The pressure will be on the Broncos this week as they play host to the Raiders in a game they have to have after dropping to straight to sit at 1-2 on the year.
After beating the Steelers opening night, Peyton Manning and Denver have been shut down, losing on the road in Atlanta and then last week were way behind before coming back only to lose to the Texans.
Last week vs the Texans, Manning had a career-high 26 incompletions, while hitting on 26 passes for 330 yards and two scores, but it was too little, too late.
120 of the 330 yards came in the final 17 minutes after the Broncos had trailed by 20. Manning was also sacked three more times, bringing his season total to eight, which puts him on pace for a career-high 43.
The Broncos have had good opponents in the first three weeks, as they all rank in the top eight in the NFL in pass defense, while Oakland (1-2) is in the bottom 10, allowing 264.7 yards per game.
The Raiders, who are allowing an average of 29.3 points, are also one of three teams without an interception and are tied for 28th in the league with three sacks.
They will have to put the pressure on Manning, something they couldn’t do last week vs the Steelers in an eventual shootout win 34-31.
Oakland scored the game’s final 13 points in the last 12:13 and took its first lead on Sebastian Janikowski‘s 43-yard field goal with no time remaining.
Carson Palmer completed 24 of 34 passes for 209 yards with a season-high three touchdowns to lead the Raiders to more points than they scored in their first two weeks combined (27).
Darren McFadden finished with 113 rushing yards after totaling 54 in his first two games. He’s averaging 144.7 yards in his last three contests against the Broncos.
If the Raiders are going to win, they will need to lean on McFadden, and make sure that Palmer and company don’t put the ball on the ground.
It’s too early in the year to give up on the Broncos, and with Manning having a bounce back game, they will find a way at home to win it.
Denver 24 Oakland 20