Put frankly, the Oakland Raiders are not a good football team. That said, the Broncos’ 23-3 stomping of the Raiders yesterday, in the vaunted Black Hole, looked pretty good and has some doubters rethinking their preseason take on the Broncos. This team is for real, writes The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla, who notes that 3-0 teams have made the playoffs 75 percent of the time since 1990.
Sports Illustrated football sage Peter King lists the Broncos at number 11 in his “Fine 15” rankings, just below the San Diego Chargers and just ahead of the Chicago Bears. King says the balance the Broncos displayed—108 rushing yards by Correll Buckhalter, 90 rushing yards for Knowshon Moreno, and 157 passing yards for Kyle Orton—makes this team legit and gives them a shot.
The Broncos have looked good, largely behind the solid, mistake-free game management of Orton and a resurgent defense that is leading the league in opponents’ point production (they’ve allowed just 16 points so far this season). The win gives the Broncos their 10th-straight AFC West opening win dating back to 2000, points out the Mile High Report. But let’s come back to Earth. Even the haters acknowledged that the Broncos would probably do well in the first three games.
The Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns, and the Oakland Raiders aren’t exactly a murderer’s row, despite Cincinnati appearing relevant again. Next week, we’ll really see what the Broncos are made of, when the Dallas Cowboys come to town, followed by the New England Patriots.