COMMENTARY | According to Odds Shark, The Oakland Raiders are 16.5 underdogs for Monday Night's showdown with the Denver Broncos. However, it may be too early to count out the Raiders as long as quarterback Terrelle Pryor is in the game and continues his growth as an upcoming playmaker. The young quarterback has come out of the gates strong and shown glimpses of promise when he threw for 217 yards and rushed for 112 yards against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1. His numbers last week weren't too bad either as he was able to manage the game and lead the team to a low scoring win against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Pryor's ability to effectively throw the ball and pick up yards with his feet give the Raiders hope for victory on Monday night. The Raiders don't need Pryor to be spectacular or put up All-Pro numbers, but just manage the game and keep Peyton Manning on the sideline. Pryor has shown the capabilities to manage games and extend broken plays to move the chains on offense in the season. The Raiders' offensive coordinators will need to keep it simple for Pryor so their offense can stay on the field and make it a low-scoring game down to the wire. The Raiders cannot afford to get into a high-scoring shootout with Manning because it will force their quarterback to play outside of himself, which leaves an open door for interceptions.
Conservative play calling and easy passes for Pryor should be enough to stop Manning from running up the score and putting pressure on the Raiders to keep up with an offense that is averaging 45 PPG. The game will come down to Pryor's game management and the offense's ability to execute, burn the clock and put up adequate production in points. The odds are misleading because it's very possible for the Raiders to pull off the upset with Pryor leading a conservative charge into Denver on Monday Night.
Chad Bertrand is a Los Angeles-based sports writer that covers the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Lakers. You can read more of his work on LakersNation.com.
You can follow Chad on Twitter @Chad_Bertrand
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