On the sixth of December, the Denver Broncos double up the Oakland Raiders in the Black Hole. This loss is a bit of a shame seeing as how Dennis Allen’s father recently passed away. He was able to tough it out and show up with his team.
This game started off fast for the Broncos. It quickly became the Peyton Manning show as he lead his troops right down the field for the opening score. The Raiders quickly went three and out and Denver then added another three points. So, very quickly the game became 10-0. Late in the first quarter, Carson Palmer hooked up with his rookie WR out of Temple, Rod Streater, for a big one. However, on the very next play he was picked in the red zone. The Broncos would later go on to add another field goal and bump the lead to 13-0. To this point, the Raiders had done a good job bending, but not breaking. They would allow Manning to drive his team right down the field but then would sack him in the red zone, thus stalling their drive. This kept Oakland in the game temporarily and they were able to capitalize on the strength of a receiving touchdown from Darren McFadden. The game went into halftime 13-7… so the Raiders still had a chance.
The Raiders wasted a 30+ yard pickup from McFadden on the opening drive of the second half when they punted. The Broncos would tack on another field goal to hoist the lead up to 16-7. Then, disaster struck for the Silver and Black. Von Miller came around the edge and forced a Carson Palmer fumble at the three yard line. Denver would recover and promptly score two plays later on a Knowshon Moreno 1 yard touchdown run. At this point the game could basically be considered over. It was 23-7 (later it would become 26-7). However, Palmer did hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for a 56 yard touchdown. They would fail on the two point conversion and the score would hold for the rest of the game at 26-13.
All and all, this was not one of the best performances out of John Fox’s team. They were settling for field goals instead of touchdowns, and Peyton Manning was off at times (of course he was also very precise during others). The Broncos played well enough to beat half of the teams in the NFL, but if they put fourth this same effort in the playoffs, they would have gotten squashed. Manny Ramirez was beat badly a couple of times in this game; Chris Kuper was greatly missed by Manning at the end of the night. Kalif Barnes was overpowered by Von Miller. It is confusing as to why the Raiders did not send more help his way, because he was getting harassed by the running defensive MVP. Denver will play the Ravens in Baltimore next week. If they hope to win, they will need to make sure that they can score touchdowns instead of field goals. If they cannot do this, then they will end up losing that game.