The Jacksonville Jaguars have had an extra week to prepare. The Oakland Raiders are coming off an emotional loss. Is this a ripe opportunity to take Jacksonville? I say that's a bad idea, so let's take a closer look at why.
This is a point spread I don't understand at all. In the offseason, the Raiders were 5.5 point favorites. The look-ahead line last week was -4.5. It re-opened at -5, but early money actually came in on the Jaguars (odds from SBRforum). I know this move isn't based on any mismatches on the field, so what is the thinking here? Does a bye week really mean that much for the Jaguars? Do some expect a letdown after Oakland came up short in Atlanta?
This is going to be a short segment. There isn't a single statistical advantage the Jaguars have on the Raiders. I've written about the ineptness of Jacksonville before, so I feel I should simply copy and paste at this point.
Denver Broncos News: How the Broncos' Defense Forced 5 2nd Half Turnovers From Philip Rivers on Monday Night
As well as quarterback Peyton Manning played on Monday night, the Denver Broncos' defense deserves equal credit for their stunning comeback against the San Diego Chargers.
Denver's pass rush forced Chargers' quarterback Philip Rivers into five second half turnovers, keeping San Diego scoreless after 24 first half points. The key to Denver's second half shutout was how they attacked the pocket.
Rivers is a classic pocket-passer and lacks the mobility and athleticism to escape swarming pressure. After Manning got them closer on the scoreboard, the Broncos were able to turn speedy edge-rushers Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller loose.
Their quickness and power was too much for San Diego's offensive tackles to handle. Rivers had less and less time in the pocket and was forced into making quick decisions and turnovers inevitably followed.
Miller and Dumervil mixed speed moves with power-based bull rushes and eventually forced the Chargers into maximum protection fronts. That limited the number of receivers Rivers had to aim for, causing him to pause in the pocket.
35 unanswered second-half points on Monday Night Football proves that Peyton Manning is still as good as he's ever been. Questions were raised about the wisdom and success of Manning's comeback from neck surgery, after he had stumbled out of the blocks with new team the Denver Broncos.
Yet slowly but surely, the old master has rediscovered the old magic. That magic was evident as soon as the second half began on Monday night. Manning was overwhelmed in the first half against a San Diego Chargers team that has frequently baffled him in the past.
However, it took just one drive for Manning to prove this would be different than many of his previous encounters with the Chargers. The opening drive of the third quarter was classic Manning.
Trailing by 24 points, he coolly directed the Broncos down the field with quick-strike precision, before firing the first seven points of Denver's comeback to Demaryius Thomas. This was Manning turning the clock back to his prime years with the Indianapolis Colts.
As we come into week six of the 2012 NFL season there is a match-up only Oakland and Atlanta fans that will be watching. This Sunday morning here on the west coast after the Oakland Athletics historic run came to an end Oakland shifts its focus on a one and three Raiders team coming off a bye week. Though the Falcons are coming off two very tough victories against Carolina and Washington where they just pulled it off. As looking at the Raiders they are coming off their bye week just after losing to division rivals the Denver Broncos in Denver and looking to help their rookie head coach get back on the winning track.
Both teams come into contest looking for the same outcome. The Raiders need a win to get closer to the track they want to be on and Atlanta wants to continue its undefeated season and stay a top the NFL with Houston.
Each team has it quirks and problems, but the Oakland Raiders have had ton this entire season. So this week I want to talk about the three keys for the Raiders if they want to not get their butts kicked against Atlanta in Atlanta this week.
Keys for the Oakland Raiders:
Despite the difference in record the Broncos, not the Chargers, might actually be the team to beat.
Taking a look at each team’s schedule, you see that the Broncos have had the tougher schedule. The Broncos’ three losses have been to three legitimate Super Bowl contenders (the Falcons, Texans and Patriots) and the Broncos have put up a good fight in each (losing by six to both the Falcons and Texans, ten to the Patriots).
Meanwhile, the Chargers are coming off an embarrassing loss to a Saints team that came in to that game winless.
While the Chargers have a home game against the Broncos, the game will be tightly contested. Here are five keys to the game:
1. The Irresistible Force vs. The Immovable Object: The Broncos’ fifth- ranked rushing attack faces off against the Chargers’ fifth-ranked run defense. Who wins? The edge should be given to the Chargers who have slowed down a slew of premier running backs (Turner, McFadden, Johnson, and Chaarles).