MNF - Raiders at Broncos
September 22, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
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The Broncos have been the most impressive team in the NFL through two weeks after dominating the last two Super Bowl champions en route to a 2-0 start. Denver returns home to battle Oakland in its first division showdown of the season on Monday, as the Broncos are listed as an over two-touchdown favorite.
Following a seven-touchdown performance in the season-opening rout of Baltimore, Peyton Manning led the Broncos to 41 points in the final three quarters of a 41-23 destruction of the Giants in Week 2. Denver easily cashed as 3 ½-point road favorites after the game was steamed down from 4 ½ earlier in the week, while the Broncos' defense intercepted Peyton's brother, Eli Manning four times.
The Broncos have easily cashed the 'over' in each of the first two games, including the 52 ½-spot against the Giants. How explosive has Denver been since last October? John Fox's club has scored at least 30 points in 12 of the last 14 games, while eclipsing the 34-point mark in six consecutive contests ('over' 5-0-1 in this stretch).
The Raiders weren't expected to do much this season, but Oakland has covered in each of its first two games. After almost upsetting Indianapolis in Week 1 as 11-point underdogs, Dennis Allen's team picked up their first win of the season in last Sunday's 19-9 defeat of the hapless Jaguars as 3 ½-point favorites. Oakland rushed for 226 yards in the victory, but the Raiders kicked four field goals, including three from inside 30 yards.
The defense has been the bright spot for the Silver and Black, as the Raiders allowed just 248 total yards to Jacksonville, one week after giving up 274 yards at Indianapolis. The 'under' has cashed in each of Oakland's first two contests, extending to an 8-1 'under' stretch since last November. The 'under' run ties back to Oakland's woes offensively, as the Raiders have scored 17 points or less in seven of the last nine games.
The Broncos swept the season series from the Raiders last season, which included a 37-6 blowout at Sports Authority Field in late September. Denver cashed as 6 ½-point favorites, while Manning torched the Oakland defense for three touchdowns and 338 yards. The Broncos held the ball for 37 minutes, as Denver snapped a four-game home skid to Oakland which dated back to 2008.
The Raiders entered the second matchup at O.Coliseum as 10-point home underdogs in December, as Oakland fell to Denver, 26-13. Darren McFadden scored a late first half touchdown to get the Raiders within 13-7 at the intermission, but Denver put up 13 unanswered points to grab the money as a large road favorite. Following a streak of five consecutive matchups that finished 'over' the total, each of the two meetings went 'under' in 2012.
In Manning's first season with the Broncos, the team compiled a perfect 6-0 record against AFC West foes, while covering four times. Last season's three-game sweep of divisional opponents at home was in stark contrast to the 0-3 mark put up in Fox's debut season of 2011.
In 2010, the Raiders posted a remarkable 6-0 record inside the AFC West, but the Silver and Black has won just five of the last 12 games versus divisional foes. Oakland has cashed just once in the last four opportunities as an underdog of nine points or more, with the lone cover coming at Atlanta last October in a 23-20 defeat as 10-point 'dogs.
This is the first time the Raiders are playing on Monday night after Week 1 since 2006, a 16-0 setback at Seattle. In this stretch, Oakland owns a 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS mark under the Monday night lights, with the only victory coming at Denver in the 2011 season opener, 23-20. The Broncos have lost four of their last five games on Monday night since 2009, which includes a 1-1 SU/ATS record last season.
The Broncos are listed as 15-point favorites, while the total is set between 49 and 49 ½. The game kicks off at 8:30 PM EST and will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Week 3 Recap:
-- There is plenty of shock and awe when it comes to the struggles of several NFC teams. The Redskins and Giants are each 0-3 SU/ATS, as both clubs have started 0-3 in the same season for the first time in NFL history. The Packers, Falcons, and 49ers all made the playoffs last season, but the three squads have started 1-2 after all lost on Sunday. Green Bay and Atlanta each led with four minutes remaining in regulation, while squandering late advantages.
-- The Chiefs and Dolphins each picked up huge interconference victories, while both teams improved to 3-0. Miami has covered all three games, including consecutive wins over playoff squads Indianapolis and Atlanta. The Dolphins travel to New Orleans for a Monday night showdown between a pair of undefeated teams, while the Chiefs host the winless Giants next Sunday.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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