Posted Thu Dec 17th by Monty
Streak: Lost 1
Series vs. Denver: Raiders, 55-41-2
Last time: Broncos, 23-3
The Line: Broncos by 14
Who’s hot: QB J.P. Losman. Life is good for Losman right now. He just won the UFL’s Inaugural Championship Game as starting QB of the Las Vegas Locomotives (“They’re Loco for Losman!”). Then the Oakland Raiders come along and tell Losman they want to pay him to do the same thing they pay JaMarcus Russell to do: pretend to play quarterback in the NFL. Welcome home, J.P.
Who’s not: Sorry for piling on (not really), but we gotta go with QB JaMarcus Russell. The 2007 draft’s top overall pick went from starter to backup to third-stringer in the span of a month. Russell was thrown in last week’s loss at halftime (to uproarious “applause” from Raiders fans) only to get benched again this week. He threw an interception and was sacked six times in a brutal loss to the Redskins, a week after Bruce Gradkowski led Oakland to a win against the Super Bowl champs. Enter Charlie Frye.
Matchup to watch: Raiders D-Line vs. Broncos O-Line. To oversimplify, the difference between the games the Broncos won and the games they lost often came down to the ability of the offensive line to win in the trenches. Last week against the Colts saw the o-line having trouble opening holes and converting short-yardage downs, and the Broncos lost. In Week Two the guys up front dominated, but, due to both injury and performance, Denver has some new toys on the line. Will they be able to match their predecessors’ performance against a fast and physical Oakland front?