The Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders will do battle on Monday Night Football In Week 3 of the season, as Payton Manning and company try to become the next 3-0 team in the NFL and the next one in their division, as the Chiefs have already gotten off to that great start.
The game will be on ESPN and on the Watch ESPN website starting at 8:30 PM and the coverage will come live from Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Monday. The Broncos won their first two games largely on their offense and while their pass defense has been bad, one reason for their ranking as the worst in the league based on yards per game has more to do with the situations rather than the Broncos themselves.
The team won its first two games by scoring over 40 points in each contest and each game also included large leads, meaning the opposing team largely ditched the running game and started chucking the ball, hence the high number of passing yards given up. The team has been a bit banged up in the secondary with injuries and while it was a weakness last year as seen in the Ravens game, they should shore things up against the Raiders.
Either way, Peyton Manning is usually a nice performer on Monday night games and with names like Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas on the field, the Raiders will have their hands plenty full. Manning was amazing to start the season in primetime with seven touchdowns against the Ravens and now he will get the chance to play against Oakland in a divisional game. The team won the division last season and they have done well against a tough schedule, winning against the Ravens and Giants, the last two teams to win the Super Bowl.
The Broncos are ranked first in passing offense with over 370 yards per game and are 23rd in rushing, with Knowshon Moreno looking like the feature back ahead of Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball for now. The team is ranked 32nd in passing yards allowed per game and first in rushing yards, holding teams to just 40 per game, as Ray Rice was held back in Week 1 and the Giants did jack in Week 2.
Manning already has 769 yards and nine touchdowns this season, while the Thomas boys have been his best receivers, combining for five touchdowns and over 20 catches in two games. Manning surely will be looking their way on Monday night and the raiders will be aware of where they are and Wes Welker is at all times.
Last season the Broncos lost only three games and finished on a long winning streak and this season they got over their playoff loss to the Ravens to win in Week 1 and now they face a tough but not crazy schedule heading into their bye week. This is their only game on Monday night football and then the team plays the NFC East again with the Eagles at home and the Cowboys on the road before an easy matchup with the Jaguars. The team then has a tough game on the road against the Colts before finishing their NFC East tour with the Redskins at home.
After a bye in Week 9, the team will play on the road against the San Diego Chargers and the division could be decided during this stretch, as the team plays the now 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs twice in three weeks with a road game against the New England Patriots sandwiched in the middle. The Titans at home are next and then the team finishes off with the Chargers, Texans and Raiders on the road in Week 17.
The Monday night game in Week 3 will be in Denver and the Broncos and Raiders will kickoff around 8:30 PM with Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden calling it from the booth.