The Denver Broncos enter Week 6 hoping to snap a two-game slide with the hated Las Vegas Raiders coming to town. After splitting withe Raiders each year post-Super Bowl 50, Las Vegas was able to sweep the Broncos in 2020.
If the Broncos are going to get back on the horse and prove that their 3-0 start wasn't fool's gold, this is the week to do it. The Raiders are in disarray in the wake of Jon Gruden's disgraceful resignation.
This could and should be Denver's turning point in the season. Will it be? Let's go around the Mile High Huddle horn to get the answer.
James Campbell (@JamesC_MHH) 4-1: The Broncos are in free fall but the Gruden situation does not change the equation much: this is a must win game for the good guys. Ultimately, the Broncos come up just short against a team that will play hard for interim head coach Rich Bisaccia. The Broncos must play a clean football game and Teddy Bridgewater will give them a chance. The defense has to do better against TE Darren Waller than Mark Andrews and respect Raiders' WR Henry Ruggs and his ability to create space in this offense, even with Gruden gone as a playcaller.
Pick: Raiders 17, Broncos 10
Kenneth Booker (@KennethMHH) 3-2: Both teams have recently come down to earth after a hot start and look to get back on track. Denver will need to keep Derek Carr and the Raiders passing attack in check with its pass rush. I expect the game to be a close, hard-fought battle. Unfortunately, I see Carr orchestrating a late fourth-quarter drive to seal the victory, breaking Broncos County’s heart. GM George Paton will then have to contemplate whether or not he should move on from OC Pat Shurmur.
Pick: Raiders 17, Broncos 10
Keith Cummings (@KeithC_NFL) 3-2: The Raiders come into town with an interim head coach but the Broncos' coaching staff might be in its own mess. Vic Fangio is in must-win territory in this one. The trouble is, Fangio just won't have the answers again this Sunday for the Raiders duo Carr and Waller, who rip the Broncos for a brace of scores. Teddy Bridgewater keeps it close all day before the Raiders close it out late.
Pick: Raiders 24, Broncos 17
Mike Evans (@MHHEvans) 3-2: The outcome of Sunday's battle between two 3-2 teams could heavily influence the trajectory of both organization remaining season. Both teams got out to a 3-0 start but to make things more problematic for the Raiders, they no longer have their offensive-minded head coach scowling along the sideline. Look for the Raiders to take a page out of Baltimore's and Pittsburgh's defensive game-plan and dial up blitz packages to force the Broncos offense into 3rd-&-long situations. Bridgewater must take advantage of the opportunities Las Vegas' defensive pressure creates. Expect the Broncos defense to rebound from last week’s poor performance and recapture their swagger.
Pick: Broncos 24, Raiders 17
Thomas Hall (@ThomasHallNFL) 4-1: This Sunday is a must-win for the Broncos. Not only are a few of the coaches feeling their seats getting very warm, they are facing a bitter rival who just lost their head coach amid a scandal. Furthermore, Mike Shanahan is being inducted into the Ring of Fame for this home game. There is plenty of bad blood between he and the Raiders and when he was the head coach of the Broncos, losing to this rival was a rarity. If the Broncos can’t win this game, the coaches won’t be back next year and they know it. Denver will pull out all the stops to secure a victory. The defense will step up after being run over last week and the offense will do just enough, powered by the run game. TE Noah Fant finally gets involved in the offense and registers a 100-yard receiving game.
Pick: Broncos 23, Raiders 17
Zach Hicks (@HicksZach2) 3-2: This game is as close to a must-win as a Week 6 game can be. The Broncos are the much more talented team and have no excuse to drop this one against a derailing Raiders squad. I expect the Broncos’ defense to have a big bounce back game and the offense to methodically pick the Raiders apart.
Pick: Broncos 34, Raiders 21
Chad Jensen (@ChadNJensen) 4-1: There's no way the Broncos can allow themselves to lose the very game vs. the Raiders in which Coach Shanahan is getting inducted into the Ring of Fame. The Football Gods forbid it. In a normal circumstance, based on what I've seen these past two weeks, I'd be picking against Denver. But this matchup is imbued with unique properties and the Mile High Magic will come through. This is the game Bridgewater gets the offense back on the horse and makes up for ignoring Fant in the game plan last week. Javonte Williams makes multiple big plays and finds the end zone while Von Miller goes on a two-sack romp.
Pick: Broncos 23, Raiders 16
Zack Kelberman (@KelbermanNFL) 4-1: Last week, I claimed if the Broncos are true contenders, they'll respond by beating the Steelers. Denver no-showed for 3.5 quarters. This week, I'm lowering the bar: if Denver has any pride at all, if the franchise is worth its salt, it will take down a hated rival whose coach just resigned in disgrace — a rival, mired in turmoil, that is also reeling from a two-game losing streak, in a contest from the friendly confines of Mile High. It doesn't matter if the Broncos win by one or 100 points, but their season is essentially on the line. Lose this game, and heads will start to roll — rightfully.
Pick: Broncos 24, Raiders 19
Nick Kendell (@NickKendellMHH) 3-2: The Broncos are in a do-or-die game not only for the 2021 season but also likely the tenure of this current coaching staff. The Raiders are in disarray following the Gruden scandal. The Raiders are also riding a two-game losing streak and most of the team’s starting cornerbacks are injured. The Broncos get a bit lucky facing this Raiders team at the moment and right the ship... for now.
Pick: Broncos 23, Raiders 20
Bob Morris (@BobMorrisSports) 4-1: The Broncos are reeling after losing back-to-back games, including last week’s outing against a Steelers team that isn’t that good. The coaching staff has a lot of questions to answer as they go into this week’s game against the Raiders — another team that has lost back-to-back games after a 3-0 start and just lost their head coach. It’s gut check time for the Broncos, who will return home and, after exciting the home crowd in the Mile High opener against the New York Jets, had a disappointing outcome against Baltimore the following week. The Broncos may be dealing with injuries, but can’t use that excuse for too long. I’m giving the Broncos the benefit of the doubt here, but make no mistake: it was one thing to lose to a Ravens team that looks like a Super Bowl contender, but it’s another to underperform against an underachieving team. The Steelers are that and the Raiders are becoming that. Time for the Broncos to show they aren’t becoming that themselves.
Pick: Broncos 20, Raiders 17
Luke Patterson (@LukePattersonLP) 4-1: Could the argument be made that the Broncos have all the pressure on them? Sure, because if the Raiders lose — it’s what was supposed to happen with a coach-less team. But I’m not buying the excuses, and lack of accountability that Coach Fangio sells on a weekly basis. This team is much more than a QB away from being a winner. Shurmur’s offense is predictable and panicked. Time to turnover the playcalling to QB Coach Mike Shula. Broncos lose and Fangio quite possibly loses the locker-room.
Pick: Raiders 27, Broncos 17
Lance Sanderson (@SandersonMHH) 3-2: If the Broncos come out flat against a team that is facing a tremendous amount of adversity, they very well could get slapped in the mouth. Just because the Raiders don't have a true head coach doesn't mean the Broncos coaching staff can allow the players to play lower than their ability. The Broncos are a better team in a better situation playing a game in front of Coach Shanahan, who will be inducted into the Ring of Fame at halftime. The need to come out fired up and beat the living you know what out of the Raiders.
Pick: Broncos 44, Raiders 10
Erick Trickel (@ErickTrickel) 3-2: There will be a lot ot emotion in this game with the Ring of Fame induction of Coach Shanahan, who was a Raiders. On top of that, the Raiders are coming in without a head coach and while the Broncos have their coaching issues, they at least have a head coach. Denver rides it to a win, and fans start thinking they're great again. That will only change come Thursday night.
Pick: Broncos 27, Raiders 17
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