The Raiders offensive line won an award from Hall of Fame coach John Madden for their performance at Denver in October. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
The Oakland Raiders host the Denver Broncos Sunday at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. After a tough loss in Jacksonville, the Raiders look forward to returning home and improving their record to 7-7. With a victory, the Raiders will remain undefeated in the AFC Western Division and will keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Raiders traveled to Denver in Week 7 and dominated the Broncos 59-14. Despite the lopsided score earlier in the season, the Raiders have set that game aside and are focusing on the challenge the Broncos present this week. "Anytime you are playing a division game, and the way we went there and won the first time this season, you know as a competitor that they are going to come back and fight hard," said QB Jason Campbell. "They are going to play extremely well, a game where you get beat bad, you come back and fight your butts off the next time so we expect to get their best effort. We have to come out and play with some intensity and keep playing with that fire and that energy and be on top of our techniques and assignments."
The Broncos recently turned to interim head coach Eric Studesville, but have remained mostly the same team in terms of philosophy. "It's not a lot different; they seem to maybe be trying to run the ball a little more on offense," said Head Coach Tom Cable. "They're trying to get back to more of a physical team that Denver's been in the past."
The Raiders plan to stick to the same style of play that helped them earn the win in Denver. "The game plan we had last time was to just go out there and play it physical," said LB Sam Williams. "That's what our game plan is this time. If we do that and play the way we can, everything else will take care of itself."
The Silver and Black are looking forward to bringing their physical style of game back to the Coliseum. After two games on the road, the team is excited to play in front of the Raider Nation. "It's big," said Coach Cable. "We have two games here back to back. The fact that we're still in it, we need a little help, but the fact that we're still in it, I think that the fans can appreciate the fact that the Oakland Raiders have something that they're still playing for at the end of the year. We're excited. We hope we have a great crowd here the next two weeks."
With a playoff-type atmosphere for every game, and after seeing the amazing Raider fan turnout in San Diego, the team is excited to have the home-field advantage. The Broncos will have to come into a hostile Oakland environment and play against QB Jason Campbell, who had 324 yards passing and two touchdowns against Jacksonville, and RB Darren McFadden, who had 209 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.
"I've certainly watched a lot of the two backs there," said Broncos Interim Head Coach Eric Studesville. "Darren [McFadden] and Michael [Bush] are really talented running backs and they seem to get stronger as this season has gone on, in particular the last few weeks. They're extremely productive, they're big and tough and fast, certainly Darren is fast when he gets out into the open. We're going to prepare for them as best we can, but that's a big part of the offense."
While the Broncos defense tries to handle McFadden and Bush, the Broncos offense will have to contend with CB Nnamdi Asomugha. "Nnamdi is a really wonderful player," said Coach Studesville. "He's done a great job and in the last few years he's certainly been one of the top corners in the NFL. You have to respect him and the ability he has to take receivers out of the game. Nnamdi has done a great job and we're getting ready for him this week."
In a critical game for the Raiders, the offense and defense will look to repeat the success they had against the Broncos in their first match up of the 2010 campaign. The Raiders look to get back to a .500 record, stay in the playoff hunt, and stay undefeated in the division.