Two coaches look to make a name for themselves with their new jobs on Monday Night Football, as Hue Jackson's Oakland Raiders travel to Denver to play John Fox's Broncos in an AFC West showdown at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Despite speculation that Tim Tebow would be the starting quarterback, Fox has opted with Kyle Orton for the season opener. The seven-year veteran passed for 3,653 yards to go along with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2010. This year, Orton has a new offensive coordinator in Mike McCoy, and says he feels comfortable in the system.
Orton's favorite target is Brandon Lloyd, who led the NFL with a career-best 1,448 receiving yards.
The Broncos will have a potent pass rush that features defensive end Elvis Dumervil and potential defensive rookie of the year, Von Miller, a linebacker drafted as the second overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
The Raiders exceeded expectations last season by finishing 8-8, as Jackson takes over for Tom Cable after serving as the team's offensive coordinator. He will count on Jason Campbell as the quarterback again this season, who did a serviceable job in 2010.
Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha left for the Philadelphia Eagles, which means veteran corners Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson will be called upon to fill the void.
The Raiders have high hopes for rookie wide receiver Denarius Moore, who impressed the coaching staff in the preseason. Jackson may need Moore to make an immediate impact with the departure of tight end Zach Miller. The Raiders will be without wide out injured Louis Murphy, which means Jacoby Ford might expect to figure prominently.
The Broncos will be looking to make up for the humiliating home route to Oakland season, 59-14.
THE LINE: Broncos by 3
PREDICTION: Brandon Lloyd should expect to figure prominently as Orton will look to his big play threat and try to exploit a questionable Raiders secondary. Oakland's offensive line may struggle to create holes for Darren McFadden and Michael Bush, who might be the Oakland's best options on offense.
PREDICTED SCORE: Denver 27, Oakland 17