I watch a lot of football throughout the season, I try to watch every game so I’m going to make a really bold prediction here. One in which I will happily allow people to laugh at me if I’m completely wrong, which I really could be. I firmly believe that the Oakland Raiders will make the playoffs (wait for it) ahead of the Denver Broncos *gasp*.
You may be thinking “Dryden? have you ingested copious amounts of alcohol? The Oakland Raiders are the laughing stock of the league and the Broncos are probably one of the best teams”. To which I answer: No, I have not ingested copious amounts of alcohol (as it’s 9am at time of writing) and allow me to explain my audacious prediction.
So last year the Oakland Raiders finished 3 and 13 so already it looks like I’m completely wrong, however, on closer analysis you can see that Oakland put up a good fight in the games that they lost, a lot of the scores were very close or the game just got away from them in the fourth quarter. Except that one against the Rams, but then again the Rams had a pretty good hot streak towards the end of the year. Anyway, I think that Derek Carr put in some amazing performances last year (he threw four touchdowns against San Diego and his game winning 80-yard drive against the Chiefs was something special) and this was without any star receivers. This season he has both Michael Crabtree and rookie Amari Cooper to throw to, both of whom I believe will make a giant impact to the Raiders. Having good receivers to throw to usually equates to more yards and touchdowns thrown. Which leads me to believe that the Raiders will win a lot more games this year.
Now onto Denver. Before I get to, what I assume everyone thinks I’m going to get to, I am first going to start with the defensive problems *gasp again*. The main problem I see with Denver’s defense comes from the front line. They lost Terrance ‘Pot Roast’ Knighton to the Redskins this offseason who was a big part of that Bronco front line, but they also lose Derek Wolfe for the first four games due to a violation of the NFL’s substance policy. These two are very important pieces in Denver’s quick penetration, hard-hitting defense and they will both be sorely missed.
(I refuse to put a picture of Peyton Manning)
And for the moment I think people have been waiting for: Peyton Manning. Personally I think that Peyton is desperate for another SuperBowl ring, as demonstrated by him staying in the league another year. I think this is going to be very detrimental to both him and the Broncos. Firstly, he’s past his best, look at how he played at the end of last season. Now, you could argue that he was ‘injured’ but I think that has very little to do with this. A lot of the time he was screwing up the timing of his throws. He was either throwing too early or too late. A prime example of this was against us. He under-threw the ball to Emmanuel Sanders which was picked off by Ninkovich. And he also threw a ball that should’ve been a bullet pass but it was a slow ball to Wes Welker causing Welker to get smashed by McCourty and allowing Browner to pick it off.
Peyton being Peyton, I don’t think he’s going to be happy with the constant running game, I think he is still going to try and throw a lot which is most likely going to be Denver’s undoing this season. With Denver’s poor performances, I can see the Raiders easily making the playoffs.
I am so confident in my theory I’m not going to keep Peyton Manning in my dynasty league and I’m going to draft Derek Carr instead. Obviously if I’m wrong (or you think I'm wrong) feel free to laugh at me over twitter.
By Dryden DeMarco @Dryden74