It’s been quite a while since a game between the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders was considered to be a close and unpredictable affair, and the emergence of Terrelle Pryor isn’t going to change considering how well Peyton Manning has been playing.
The Broncos haven’t been really paying attention to the trouble Von Miller has gotten himself into. They just keep ripping through opponents, averaging 45 points per game in their two wins, averaging 462 yards of offense per game. Peyton Manning? He has thrown for 769 yards and nine touchdowns, completing 67.1%. You can’t as for anything more.
The Raiders have a decent enough defense, but the opponents they’ve played: The Colts and the Jaguars aren’t anything like what they’re about to face. Terrelle Pryor might be special, running for 162 yards so far this season, but a gimmick isn’t enough to go through a Broncos defense that is excellent in getting to the quarterback and doesn’t buckle facing good running games, although both the Ravens and the Giants don’t have anything to offer at the moment on the ground.
Pryor runs better than any other quarterback this season when it comes to zone reads and making things happen outside the pocket. The problem is that Denver have the defense to handle this, and by forcing him to throw, something Pryor wants to improve in, there’s not much chance for the Raiders to succeed. Pryor handles blitzes as good as anyone in the NFL, completing 72.2% of his throws when facing five pass rushers, which means its another incentive for Denver to simply let him try and beat them with his arm.
For the Raiders, it’ll be about stopping Peyton Manning. The Broncos have gone 14-1 since his arrival when he posts a passer rating of 90.5 or more, and completed over 75% of his passes in the two double digit wins over Oakland last season. Ryan Clady is out for the season, meaning that protection on Manning is weakend, while the Raiders have had nine sacks already this season.
Prediction – Despite offensive line issues that might disrupt the Broncos’ perfection, it’s hard to see anything but another big win for the Broncos, as Pryor isn’t good enough to beat teams with his arm just yet.