The Raiders lost, again, this time a 37-6 drubbing at the hands of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Manning and the offense marched down the field on their first possession of the game and got into the endzone on 22 yard laser-rocket to TE Joel Dreesen. They took the lead with 10:32 left in the first quarter and were never threatened in a game that saw the Raiders outmatched in all three phases of the game.
Head coach Dennis Allen and his coaching staff deserve the largest amount of the blame. The team came out flat and uninspired. The game plans on both sides of the ball were ineffective and uninspired. Plus, Allen, who had previously shown a killer spirit against Pittsburgh – going for it on 4th and short, an unexpected onsides kick – punted on 4th & short 3 times in the first half, giving the ball back to a fiery hot Manning who marched the Broncos down the field time and again.
The score was close when the game went into halftime, still, with the Broncos up only 10-6. However that was due, in large part, to some lucky breaks on the Raiders part. First, the Broncos decided to try a fake FG pass from the kicker, Prater, to Zane Beatles but Beatles fell down on the play and the pass fell incomplete. That gave the Raiders good field position and kept the Broncos from scoring, something the Raiders had been unable to do on their own.
Later in the first half the team gave up a huge play on a bubble screen that went undefended but caught a huge break when the receiver fumbled the ball without being touched as he tried to move the ball from one arm to the other. The receiver was anticipating being hit by Tyvon Branch, who had good hustle on the play.
Without those two big turnovers by Denver, both of which were essentially self-inflicted, the score would have been much higher against the Raiders.
Despite the Raiders’ close score at half clearly not being due to the team really competing well, Dennis Allen seemed dogged in his refusal to try to win the game. I would have been happy with any kind of trick play or at least going for it on 4th down at any time in the game. The Raiders only went for the 4th down conversion twice in the game and one of those times was the Raiders last play of the game, a 4th down try that failed.no comments