Monday Night Football Preview: Raiders at Broncos

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Published: September 22, 2013

Monday Night Football Preview

Welcome to the Gridiron Experts Ultimate Guide to Monday Night. Whether you are a fan of the teams doing battle, have fantasy football or gaming implications, or you’re simply looking for creative ways to increase your alcohol intake during the Monday Night Football telecast, we’ve got you covered. The third week of the 2013 season comes to a close with an AFC West clash between the Broncos and Raiders in the Mile High city.

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (-15.0)

The Denver Broncos have been one of the most dominant teams in the NFL through the first two weeks of the season, scoring better than 40 points in each game and getting to 2-0 with an average margin of victory of 20. Meanwhile, Oakland has outplayed preseason expectations, but as the large spread suggests, is still considered the inferior team.

The keys for Oakland in this game will be running the ball well and putting pressure on the quarterback, two things they have done very well thus far in 2013. The Raiders were tied for first in the NFL in sacks heading into Week 3 and were second only to the Philadelphia Eagles in rushing yards per game on the season. Darren McFadden is among the top individual rushers in the league through two games, but that yardage was accumulated against two of the NFL’s worst rushing defenses in Indianapolis and Jacksonville, and the Broncos top-ranked run stoppers are likely to present a much greater challenge. While he’s been productive through two games, we have McFadden ranked outside of the top 20 in our Week 3 running back projections and I expect him to be largely held in check by Denver on Monday night. Terrelle Pryor is also a high-risk fantasy play this week, although the Broncos are giving up almost 350 yards passing per game as opposing teams try to keep up with Denver’s high-powered offense. There could be some garbage-time stats available for Pryor and the Oakland passing game.

The offensive prospects for Monday night are much more promising on the Broncos’ side of the ball. We have a huge yardage number projected for Peyton Manning in our Week 3 quarterback rankings and I see no reason why that won’t happen. Although it is worth noting that Denver will be without all-pro left tackle Ryan Clady, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve this week with a foot injury. Still, you can expect Manning and his trio of wide receivers to continue their early-season success against the Raiders. We have all three of Denver’s primary pass catchers in the top 35 of our Week 3 wide receiver rankings, while Julius Thomas should continue to be an excellent fantasy option at tight end, as well. At running back, Knowshon Moreno has clearly established himself as the number-one guy in the Broncos backfield and he should continue to build on his 2013 success against Oakland.

My Prediction:

After questioning the Raiders ability to run the ball while singing the praises of Denver’s passing game, it probably sounds like I’m picking the Broncos to run away with this game. But while I think Denver gets the victory to move to 3-0 on the season, I don’t like the idea of laying better than two touchdowns in a divisional rivalry being played in primetime. Oakland will be more competitive than a lot of people think and the Broncos defense will give up some points late in the game to prevent the cover. Give me the Raiders plus the points in this one.

Denver 34, Oakland 23

 

MNF Drinking Game

The matchup on the football field doesn’t have to be the only game in town on Monday night. Get a group together, grab your favorite beer and a bottle of liquor, and enjoy the Gridiron Experts MNF Drinking Game.

  • Take one drink for every first down
  • Take one shot for every play that is reviewed (either by coach’s challenge or booth review)
  • Take an additional one shot if a play is overturned on review
  • Take one drink every time “Mile High” is mentioned on the telecast
  • Take one drink for every Peyton Manning incomplete pass
  • Take one shot for every Peyton Manning touchdown pass
  • Take one drink for every Terrelle Pryor pass attempt
  • Take one shot every time John Elway is shown live on the telecast
  • Take one drink every time Jon Gruden says “this guy” (for example, “let me tell you about this guy” or “this guy Peyton Manning…”

Beer of the Week

The Beer of the Week represents a tasty offering from the city/region hosting the week’s Monday Night Football contest. Feel free to incorporate the Beer of the Week into the MNF Drinking Game.

Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout – Located only about 10 minutes from Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Great Divide Brewing Company was founded in 1994 with the intent of making strong beers. Among those heavy-weight brews is the Yeti Imperial Stout, which checks in at 9.5 ABV. Yeti pours out black as night, but it is very smooth and creamy. It has a big roasted malt flavor, with notes of caramel and toffee. Definitely something to keep you warm on a cold Colorado night, but it’s just as delicious for a September evening of football.

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