At least from the outside looking in, it’s a totally different mindset for the Raiders as they host the Denver Broncos in what could eventually become a quagmire at the Coliseum.
And it’s not because they’ll be the first opponent for Denver rookie quarterback Tim Tebow, the good and pure Florida icon who will do battle with the evil forces dressed in black.
The superstitious among you may recoil at the idea of saying out loud or putting it on the record, but the Raiders should win today, and they should win with relative ease.
The oddsmakers are giving the Raiders anywhere from seven to nine points depending on who is setting them.
The Raiders as the heavy favorite.
When was the last time you could say that?
For those of you who out of the area getting ready to watch on TV, or are heading to the Coliseum, it’s an entirely different feel.
The 3-10 Broncos have been awful, managing all of six points in a 10-6 loss to the Chiefs and getting crushed by a bad Arizona team in Week 14.
The process to circling the drain was set in motion by the Raiders, with that 59-14 beatdown in Denver, a game that at the same time demonstrated to the winners they could break a recent mold and told the losers they were headed nowhere.
Of course, run that “heavy favorites” line of thinking past Tom Cable or any of his players and you get to the same place Denver is _ nowhere.
“We don’t look at it like that,” Cable said. “Do we expect to win? We expect to go out and win every week. What we have to do is take this opportunity that’s been given us and protect it, and that means win games.”
Said defensive tackle Tommy Kelly: “We have no reason to be overconfident over anybody. We just have to go out there and handle our business, and the next time we get somebody down, step on their throat.”
Just like the Raiders did on Oct. 24.
“I am sure they want it,” Kelly said. “Last time, they had a couple of turnovers and it snowballed. I am sure they got that on their mind. They’re not playing for the playoffs right now, but they are playing for pride and sometimes at this point of the season that’s more important.”
More to come after I hydroplane to the Coliseum . . .