The Oakland Raiders will finish up the first quarter of their 2017 campaign this Sunday with a divisional matchup against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 1:25 p.m. PT. Sunday's game marks the first AFC West matchup of the year for the Raiders and the first time they have played in Denver during a month other than December since 2013. The two teams will meet later in the year at the Coliseum on Nov. 26. Last season, the two teams split their two-game series, with each team winning on their home turf.
Here is the Game Preview, presented by 95.7 The GAME.
Date: Sunday, October 1, 2017Kickoff: 1:25 p.m. PTSite: Sports Authority Field at Mile High (2001)Capacity/Surface: 76,125/Natural GrassRegular Season: Raiders lead, 61-50-2
Postseason: Series tied, 1-1
Last week, the Raiders fell to the Redskins in Washington by a final score of 10-27. DE Khalil Mack led the team in the contest, posting his second sack of the season and affecting play all night as he finished with nine tackles. LB Cory James led the team in tackles, registering 12 total and one forced fumble. LB/DE James Cowser was in the right spot throughout the contest, recovering a muffed punt and also pouncing on a lose ball on the defensive end. On offense, TE Jared Cook scored his first touchdown with the Silver and Black, hauling in a 21-yarder from QB Derek Carr. Carr finished the night with 118 passing yards on 19-of-31 passing with one touchdown and two interceptions.
The Broncos suffered a close loss at the hands of the Buffalo Bills last week by a score of 16-26. Denver's defense held Buffalo to just 272 yards of offense while registering four sacks on the day. LB Brandon Marshall led the way for the Broncos, posting 10 tackles and one sack. OLB Von Miller also contributed a sack. WR Demaryius Thomas led the Broncos in receiving, recording 98 yards on six receptions on the afternoon.
Next week, the Raiders will begin a three-game homestand against the Baltimore Ravens, followed by the LA Chargers and a Thursday night contest against the Kansas City Chiefs. After Sunday's game, the Broncos will have their bye week followed by a home game against the New York Giants.
MACK AND MILLER
This week's divisional matchup features two of the best defensive players in the NFL in Raiders DE Khalil Mack and Broncos OLB Von Miller. They have each gotten off to strong starts in 2017, with Mack registering two sacks thus far and Miller posting three.
Play-by-play: Jim Nantz
Color Analyst: Tony Romo
Overview: The Broncos entered 2017 with first-year Head Coach Vance Joseph manning the ship after being named the 16th head coach in franchise history in January. Denver had a strong start to the season, opening with two consecutive wins before suffering a loss last week at Buffalo. With a 2-1 record, the Broncos are tied with the Raiders for second place in the AFC West and are looking to return to the postseason after missing the playoffs in 2016 for the first time since 2010.
Offense: Now in his third year with Denver, former seventh-round pick QB Trevor Siemian has completed 63-of-100 attempts for 709 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions for a passer rating of 87.5. His six touchdowns through three weeks are tied for fourth in the NFL. WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have been Siemian's top targets this season, as they've recorded 236 yards on 17 catches and 163 yards on 16 receptions, respectively. Additionally, Sanders has recorded two touchdowns, which is tied for the team lead with WR Bennie Fowler III. Returning from a season-ending injury in 2016, RB C.J. Anderson is pacing the running game with 235 yards on 53 carries and one touchdown, while also totaling six receptions for 50 yards and one receiving touchdown.
Defense: The Broncos defense has a new leader in a familiar face as Denver promoted Joe Woods from defensive backs to defensive coordinator in the offseason. The team has recorded seven sacks this season, led by seventh-year All-Pro OLB Von Miller, whose three sacks are tied for fourth in the AFC. CB Aqib Talib is tied for first on the team with one interception and he returned his interception 103 yards for a touchdown, marking the longest return of the season.
• Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio coached for the Denver Broncos as the defensive coordinator for three seasons from 2012-2014. Del Rio also served as the interim head coach for Weeks 10-13 of the 2013 season in Denver, compiling a 3-1 record.
• Broncos quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave served as the Raiders' offensive coordinator from 2015-16, helping the unit rank sixth in total offense last season. Musgrave also began his coaching career with the Raiders, serving as the team's quarterbacks coach in 1997.
• Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods served as the Raiders' defensive backs coach in 2014.
• Raiders cornerbacks coach Rod Woodson participated in the Denver Broncos' Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship in 2014.
• Broncos defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson spent three seasons with the Raiders from 2014-16, assisting in the secondary in his first year before being promoted to defensive backs coach in 2015-16.
• Broncos assistant defensive backs coach Johnnie Lynn served as the defensive backs coach for the Raiders from 2012-13.
• Broncos outside linebackers coach Fred Pagac began his NFL coaching career as the Raiders linebackers coach for three seasons from 2001-2003, where he helped lead Oakland to Super Bowl XXXVII.
• Broncos T Menelik Watson was originally drafted by the Raiders in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft. Watson played in 27 games for the team, starting in 17 of them and added one postseason start as well.
• Broncos DE Shelby Harris played in eight games for the Raiders (2014-15), after originally being selected by the team in the seventh round (235th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft. In his eight games played, Harris totaled 14 stops (10 solo).
• Raiders DE Mario Edwards Jr. and Broncos T Menelik Watson played one season together at Florida State in 2012, before the two were both eventually drafted by the Raiders and shared two seasons together (2015-16) in Silver and Black.
• Raiders LB Cory James attended Colorado State for four seasons, playing two seasons with OLB Shaquil Barrett (2012-2013).
• Raiders QB Connor Cook spent two years (2011-2012) together with Broncos WR Bennie Fowler III at Michigan State.
• Broncos ILB Todd Davis played at Sacramento State for four seasons (2010-13), and left as the school's second leading tackler alltime, registering 351 stops during his time there.
• Raiders assistant wide receivers coach Nick Holz was a wide receiver at Colorado from 2003-2006, also serving as the team's holder.
• Broncos RB C.J. Anderson is from Vallejo, Calif, where he attended Bethel High School. At Bethel High, Anderson rushed for nearly 4,000 yards and led his team to four consecutive playoff appearances. He then went on to play a Laney College in Oakland before transferring to Cal, where he appeared in all 25 games, starting two of them, and rushed for 1,135 yards and 12 touchdowns on 198 career carries.
• Broncos TE Virgil Green is from Tulare, Calif., where he attended Tulare Union High School before going to the University of Nevada.
• Broncos RB Devontae Booker is a native of Sacramento, Calif., where he attended Grant Union High School and helped his team to the CIF State Open Division state title as a junior.