Raiders week 17 Ballers & Busters

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What the Raiders displayed in this game is actually about what was expected of them. For a team that has allowed the likes of Alex and Geno Smith (no relation) to gouge them, and Nick Foles set an NFL record on them, it was expected that the best quarterback in the game would take whatever he wanted. That's exactly what he did.

Peyton Manning was out to set a few records and put the game out of reach. He wanted to do that before half time, so that's what he did. In that regard, this game was, for all intents and purposes, over by halftime. By the end of the third quarter, with the Raiders down 34-0, it was very much over.

The Raiders offense could muster up absolutely nothing in the first three quarters of this game while the defense gave up absolutely everything. The Broncos took the field without Peyton Manning for the second half but that was of no consequence to the Raiders' offense. They continued to sputter along in futility until there was literally no way they could mount an actual threat. That's how they managed to make the final score (34-14) not look quite as embarrassing as this game actually was.

It's times like these when the methodical approach is the only way to quantify individual performances. Because from the outset, it was hard to find specifics, especially in the positive.

Ballers

Lamarr Houston

It was a strong finish for Houston in what was looking like a pretty bad year for him a few weeks ago. He finished the game fourth on the team with 7 tackles and much of that was in the first half with the game still somewhat in reach. The Broncos scored on every one of their five first half drives. However, one of those was stopped for a field goal. Houston was all over the place on the drive. He got pressure on Peyton Manning and his man was called for holding, then a few plays later he broke through to sack Manning for a nine-yard loss. The Broncos drive stalled after that and they settle for a field goal. Houston also had a run stuff on the drive. On the Broncos first drive of the second half, Houston's man was again caught holding him and again the Broncos couldn't make up the yards. It resulted in the Broncos' first punt of the day.

Honorable Mention

Jamize Olawale -- The Broncos didn't punt the ball until the third quarter but when they did, Olawale flew in and blocked it to give the Raiders th ball in scoring position. Earlier in the game, he had a nice tackle on coverage teams to stop the return man for no gain at the six-yard line.

Charles Woodson - He led the Raiders in tackles (11). He didn't give up a catch in the first half and added a tackle for loss on a run. It's week 17, he's 37 years old, and has played in every game and yet he is still playing at a reasonably high level.

Continue on to the Busters

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