Peyton Manning has already tied a record for most touchdown passes in a game this year, and the Broncos are averaging 45 points a game. So much for the loss of Von Miller. The offense with the addition of Wes Welker and emergence of Julius Thomas, and another year of Manning in Denver, is just that much more explosive.
Still, let’s try to figure out why you should watch a game that on paper looks like a blowout, and where the oddsmakers have installed Denver as a 16.5 point favorite over Oakland.
- It’s a rivalry game, and one where the home team doesn’t have much advantage. Crazy stuff could happen. The Raiders are 7-2 against the spread against the Broncos when they have been a touchdown or more underdog in the last decade.
- Peyton Manning has been a large favorite many times throughout his career. Remember what happened when he played a young unknown guy and his team came in as a big favorite twelve years ago?
- In all truth, though, the Broncos defense has not been very good, but has been opportunistic. They have allowed 50 points while getting 6 turnovers. If the Raiders can avoid those turnovers, they can keep Manning off the field.
- So far, Denver has played two Super Bowl winning pocket passing statues. Terrelle Pryor, at least, is a complete change of pace, an x-factor. If Pryor can make plays with his feet, extend drives, and shorten the number of possessions, maybe the Raiders can keep it close.