Broncos and Raiders both 1-2 going into Sunday’s game

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The Broncos are looking to bounce back once again after another loss.  Denver will host the Raiders at 2:05 p.m. MST Sunday.  It’s a key game for both teams.  The Broncos (1-2) and Raiders (1-2) are trying to avoid their third loss of the season. This is also a division game.

“It’s a pivotal game, said Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. “It’s a division game, which counts double. We’re 1-2, they’re 1-2. It’s a game that we need to play well and need to try to get a win.”

The Broncos have lost two straight games and have fallen behind early in both.

“It’s hard to pinpoint, Manning said. “I don’t think I know enough yet to call something a pattern. In the first and third quarters, we’re not scoring enough points. We’re all looking at that. Seeing what it is that we can do as players, the coaches are looking at it. We’d sort of like to find the answer. I don’t think there’s a special secret formula as far as changing the pregame routine; I think it’s more sound football. Like I said, we’re capable of playing it. We’ve shown in some critical times in the game. We just need to show it more consistently.”

The Raiders have also had the Broncos number at Mile High in recent years.  Oakland has won the last four in Denver.  Also returning to Denver is Raiders head coach Dennis Allen.  The former Broncos defensive coordinator has had ups and downs in his first season as head coach.  The Raiders started with two straight losses, but upset the Pittsburgh Steelers last week with a last second field goal.

“It’s a tribute to the type of coach Dennis is,” said Broncos head coach John Fox.  “He’s very similar to the first year that I was head coach in Carolina hiring Jack Del Rio. He’d been an assistant coach, first-year coordinator, and he got the Jacksonville job at the conclusion of that ’02 season. Very similar path. Fast rising for Dennis as well. He was an assistant at New Orleans and was familiar because being in the same division, came in there and did an outstanding job with our defense and landing the Oakland job.”

Oakland has struggled on defense.  They rank 26th overall, but have an offensive weapon in running back Darren McFaden.

“[He’s] the only priority, to me,” said defensive Tackle Kevin Vickerson. “I’m a D-Lineman, so stopping the run and then the pass, that’s my mindset going into every week. But this week it’s a little more focused. McFadden is a special back. To me, he’s one of the most elite in the league. He’s just one of the many that we’ll face this year. It’s a big task but we have to go at it and attack it like we attack every game, and play our technique and play up front.”   

The Broncos are favored by 7 points.


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