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Broncos Excited For Oakland Atmosphere

Posted Dec 4, 2012

From the rookies to the 14th-year pros, the Broncos can't wait for the environment at the O.co Coliseum.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Linebacker Von Miller has one distinct memory from his first and only experience at O.co Coliseum.

"I remember just seeing a sea of black and grey," Miller said. "There is no other stadium atmosphere out there like that."

Miller recorded five tackles and a half-sack in that game, a 38-24 victory in Week 9 of the 2011 season. Nicknamed the "Black Hole," the O.co Coliseum is already one of the second-year linebacker's favorite places to play - not because of the success he and the Broncos enjoyed in his first visit, but because it's a chance for him to submerse himself in a historic rivalry.

"It's one of the better rivalries out there, I think," Miller said. "I really enjoy going to Oakland. They have some of the best fans, some really nice, diehard fans and it's nothing better than going to a place where they have such an excellent atmosphere for the Oakland Raiders."

Safety Rahim Moore will also be playing at Oakland for the second time on Thursday night. He, too, said the atmosphere makes for a memorable experience.

Growing up Los Angeles, he got a chance to witness first-hand the passion of the Raiders fan base.

"It was absolutely something to remember," Moore said of his first trip to Oakland. "The Raider fans, growing up watching them, they've always been die-hard. I like it. That's what makes the rivalry fun. That's what makes the game so hot, is because they love their Raiders. I'm pretty sure they hate us."

After hearing tales about Raiders fans from his teammates, like Miller and Moore, rookie defensive end Derek Wolfe is excited to finally be a part of the environment.

"I've heard so many stories about them, actually I'm excited about it," Wolfe said. "I'm ready to go, ready to see what it's all about."

Quarterback Peyton Manning will be visiting the Raiders for the first time as a Bronco, but he has been in the league and around football for long enough to already know what it's all about.

Manning is 2-0 in his career at Oakland, and has won his last four games against the Raiders. His first game with a horse in the race of the Broncos-Raiders rivalry was in Week 4, and he made an impact immediately. The quarterback completed 30-of-38 passes for three touchdowns and no interceptions, good for a passer rating of 130.0.

"I'm new to the division and the rivalry. Being a guy that has an appreciation for the history of the NFL, the rivalry doesn't get much better than the Broncos and Raiders," Manning said. "There have been some great games through the years and a lot of great players that have played in those games."

Unlike Miller, Moore, Wolfe and Manning, cornerback Champ Bailey has been in the center of the rivalry for nearly a decade.

In eight games at Oakland, Bailey's record is 6-2. He has tallied 35 tackles, three interceptions, four passes defenses and two forced fumbles in those eight contests in the O.co Coliseum.

He calls the fans "probably the rowdiest fans you'll see anywhere," but it's that type of atmosphere that Bailey thrives in.

"I like it," Bailey said. "I like playing on the road because I like people to boo us and I like to make them shut up, so to speak. That's just the way it is. I like winning on the road."