With the ridiculous Antonio Brown fiasco finally over, it’s time for the Raiders to move onto week 1. Oakland was likely going to have an explosive offense with Brown and rookie Josh Jacobs helping to bring some playmaking ability to the offense. Quarterback Derek Carr and the offense need to regroup quickly and move on after the departure of Brown. It will be interesting to see what kind of game plan Jon Gruden comes up with Monday night.
Vic Fangio was named the head coach of the Broncos in the off-season and has two elite pass rushers at his disposal in Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. It’s scary to consider what schemes Fangio will come up with to utilize the talent on the defensive line. Denver brought in Joe Flacco to run the offense and he will lean on the running game with Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. Once Denver can establish the running game they can sprinkle in some play action opportunities to Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland Sutton and rookie tight end Noah Fant.
I expect Oakland to try and establish the short passing game to help contain Miller and Chubb. Fangio and his staff will be prepared for this and will play a lot of zone early to take away some quick throws. Eventually the Broncos defense will get to Carr and take over the game. Flacco and the offense will do enough to cover the spread and get the win.
Pick: Denver – 2