raider2

    coaching and the WILL to learn I should say…

  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    Taz i play raidermight. Hes going down.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    TVs Anson Williams Says:
    September 27th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Why do people make such a big deal out of the way Al Davis seized control of the Raiders?

    …………

    Why do Davis followers make a big deal out of Gannon being disloyal to the Raiders? The very foundation of the Al Davis-owned Raiders is betrayal. Valley gave Davis an opportunity, just as Davis gave Gannon an opportunity. And like Gannon screwed Davis, Davis screwed Valley. That’s the only “big deal” I made out of Al’s acquirement of the Raiders. I was just pointing out the gross hypocrisy of Al and his followers having the gall to cry about disloyalty when Al wrote the book on it. Ask any of the surviving Valleys.

  • JB

    Is there a delayed showing of the game today? If so, what channel & time?

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    Richochet, too much anger, bud. Try again with less personal insults, and I might respond.

  • AZ Raider2

    Im an Al Davis guy, but I also agree the Gannon stuff is BS, and that is a flaw of Davis. I also think Al has alot of upside as well. Mainly because he is consistant in his aproach which can be admired IMO. He does his thing. It can manifest SBs and can also manifest complete failure. Its Al Davis and high-risk football. If you play poker you’ll understand what that means. Die-hards see it, but often wont admit his flaws. Im a die-hard who can see both sides.

    MR,

    I know you are like me and love old school raider lore. You have intellegent posts, tho a bit harsh at times. I think you hold back a little on giving Davis credit, but i also think in your heart you see it similar to how i see it.

  • alisgod

    you guys watched Sapp ALL OF THE SUDDEN praising the Raiders D line now. He talks about how great Kelly and the gang is after blasting them all this time. First it was Gannon and now Sapp. I aint falling for those dumba$$es.

    Now marty praising us is something I take very seriously.

  • alisgod

    let me add, that was on nfl network today that Sapp was raving about Kelly and the D line.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    RaiderRobG, tell everyone what you do in Iraq, so they don’t get mislead into thinking you’re a soldier and start to feel sorry for you.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    JB, if you live in the bay area market, you can stream it on NFL.com starting at midnight. I don’t know how they can tell rather or not you live in the bay area market, but that’s what they’re saying. They started doing that this year because of the economy. The NFL…so giving. God forbid they lift the blackout rule in this economic times. That would be social ism!

  • AZ Raider2

    Sapp is as insane as Davis… Pay no attention to public remarks from both.

  • AZ Raider2

    Al Davis has 3 SBs to Sapps one. Thats how Al sees it, and me too LOL.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    “these economic times”, not “this”. I always say “this” when I mean “these”. I dyslexia got.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    OK, AzRaider. It’s our fault for just not “seeing” the attributes in a GM that’s failed for 6 years straight, and had just added a new, unnecessary distraction in a season that’s started off promising. Whatever, dude. Keep blaming the fans.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    AZRaider, while you’re probably right that fans who are loyal to Al, or, “hard core fans”, as you’ve referred to them, can see the positives in Al Davis, might I add to that the fact that those of us who aren’t loyal to Al Davis are capable of seeing how disastrous he is, while you guys are not.

  • http://FunnyAsACrutch TVs Anson Williams

    # The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    September 27th, 2009 at 9:59 am

    TVs Anson Williams Says:
    September 27th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Why do people make such a big deal out of the way Al Davis seized control of the Raiders?

    …………

    Why do Davis followers make a big deal out of Gannon being disloyal to the Raiders? The very foundation of the Al Davis-owned Raiders is betrayal. Valley gave Davis an opportunity, just as Davis gave Gannon an opportunity. And like Gannon screwed Davis, Davis screwed Valley. That’s the only “big deal” I made out of Al’s acquirement of the Raiders. I was just pointing out the gross hypocrisy of Al and his followers having the gall to cry about disloyalty when Al wrote the book on it. Ask any of the surviving Valleys.
    ********************************

    Point taken. But just for the record, not all ‘Davis followers’ make a big deal out of anything Gannon says or does. Next time you might consider writing ‘some Davis followers,’ That is, if critical thinking matters at all to you.

  • AZ Raider2

    ?????????????

    Blame the fans? WTF?

    6 losing seasons yes, but how many winning seasons prior? Football is a game of patience and developement. No doubt Al attemps at patching the team together after the SB loss were bad moves in retrospect, but it was all in good faith, which is the essence of raider lore. Faith is the long-shot! I didnt like what Al did in those 6 years, but I like what his intent was. There are orgs out there that are about making money, i.e., the old niners of the past few year until now. Im just saying Als trying to win, and win “his” way, yes, but win non-the-less. The Seymour pick-up, the Ellis pick-up, key after drafting all offensive skill positions for 3 years straight. I see the logic, or….Raider logic.

    I dont blame the fans, i blame luck in a high-risk approach.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    AZRaider, I disagree. I don’t think Davis’s 6 years of failure were in “good faith”. He was prioritizing personal grudges over winning. That’s why Gruden was traded to begin with. Good faith gets you a couple of 9 win seasons in that 6 year span. Very little of what Al Davis has accomplished or failed at in life can be attributed to “good faith”.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Al Nation

    Do you really think the world is sooooo pre-occupied with Al Davis, that they’re out to “get him”?

  • AZ Raider2

    He didnt likke the coaches who questioned his strategy. And that says it all. The strategy is HIS. Any coach must buy in, or they are gone. Just like any good coach would do with a player. the player has to buy into what the coach is selling, or it will never work. The same proccess (when owned by a “football” mind), must take place.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    Well, Anson, that’s a hair splitting nugget of wisdom. Thank you dearly. Not all Davis worshipers get excited when a former player criticizes the Raiders publicly. Just 99% of them. The other 1% are just drunk and haven’t woke up yet. Got ya.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    AZRaider, as I said, he prioritized personal grudges over winning. If a coache’s ideas bring us to victories and Al’s ideas don’t, then to use the clash of philosophies as an excuse to ship the coach out of town in in fact a personal grudge, and is not good will. The object of the game is winning. If that’s not Al’s goal, he doesn’t belong in the game. And, in the past 6 years, it hasn’t been his goal. It hasn’t been his goal since the end of the ’00 season, when he refused to give Gruden a new contract. Since then, it’s been nothing but power struggles with Al, and the Raiders, despite seeing a couple of more good years under the regime that Gruden mostly put together, have suffered for it. They still suffer to this day from Al’s personal b.s. Here we are with a promising start, and Al creates this unnecessary, stupid distraction with the Gannon fiasco. Al is a cancer.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    # AZ Raider2 Says:
    September 27th, 2009 at 10:25 am

    “I dont blame the fans, i blame luck in a high-risk approach.”

    ……….

    To those of us living in the real world, that means Al Davis.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    AZ, I didn’t see where Kiffin “didn’t believe in his players”. Now you’re just making stuff up to make Al seem remotely sane.

  • AZ Raider2

    Could we win with Kiffins vision? I thought it was rediculously soft on game day. HE (Kiffin) didn’t believe in his players. When an owner sees that in his HC, the season is doomed anyways. Why not call cut your losses (as should be done when high risk fails) and get back to the drawing board for the next season. Kiffin was a joke and is prooving that in TENN. I’da given up 2 seasons to make sure that clown wasnt on the sidelines the next one. THAT move by Al, tho it hurt our win total last season was a good move in an effort to win in the future.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    AZ #233

    I agree with you. But, when the Owner/Coach has had 6 winning seasons in the last 20 years, including an NFL record losing streak, you’d think the Owner would fire himself, no?

  • AZ Raider2

    Hmmmmm. I seem to remember him starting some questionable WRs, and Justin Fargas. Attempting a 75 yd FG just to embarrass the org IMO. Bashing his own QBs ability…

    You know what? That field goal attempt in itself was enough for me to see Kiffin had no intention of trying to win that game. If it wasnt so horrible to do, and i was Al Davis I’da hired a sniper to take Kiffin out on the sidelines after HT of that game.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    AZ Raider, goofy theories about Kiffin sabotaging the team are not going to make Al Davis seem noble. Just quit.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    Bret Faverver looked sharp on his first drive.

  • AZ Raider2

    OK MR, I dont need the conversation, was just stating my points. Yours were made well, we dont need to continue…

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    “Impossible for a competitive mind to give up.”
    ——————
    Yeah, therein our dilemma. The delusional mind.

  • AZ Raider2

    KoolKell Says:
    September 27th, 2009 at 10:47 am
    AZ #233

    I agree with you. But, when the Owner/Coach has had 6 winning seasons in the last 20 years, including an NFL record losing streak, you’d think the Owner would fire himself, no?

    ……………………………………………..

    Impossible for a competitive mind to give up. this is why I hate Kiffin. He gave up.

  • AZ Raider2

    Absolutley not MR. Just that I respect your points, and have my own points that (by your responses) have gone without any credit from you. I cannot have a debate with someone who is as unmovable as you in regards to your stance on my opinions. It is nothing personal, and only Richochet gets a “shut up” from me.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Well, I guess I’ll leave after another drink.

    I’m in sec 218 if anyone wants to stop by and say hello. ;-)

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    Are you telling me to shut up, AZRaider? Because if you are, I should remind you that you don’t have that kind of authority here, nor respect. You’re not one of the important people. So don’t even hint at other commenters that they need not “continue”, ok? If you’re done with the conversation, just be done and talk about something else. Don’t even make it seem like you’re telling me to shut up, ever. Got it?

  • UP LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER

    sapp is a punk azz he was all of a sudden praising the d-line

    then he picked denver to win hes a biatch

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    AZRaider AZRaider AZRaider AZRaider AZRaider AZRaider AZRaider AZRaider AZRaider AZRaider AZRaider AZRaider AZRaider AZRaider AZRaider……………………..

    I need to continue. What are you going to do about it, stupid little punk?