The Oakland Raiders are slated for their first AFC-West battle of the 2018-19 season as they head to the Mile High City to take on the loathed Denver Broncos.
There are many storylines to follow for this game after the Raiders failed to score in the second half in a week one 33-13 loss to the L.A. Rams. Perhaps the most important and intriguing matchup is Broncos star pass rusher Von Miller going up against Raiders rookie left tackle Kolton Miller.
Since 2014, Von Miller has 5.5 sacks against the Raiders and has been a lethal force rushing opposing quarterbacks. It will be the second week in a row the Raiders offensive line will go toe-to-toe with a fierce defensive front. The six-time All-Pro selection is coming off a vintage Von Miller performance that saw him bring down the elusive Russell Wilson three times while forcing two fumbles and recovering one as well.
If history is any indication for this former defensive player of the year, he’s primed for a solid outing come Sunday. Troy Renck of Denver 7 News noted that of the last four times Miller has recorded three sacks in a game, he’s followed it up with at least one sack in his next outing.
Despite the success, Von Miller understands it won’t be an easy task on Sunday. He spoke on the impending matchup against the Raiders stout offensive line giving high praise as he said, “The Oakland Raiders have the best offensive line in football, in my opinion. I’m sure you all would say Dallas Cowboys, this team or that team, but to me, the Oakland Raiders have the best offensive line in football.” Miller added on, saying, “And they made it a whole lot better with the (tackle) Kolton Miller pick and moving Donald Penn to the right side. Really all five guys are really Pro-Bowl solid, offensive lineman.”
On the opposite side of the ball for Von Miller, the Raiders now feature a Miller of their own with left tackle Kolton Miller. Oakland’s prized first-round selection from last April’s draft impressed in week one as he anchored an offensive line going against the Aaron Donald led Rams defensive front. Even though Kolton has a solid debut under his belt, he fully understands the task ahead of Sunday’s matchup, saying it’ll be a “hell of a challenge” to Matt Schneidman of Mercury News.
Kolton will be going against the aforementioned Miller as well as first-round draft pick Nick Chubb to boot. In his second outing as a professional, the task only gets harder for Kolton Miller. For the Raiders, any success on offense hinges upon how well the offensive line protects there $125 million man, Derek Carr.
Last season’s woes for the Raiders were escalated once Carr went down with a back injury sustained in, you guessed it, Denver. This time around, with new talent added to the Raiders “Carr Insurance” policy and a new coaching staff, they will aim to keep Carr upright and healthy.
Right now the Broncos are listed as the favorite via Odds Shark, and this matchup of Miller vs Miller could have strong implications on who comes away victorious.