The Oakland Raiders believed they had upgraded their secondary, but due to a series of injuries, the corner back situation looks even worse than it did in 2011 when it was one of the worst units in the NFL. The Raiders have been relegated to moving their starting free safety, Michael Huff, to corner while hoping a group made up of players taken off of practice squads and waivers can prove themselves in the NFL. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning has not looked like his old self while playing for his new team, the Denver Broncos. Thus, the big question this weekend surrounds who will win the battle over Denver's passing game.
On the one hand, Manning has not looked the same and is making mistakes at a much higher clip than he did before he was injured. Some have noted that he simply does not look like the same Manning due to the fact that he does not have the same arm strength. Ron Jaworski said that he no longer sees spin on Manning's balls, something that used to set him apart from second tier quarterbacks. In week two, that led to 3 interceptions very early in the game, and in week 3 led to a low completion percentage and a low yards per pass average as well.
This could very easily be a blessing or a curse for the Raiders corner backs. If Manning continues to struggle, it may hide the ineffectiveness of the Raiders secondary. But if the Raiders secondary cannot step up their play, it very well could be the game where the league finally sees the Peyton Manning of old. The Raiders have had a history in recent years of turning players into stars. It happened in week 2 with Reggie Bush and Ryan Tannehill and numerous times last season as well. If the Raiders give Manning the opportunity to get into rythym and return to his old self, it could prove to be a bad sign for the Raiders not only this week, but the remainder of the season.