After a rough go of it last week in the nation's capital, the Silver and Black will have their hands full once again this weekend as they travel to Denver to open divisional play against the Broncos.
Now boasting a record of 2-1, Head Coach Jack Del Rio's squad will prepare to face a Denver defense that is once again ranked in the top quartile of most defensive metrics in the early goings of the 2017 season.
While Vance Joseph's group also suffered its first loss of the young season last week – a 26-16 defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Bills – the Denver defense held the Bills to just 272 yards of total offense, bringing down the quarterback four times in the process.
That stout defense has become a calling card for Denver in recent years, and through three weeks, the group is picking up right where it left off, currently ranking fourth in total defense (364.3 yards per game) and first in rush defense (59.7 yards per game).
Even though the Silver and Black's offense delivered an uncharacteristically tepid performance at FedExField Sunday night, the team still ranks No. 9 in points per game (27), so I fully expect quarterback Derek Carr to take his shots through the air, and put some pressure on the vaunted Broncos secondary.
Similarly, Marshawn Lynch and the Raiders trio of running backs will look to rebound from their performance against the Redskins to control the clock, and get things rolling on the ground against a formidable Broncos front.
Which Raiders will deliver Air & Ground worthy performances this season? Check nfl.com/fedex to find out, and vote for the weekly FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week all season long.