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Game Preview: Raiders vs. Broncos – Week 10

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Las Vegas Raiders (6-3)  |  Denver Broncos (3-6)

 

 

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood. A beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor? – Fred “Mr.” Rodgers

 

 

Raiders vs Broncos
Photo Credit: Andy Cross/The Denver Post

The only thing that separates Derek Carr’s house from his head coach Jon Gruden’s home is a neighbor who lives between them. They literally live one house away from each other in the same Las Vegas neighborhood. When Coach Gruden told people the past two off-seasons that he believes Carr is his quarterback, looking back, you wonder why many didn’t want to listen.

All he has done this season is have the best year of his career so far and lead the Raiders to a 6-3 record. He also has led the Raiders to a victory at Arrowhead Stadium over the division-leading Kansas City Chiefs while navigating the offense to near perfection with a patchwork offensive line all season long.

Is he the perfect quarterback? No, but is he a top seven quarterback in the NFL this season and somebody that will receive Most Valuable Player votes? Absolutely.

 

 

On Sunday, Derek Carr continued his outstanding play against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium and led the Raiders to a 37-12 victory.

 

 

Raiders vs Broncos
Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari

It was evident early in the game with the Raiders’ defense playing physical and flying around the field that the Broncos would be in for a long day. The Raiders scored on the first possession, and second-year running back Josh Jacobs had arguably his best game of the year, rushing 21 times for 112 yards and scoring two touchdowns. Former Broncos running back DeVontae Booker also scored two touchdowns and had 81 yards on the ground.

Carr had yet another solid game. He was 16/25 and threw for 165 yards. He drew the Broncos offsides on multiple occasions and orchestrated Gruden’s to perfection, including using his legs to escape the pocket a couple of times. The Raiders have a myriad of problems, but the quarterback position is not one of them, and it’s about time fans of the Silver and Black understand that and come to grips with it.

Will he ever be Aaron RodgersPatrick Mahomes, or Lamar Jackson? Probably not, and that is Ok. But Carr is in that next group of guys that NFL teams would love to have as their leader and face of the franchise if they didn’t have one of the quarterbacks mentioned above in place already. Right now, he’s leading the Raiders to victories on Sundays, which is exactly what Raider Nation wants.

 

 

His teammates respect his professionalism and the way he conducts himself. Management appreciates what he has brought to the team since he was drafted, and has stopped the revolving door at quarterback for the Silver and Black.

 

 

Raiders vs Broncos
Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Next Sunday, the Raiders take on the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, who will be looking for revenge after the Las Vegas gave them their only blemish of this season. This game is in prime time, on Sunday Night Football, with the eyes of every NFL fan watching. This will be the biggest test for the Raiders this season and could put them in a position to compete for the AFC West crown, surprisingly.

This was a trap game for the Raiders. The Broncos are a team decimated by injuries, a division rival, with their biggest rival waiting in the wings next week. You have to give the Raiders’ coaching staff and players credit for staying focused on the Broncos all week and leaving Allegiant Stadium with a victory on Sunday afternoon. Past Raiders’ teams may have overlooked this game, and the season would’ve quickly unraveled, but not this year’s team. This is what they’re built for, just like their head coach and just like their quarterback.

The Raiders defense also stepped up with some key plays of their own. Las Vegas forced five turnovers, four of which were interceptions, two by Jeff Heath. The defense created havoc all game for the BroncosCarl Nassib, who also had an interception, Maxx CrosbyJonathan Abram, and Clelin Ferrell all made life miserable for Broncos’ Quarterback Drew Lock, who seemed to be running for his life all game. The defense did a great job of making Denver one dimensional by forcing the Broncos to become a predominantly passing team and teeing off on the young quarterback. 

This was the best the Raiders defense played since the Chiefs game. Now, Raider Nation will welcome the defending Super Bowl champions to Las Vegas next Sunday. And we all know that Carr and Gruden’s hood isn’t going to be so friendly to Andy Reid, Mahomes, and the Chiefs. 

 

You can watch next week’s game against the Chiefs on NBC with kick off scheduled for 5:20 PM PT.

 

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Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Twitter: @JoeArrigo

 

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Raiders vs Broncos