Five Reasons the Raiders Will Beat the Broncos on Monday Night

No predictions for tonight’s game, but one. The Raiders will beat the Broncos. The loss of Antonio Brown stings, but there are plenty of reasons to be encouraged by the new-look Raiders, who really shouldn’t miss a player they never had.

Let’s get into the vibes…

The roster is drastically improved in 2019.

Losing Antonio Brown hurts the Raiders from a talent standpoint, but this year’s roster is still far superior to the 2018 version. Don’t lose sight of all the roster upgrades the team made outside of the addition of Brown. Unlike last year, the Raiders should be able to keep up with most teams from a talent standpoint.

History says Gruden will have the team ready.

Losing Khalil Mack was a devastating blow to the locker room last year, yet the Raiders were tied 13-13 with the Rams going into the final play of the third quarter of the season opener. If the Raiders were ready after losing Mack, they shouldn’t suffer a hangover from losing a headache like Brown.

Gruden will use the AB situation to motivate the team.

Watching Brown finally walk away from the team was probably best for the Raiders in the long term, but it may give them a shot in the arm in the short term, too. Don’t you think Gruden is going to use AB’s abandonment of the team as a means to have the team fired up on Monday night? Brown had very few relationships in the locker room so he won’t exactly be missed.

The offense has progressed since this time a year ago.

Derek Carr is much more comfortable in Gruden’s offense this year. Carr played better in the second half of the season last year despite working with the most deficient receiver group in the NFL. One explanation for Carr’s elevated play was his improving grasp of Gruden’s offense. Rich Gannon’s quarterback rating wasn’t great in his first year under Gruden (86.5), but improved in each of the next two years (92.4 and 95.5). Derek should see a similar bump from his 93.9 QB rating in 2018.

Vontaze Burfict and Lamarcus Joyner.

Rumor is these two have changed the Raiders’ culture on defense. We’ll find out tonight if that’s true, but the Raiders finally have a vocal leader on the defensive side of the ball. It’s been needed for a long time.

Raiders 27, Broncos 16.


twitter: @raidersbeat