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"It's a championship game": Broncos’ sights already set on Raiders

Zac Stevens Avatar
October 31, 2016


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DENVER – Not even half an hour after the Denver Broncos beat the San Diego Chargers 27-19 on Sunday their focus was already on to the next game — a primetime matchup on Sunday Night Football against the Oakland Raiders.

“Shoot, we love that,” cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said after the victory. “That’s a big game for us; we are already hyped up for that. It’s a championship game. You can’t win a Super Bowl unless you win the AFC West. So that’s the first step and we know what to expect: great receivers next week so we will be ready.”

Not only will it be an extremely meaningful divisional game, but also the winner will be alone atop the AFC West, as both teams will enter the Week 9 matchup with a 6-2 record.

“It’s going to be a playoff game. Tied for first place. To get where we need to go we have to take care of this game,” safety Darian Stewart said.

After a three-interception performance against the Chargers on Sunday, the Broncos secondary looks to carry over its success to Oakland, something Stewart says is very manageable.

“We got playmakers everywhere. [Interceptions are] coming, they say they come in bunches so we looking forward to more this week against the Raiders,” he said.

While the Broncos “No Fly Zone” acknowledged that the Raiders have plenty of playmakers at wide receiver — lead by second-year pro Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree — the Broncos also understand that they have the proper tools to matchup well against the Raiders.

“I definitely am (excited to play the Raiders),” Stewart said. “We got playmakers in this secondary. It’s going to be a great challenge. [The Raiders] better come on, we coming.”

Although the Week 9 matchup is just one of 16 games on the regular season schedule, the Broncos are approaching it like a playoff game because of what is at stake.

“It’s a big game. You look forward to big games,” defensive end Derek Wolfe said. “This means a lot. It’s a playoff game basically. It’s going to be fun.”

It’s said that championship teams rise to the moment in big games. Harris says the game in Oakland won’t be any different than the big games they played last year on their way to the Super Bowl victory.

“I love playing in the black hole,” he said. “We are already pumped up, amped up for it. We know this is a championship game.”

With the victory over San Diego on Sunday, the Broncos sit atop the AFC West with long-time rival Oakland. Next week, the Broncos will get the opportunity to sit alone atop the division, and the Broncos can’t wait for the opportunity.

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