The Oakland Raiders fell on the road 22-20 to the Chicago Bears Sunday at Soldier Field dropping their record to 2-2 heading into their Week 5 matchup with the Denver Broncos to open their slate of AFC West Divisional games in 2015.
As they prepare to travel to Oakland, quarterback Peyton Manning and the Broncos remain undefeated, entering Week 5 on the heels of a 23-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings last week.
The Raiders play their first AFC West game of the season Sunday, so leading into the Week 5 tilt, it's time to double-check our matchups of the week, brought to you by State Farm.
Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. vs. Owen Daniels
Last week, we said that one of the key matchups to watch against the Bears was the battle between the Raiders defense and tight end Martellus Bennett. Bennett finished the day with 11 catches for 83 yards and 1 touchdown, and the Silver and Black once again have their hands full with this weekend as they square off against Broncos tight end Owen Daniels.
Gary Kubiak historically likes to get his tight ends involved in the offense, and through the first four games of the regular season, Daniels ranks third on the team with 12 receptions and is tied for the team lead with 2 receiving touchdowns.
Much has been made about the defense's struggles with stopping the tight end, but it will remain a talking point until the team makes a statement and remedies the situation.
Safety Charles Woodson vs. Quarterback Peyton Manning
The ageless wonder is in his 18th NFL season and has accomplished nearly everything in his future Hall-of-Fame career.
He's won a Super Bowl, a Heisman Trophy, appeared in 8 Pro Bowls and been named to 3 First-Team All-Pro teams, but there is one distinction he does not have as of yet – of his 62 career interceptions, not one is off Peyton Manning.
Woodson notwithstanding, Manning will be sure to test the young Raiders secondary Sunday at O.co Coliseum, one that going into the matchup with Denver a little banged up, and also missing safety Nate Allen.
Woodson joked earlier in the week that Manning has eluded him his entire career, so watching the game of cat and mouse between the two future Hall of Famers will definitely be something to keep an eye on.
Tackles Donald Penn and Austin Howard vs. Outside Linebacker DeMarcus Ware
Leading into their matchup with the Silver and Black, DeMarcus Ware leads all defensive players with 4.5 sacks.
His versatility makes him a challenging matchup for opposing lineman, as he has the ability to line up in a variety of locations on the defense and attack the quarterback in myriad ways.
As it stands, Penn and Austin Howard are the men who bookend the Raiders offensive line and will likely draw the most attention from Ware.
The Raiders offensive line has arguably been the most consistent group on the team this year, and keeping DeMarcus Ware away from quarterback Derek Carr would go a long way to helping secure a win for the Silver and Black.