Raiders vs. Broncos: position-by-position breakdown

Updated September 15, 2018 - 3:45 pm

Position breakdown

The Raiders face the Denver Broncos at 1:25 p.m. Sunday. Here’s a breakdown by position.

Quarterbacks

Derek Carr had a dreadful season opener with three interceptions and a pick-six against the Rams. Carr’s 2017 struggles with the deep ball have carried over into this season. Case Keenum also had three interceptions in his Broncos debut, but he had the offense moving versus the Seahawks. Keenum recorded 329 passing yards with three touchdowns during the Broncos’ Week 1 victory.

Advantage: Broncos

Running backs

The Raiders had success running the ball with Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin before going away from the run in the second half versus the Rams. Lynch proved he’s still powerful at age 32 after bulldozing into the end zone with almost every Rams defender on his back. Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay split carries for the Broncos and combined for 142 yards.

Advantage: Raiders

Wide receivers

Just as he did in Minnesota, Keenum still loves feeding his slot receivers. Emmanuel Sanders had 10 receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown in his first regular-season game with Keenum. Along with Demaryius Thomas and Courtland Sutton, the Broncos have a top receiving trio. The Raiders’ Amari Cooper had a disappointing Week 1 with one reception for 9 yards. Jordy Nelson didn’t do much better in his Raiders debut with three catches for 23 yards.

Advantage: Broncos

Offensive line

The Raiders’ offensive line had its hands full against Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh but allowed only one sack. Gabe Jackson and Kelechi Osemele contained Donald for one tackle. The Broncos’ offensive line doesn’t stand out but held up versus the Seahawks.

Advantage: Raiders

Defensive line

Broncos star edge rusher Von Miller could have a big day against rookie left tackle Kolton Miller. Bradley Chubb, the No. 5 overall pick, is expected to have a standout rookie season next to Miller. The Raiders received quiet debuts from rookies Arden Key, P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst. The Raiders didn’t get much pressure on Rams quarterback Jared Goff outside of one strip sack from Bruce Irvin.

Advantage: Broncos

Linebackers

Las Vegas native Brandon Marshall and Todd Davis control the middle of the field for Denver. Tahir Whitehead and Derrick Johnson had solid debuts for the Raiders.

Advantage: Broncos

Secondary

For three quarters, the Raiders’ secondary contained the Rams’ speedy wideouts. Gareon Conley and Rashaan Melvin could give the Raiders a top one-two punch at cornerback. They also might have depth with Leon Hall and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Oakland is revamped at corner after a nightmare season last year. Chris Harris Jr. is the only member left of the Broncos’ “No Fly Zone.”

Advantage: Raiders

Special teams

The Raiders will go up against their former All-Pro punter Marquette King. There’s been plenty of trash talk between the Raiders and King. Raiders kicker Mike Nugent made his two field-goal attempts last week, including one from 48 yards. The Broncos’ Brandon McManus is one of the NFL’s top kickers.

Advantage: Broncos

Intangibles

There’s nowhere to go but up for the Raiders after a forgetful opener. The Raiders have a 62-51-2 series lead.

Advantage: Raiders

More Raiders: Follow all of our Raiders coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

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