It’s only week 3 in the NFL season, but already it’s full of interesting surprises. Perhaps the biggest surprise is just how competitive the AFC West is looking. The Chiefs are 3-0. The Chargers have Rivers looking like a dominant quarterback again. And the Raiders, the Raiders are actually competitive. Anyone who thought the Broncos would have an easy time with them should think again. So what does Madden 25 predict Manning and company will do against the surprisingly resilient Raiders? Well…

It certainly wasn’t a cakewalk of a game, that’s for sure. Manning and the Broncos got off to a slow start, per usual, and the Raiders jumped out to a 14-0 lead. However, in the second quarter, Manning led the Broncos on four consecutive scoring drives, and the next thing you know, they’re going into halftime with a 28-14 lead. Coming out in the third quarter, it looked like the Broncos would continue their dominant ways, but an interception by Manning is returned 52 yards for a TD for the Raiders and suddenly the game got interesting and then suddenly…it didn’t. Both teams seemed to run out of gas, and absolutely nothing happened in the fourth quarter except for a bunch of punts. And so the game ended with the Broncos winning 28-21. A weird game to be sure, but as I said, far more competitive than it looked at the beginning of the season.

Manning overall had another stellar day, going 31 of 44 for 349 yards, 4 TDs and to costly INTs. Part of the reason he threw so much was because there wasn’t much happening on the ground. Then again, if Moreno continues to gain speed like he had last week, I don’t know how accurate that will be. Pryor did his best, going 13 of 28 for 171 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. He also had one rushing TD. Welker had a monster day with 9 catches for 142 yards and 3 TDs, and Julius Thomas continued to show he’s a force to be reckoned with after his 5 catches for 73 yards and a TD. The real dominant force here was the Denver D, which pretty much kept Pryor and the Raiders in check. Then again, the Raiders defense was able to get points and opportunities that prevented the Broncos from completely running away with things. Once again, I’m not entirely sure how reflective this will be of the real game, but I do think this week’s sim got one thing right, this game will be far more competitive than anyone expected at the beginning of the season.