Two bitter rivals will set the table for another exciting, action-filled weekend of NFL football, as the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders meet in this 2012 Thursday Night NFL picks.
At 9-3, the Broncos come in having already clinched the AFC West title, while the Silver and Black’s 3-9 record is good enough for penultimate place in the division. Opening kickoff is slated for 8:30 PM ET on NFL Network.
According to 2012 Thursday night NFL picks experts, the Broncos (-10) continue to be listed as double-digit favorite versus the Raiders (+10) this evening. Finally, NFL oddsmakers set their O/U mark at a total of 48 points.
For the Broncos, ever since starting the season 2-3, this team has kicked it up into high gear. The more Peyton Manning has been familiar with John Fox’s system, the more this team has flourished. Coming into week 14, the Broncos have won 7 straight ballgames, including a blowout win over the Raiders in week 4.
In that 37-6 victory over the Raiders, Manning was impeccable, completing 30 of 38 pass attempts for 338 yards, 3 touchdowns and an eye-popping QBR of 130.0. After the game, coach Fox provided the media with the understatement of the year.
“He's getting more comfortable,” said the Broncos head coach. “Let's not forget he didn't play for over a year and this is a new team, new coaching staff, new city, new field, new everything for him. The type of guy he is, he's going to get better and better.”
For the Raiders, all the hopes and high expectations this season went up in smoke when Darren McFadden suffered his yearly time on the shelf. Before Run DMC’s injury, the former Heisman Trophy winner was amongst the best backs in the league, drawing comparisons to Adrian Peterson for his punishing running-style.
However without him, Carson Palmer is forced to throw the ball more times than he would like to, making this team very one-dimensional on offense. As they prepare to take on the Broncos for the second time this season, Palmer what it would mean to have No.20 back in the lineup.
“We were kind of working through a lot of things when (McFadden) was healthy in the new scheme,” he said, “but now with as many games as we have underneath our belt up front, getting him back will be a big bonus for us.”
On defense, defensive coordinator, Jason Tarver is sure to have his hands full when Manning’s on the field. This week, the Raiders’ DC spike about what it’s been like to prepare for such an impact player in such a short amount of time.
"You're never really ready to play Peyton Manning," he said. "It's a matter of getting on the same page and having enough coverage looks to hopefully slow down his progression, and challenging guys in coverage."
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