Kickoff Sunday, Oct 2nd 4:25pm Eastern

Broncos (
21.5) at

Raiders (
24)

Over/Under 45.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Broncos Run D
20th DVOA/15th Yards allowed per carry
Raiders Run O
13th DVOA/28th Yards per carry
Broncos Pass D
6th DVOA/8th Yards allowed per pass
Raiders Pass O
21st DVOA/6th Yards per pass
Raiders Run D
16th DVOA/19th Yards allowed per carry
Broncos Run O
26th DVOA/13th Yards per carry
Raiders Pass D
22nd DVOA/13th Yards allowed per pass
Broncos Pass O
17th DVOA/19th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mike johnson >>
  • Both teams have been extremely disappointing to start the year after big offseason moves were made.
  • The Broncos enter with a 2-1 record thanks to an elite defense and a soft schedule.
  • The Raiders are 0-3 and have lost every game by one score.
  • Neither of these teams has appeared explosive or fast-paced yet this season, but the pieces are there on both sides for games to turn up at any point.

How denver Will Try To Win ::

To call the Broncos offense disappointing to this point in the season is an insult to disappointments everywhere. I can’t recall any team with such high expectations and so many talented offensive players performing and looking this poorly to start a season. There is plenty of blame to go around but things have looked absolutely abysmal in every area of the game. The Broncos have no rhythm in their running game, their route concepts look jumbled, and Russell Wilson either won’t pull the trigger or isn’t sure where to go with the ball, resulting in a lot of check downs and the 22nd highest average intended air yards on pass attempts among all NFL QBs. The “Let Russ Cook” narrative is quickly being put to rest, as he has looked anything like the all-pro quarterback that everyone expected to go nuclear once freed from the reins of Pete Carroll. Eli Manning made a joke on Monday Night Football that “the Broncos should have given that $235 million to the punter,” and that may have been more accurate than any pass we saw Eli throw in the last five years of his career. The Broncos aren’t doing themselves any favors either in terms of continuity, as they added Mike Boone to the running back mix in Week 3 and rotated him with Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon, consistently giving all of them playing time in a nationally televised game.

Looking ahead, we have to decide if we think the Broncos will continue doing things how they have been or will look to change things up. Despite how awful they have looked, the Broncos have ridden their defense and a relatively soft schedule through three weeks to a 2-1 record and are currently tied for the AFC West division lead. Through three weeks, the Broncos are ranked 22nd in Pass Rate Over Expectation (PROE) and 26th in situation-neutral pace of play. They are facing a Raiders defense that is middle of the pack in most defensive metrics despite playing a relatively tough schedule of offenses to start the season. The Raiders defense is not especially strong in any one area, while also not having a specific weakness to attack. This means that teams will usually look to lean on their areas of offensive strength when facing Las Vegas. Unfortunately, through three games it is hard to tell what the Broncos offensive strength and identity are, and even they look like they aren’t sure about it. 

If we want to take an optimistic view of the situation, the Broncos spoke last week about some things with opening the offense up, they hired a specialist to help head coach Nathaniel Hackett with game day decisions, and generally speaking, have a lot of new things going on so it makes some sense that they have had a relatively slow start. Also, if we look at each week they have played so far we can see clear “reasons” for things that may have contributed to the slow start:

  • In Week 1, the Seahawks probably played their best game of the year in the most hostile environment in the league, with a coaching staff that had weeks to prepare for a quarterback who they know better than anyone.
  • In Week 2, the Broncos played a scrappy Texans team and had to play on a short week after their Monday night game, while playing without KJ Hamler and losing star wide receiver Jerry Jeudy to an injury early in the contest.
  • In Week 3, the Broncos faced the 49ers defense, which currently ranks 3rd in Football Outsider DVOA and is top-5 against both the run and the pass.

I’m not saying the Broncos deserve no blame, but things may look a lot more dire right now than they will in a few weeks. This is still a team with a Hall of Fame QB and talented skill players, and they have nowhere to go but up after scoring only three offensive touchdowns (dead last in the NFL) through three weeks. 

How las vegas Will Try To Win ::

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Overview

  • 5th highest total on main slate (45.5)
  • LV is favored by 2.5
  • HOU & LV are the only winless teams & HOU has a tie
  • Despite not winning yet, LV has a point differential of only -13 (lost by 2, 6, & 5)
  • LV won both matchups last season: (LV-34 @ DEN-24) // (DEN-13 LV-17)
  • DEN has yet to score over 16 pts (10, 9, 16) 
  • They’ve only scored 3 TDs, one in each game 
  • LV has yet to score over 23 (22, 23, 19) 
  • They’ve scored 5 TDs
  • DEN is 2-1 but they’ve scored the 2nd fewest points in the league (14.3/g)
  • They’ve allowed the 2nd fewest pts (12.0)
  • DEN is last in RZ TD % (14.3%) & LV is 7th worst (46.2%)

Russell Wilson

  • Wilsons yds in have gone down in each game this season (340, 219, 184) & his DK pts have went down as well (20.8, 12.1, 9.1)
  • Geno Smith (15.7 pts/g), Wilsons replacement in SEA, has more DK pts then Wilson (14.0 pts/g)
  • Wilson’s ($6.7k) is the cheapest he’s been all season ($6.8k, $7.2k, $6.9k)
  • LV allowed to QBs: Carr (23.26) // Murray (24.9) // Tannehill (19.8)

DEN RBs

  • Williams has been out snapping Gordon so far: Williams (33, 47, 38) ) // Gordon (27, 23, 28)
  • Carries: Williams (15, 15, 7) // Gordon (10, 12, 10)
  • Gordons rush yds have went down in each game (58, 47, 26)
  • Yards/carry: Williams (4.8) // Gordon (3.9)
  • Williams has no TDs & Gordon has 1 of the 3 total DEN has scored
  • LV allows the 4th most DK pts/g to RBs (28.9/g) facing Henry (25.3), Williams (14.2), & Ekeler (11.2)

DEN WRs

  • Sutton has a 28% team tgt share & 2 games in a row seeing 10+ (10, 11, 7)
  • Jeudy missed most of WK2 // tgts: (6, 3, 7) 
  • Jeudy had 102 yds WK1, Sutton had 122 WK2 and barely missed 100 last week (97)
  • Sutton accounts for 40% of Wilson’s pass yds // Jeudy accounts for 17% 
  • LV allows the 10th least DK pts/g to WRs (31.2)

DEN TEs

  • Albert O’s snap % has went down in each game (66%, 54%, 32%)
  • Eric Sauberts has went up in each game (27%, 36%, 47%)
  • Targets: Albert O (2, 2, 6) // Sauberts (1, 2, 1)
  • LV allows the 6th most DK pts/g to TEs (17.1)

Derek Carr

  • Carr vs DEN last season: @ home (20:25:201:1TD:1INT) // in DEN (18:27:341:2TDs:0INTs)
  • DEN held Carr to his lowest DK pts all season in their 2nd matchup last season (10.5 pts)
  • Carr’s pass attempts and DK pts have went up each week: (37, 39, 44) // (16.8, 19.0, 23.8)
  • DEN allows the 4th least DK pts/g to QBs (11.9) facing Garoppolo (10.4), Mills (7.2) & Smith (17.2)

LV WRs

  • Davante Adams has the 4th most targets in the league (11.3/g)
  • Most RZ tgts in the league with 10 (4 completions, 3 TDs)
  • TD in every game
  • The last 2 weeks he’s combined for only 7 catches for 48 yds on 17 tgts
  • Mack Hollins scored the 2nd highest DK pts last week among WRs & was the 4th among all positions (32.9)
  • His tgts have increased every week (1, 8, 10)
  • Davante was 6th overall & 3rd among WRs in DK pts WK1 (33.1) 
  • Renfrow: WK1 (3:21-6 tgts) // WK2 (7:59-10 tgts)
  • DEN D has allowed the fewest DK pts/g to WRs (24.2)

LV RBs

  • Josh Jacobs saw 5 tgts last week
  • He’s played on 65% of snaps
  • WK 3 (13:66, 14.7 DK pts) // WK 2 (19:69, 9.1) // WK 1 (13:66, 8.3)
  • LV is averaging the fewest rush attempts/g (17.7) & 5th fewest rush yds/g (80.0)
  • DEN D has allowed the 2nd fewest DK pts/g to RBs (12.4)

Darren Waller

  • 8th most TE targets (6.3/g)
  • Last season he finished with the 2nd most per game (8.5/g)
  • WK3 (3:22-5 tgts) // WK2 (6:50:1TD-8 tgts) WK1 (4:79-6 tgts)
  • 2nd in team RZ tgts (6)
  • DEN has allowed the 6th most DK pts/g to TEs (15.5)