Now this is more like it.
The Silver and Black against the Orange Crush for the division lead. Well, at least the current Raiders and Broncos going head to head for first place in the AFC West.
One of pro sports' most storied, intense (yeah, you can say dirty) rivalries resumes Sunday in Oakland. Both teams are 6-2, a half-game ahead of Kansas City in the division.
Even better, this spicy matchup takes place in prime time, and for once the Raiders , who have not made the playoffs since losing the Super Bowl in early 2003, seem ready.
"We put ourselves on display each week," says coach Jack Del Rio, a front-runner for Coach of the Year honors halfway through the schedule.
"I get that it'll be more hyped this week, but it won't be any different in terms of preparing for it and then going out and playing good football. I think what we recognize as an organization is as you become relevant, as you play good football, you're going to have more of these opportunities.
"This is the natural progression in building a good football team. We should expect to be in these games. We're going to expect to win these games. Then we're going to move forward and have more of these kinds of games."
The Broncos know all about these kinds of games, making a habit of playing in them in the past five seasons. Led by Von Miller — like Del Rio, a leading candidate for an award (Defensive Player of the Year) or two (MVP?) — Denver's defense has been dynamic once more. It has the league's best pass defense, and isn't exactly a sieve against the run.
Star cornerback Chris Harris Jr. loves the idea of a high-profile Broncos vs. Raiders game.
"The thing is with the Raiders, when we go to the `Black Hole' it's never blowouts," Harris says. "We never go there and run up the score on them. It's always tight games, so them being good now just raises the stakes another level of a championship game.”