Behind Enemy Lines with Broncos Wire ahead of Week 4
The Raiders will play a must-see game in Week 4 as they host the Denver Broncos. After starting the season 0-3, the Raiders can’t afford to fall to 0-4 if they are to have any hope of making the playoffs this year.
To prepare you for this match, we went behind enemy lines with Broncos Wire’s Jon Heath to discuss the Denver Broncos ahead of Week 4.
RW: Why is Russell Wilson struggling to get on the Denver offense?
pc: I think he takes a while to adjust to a new pattern and I think Nathaniel Hackett did a poor job of getting plays quickly in the first two games (they have since hired a new assistant to help make this happen more easily). When the game was on the line in Week 3, Wilson took charge and looked like himself, hustling to make plays. Maybe that’s what he needs to come back to, play more freely and not be so worried about playing in the system. Not all of the team’s offensive woes fall on Wilson — there have been several dropped passes, highly questionable play calls and a few fumbles from his running backs in the red zone. But it certainly starts slowly.
RW: What was Randy Gregory like in his first year with the Broncos?
pc: He’s been excellent so far, and it’s not just his own production that has stood out. Gregory’s mere presence opened things up for fellow OLB Bradley Chubb and even DL Dre’Mont Jones. Gregory has five quarterback hits, two sacks and two forced fumbles in three games. Gregory has been exactly what the Broncos hoped he would be when they signed him in March, and he’s taken the team’s rotation to the next level.
RW: Do you still consider the Broncos a legitimate competitor to the AFC?
pc: It’s probably a bit too early to tell. Their defense looks fantastic, but they haven’t faced a top attack yet. Their own offense was very disappointing, but the pieces are in place for the unit to turn things around as they start to gel more as the season progresses. They’re in contention in the AFC West right now, but that can obviously change quickly. The Broncos will go as far as Wilson can take them. If his game improves and the offense starts, I think Denver can get into the conference. But it remains to be seen if the attack will be able to solve the problems.
RW: Who’s an under-the-radar player to watch in this game?
pc: Dre’Mont Jones doesn’t seem like a big name outside of Denver, but he’s established himself as the team’s best defensive lineman. He had nine tackles, two sacks, two QB hits and a forced fumble in three weeks. He was also solid against the run. Keep an eye out for No. 93 on the Broncos defensive line.
RW: Who wins and why?
pc: The Raiders are winless, but that makes them even more desperate, and they play at home against a well-known division rival. Josh McDaniels doesn’t need any extra motivation, but he will also face his old team. It’s hard to predict Las Vegas will fall to 0-4, but the Broncos’ defense has kept the team in every game so far this year and the unit should be able to do the same in Week 4. .
Broncos 23, Raiders 16.
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