The Oakland Raiders enter Week 4 of the 2012 season with new life after upsetting the Pittsburgh Steelers in Oakland last weekend. The Raiders struggled massively in the first two weeks of the season. Their offense had no life and their defense went from looking improved in week one to non existent in week two. But after Darren McFadden finally broke out in the run game and the offense put up a bunch of points, things look brighter. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are coming off of back to back losses.
After Manning looked good in week one, he threw three interceptions in week two and while he put up decent stats in week three, he simply does not look like the Peyton Manning of old, and the Broncos do not look like a team whose weaknesses are being hidden by great quarterback play. With that being said, the Raiders have had a lot of difficulty putting pressure on the quarterback this season, and even Peyton Manning at 75% could carve up the Raiders' depleted secondary if he has time in the pocket. The Raiders just signed pass rusher and former Cal Bear, Andre Carter, in the hope he can help solve that problem, but it is hard to envision him having a big impact just four days after being signed.
The Broncos defense has looked decidedly average so far this season. Their run defense has been better than their pass defense, but neither has looked consistent. The Raiders offense looked non existent in the first two weeks before putting up 34 points against the Steelers last week. Darren McFadden finally broke out in the run game, due mostly to the fact that the offensive line finally started opening up some holes for him to run through. The Raiders had to play without center Stefen Wisniewski in week one and he looked a little shaky in week two, but against Pittsburgh, the nephew of Raider great Steve Wisniewski looked back to his old self which made a big difference in the play of the offensive line.
Coming out of Denver with a win will not be easy, but it does not look to be out of the question. If the Raiders offense can build off of last week and if the defense can continue creating turnovers, the Raiders will have a chance of evening up their record against the Broncos.