Dennis Allen took some positives from this game and so did I. Those positives are detailed in the first part among the Ballers and Honorable Mentions. Now we move onto the negatives for which there were plenty. And remember, if you are thinking there aren't enough names on this list, consider it like a pie where each person just gets a larger share. This pie is not like mom used to make.
It is no easy task preparing for Peyton Manning. But on this day, Manning took whatever he wanted from the Raiders defense and easily shredded every one of Tarver's schemes easily. I mean, he made his schemes look plain silly. At some point Tarver was probably thinking Peyton was reading his thoughts or something but Peyton didn't need to get in Tarver's head, he just read his defensive alignments like a child's pop-up book. Peyton and his receivers found the soft spots in every zone and made Tarver pay for every designed corner blitz.
There were ten blitzes by defensive backs to be exact and not a single one of them resulted in even a pressure. One in particular came on the Broncos' third touchdown of the day. Charles Woodson was to be sent on a blitz from the left side but the plan was given away by Kevin Burnett being lined up outside behind Woodson. This told Manning that Burnett was to take over in coverage for Woodson on the blitz so he threw to Julius Thomas on a zero route immediately upon the snap and Burnett was too far off the line to get to him, resulting in an easy 13-yard touchdown.
On the other two touchdown passes in the first half, the Broncos lined up in such a way that Tarver believed would mean a throw to the outside in the endzone. In both cases, the receiver did a quick fake outside to freeze the defensive back, and went inside instead. Also in both instances, Manning had the ball in the air before they had even finished their break. With all the scoring Peyton Manning had done in the first two weeks of the season, he had yet to score in the first quarter. He scored twice on the Raiders in the first quarter and it was almost without effort. The Raiders defense stepped up come the second half but you still got the feeling the Broncos could score just about any time they wanted.
Tarver is just two years Peyton Manning's elder but in football years, he is very much his junior. He got a hard lesson Monday night.
Another part of the Raiders defense that was played like a fiddle was middle linebacker, Nick Roach. He was either out of position or outmatched on the bulk of the plays in this game. He gave up the first catch of the day and missed the tackle for a 12-yard gain. Then he was left frozen in space, not deep enough to make a play on the ball on the first touchdown pass to a wide open receiver. Then later in the first quarter, following a nice tackle for loss on a pass in the flat to Wes Welker, he missed a tackle to give up a 7-yard run to help set up a field goal and a 10-0 deficit. On the ensuing drive, he was late to cover the back on a screen play and was blocked out of the play to give up a 12-yard gain. That drive also resulted in a touchdown and a 17-0 deficit. A couple drives later, he got in the way of the corner on a crossing route for an unintentional pick and a 20-yard catch and run. That drive resulted in another field goal and a 27-7 Broncos lead.
On the first drive of the second half, he gave up an 11-yard catch to start things off and the Broncos drove for another field goal and a 30-7 lead. The next drive, he missed a tackle on a 5-yard run and a few plays later was blocked WAY downfield on a 12-yard run. That drive was luckily stopped at the 13-yard line by the Manning fumble. Despite playing 100% of the snaps in this game, Roach had just one run stop.
Again, with the way Peyton is playing, it is a tall task for this trio. But, I mean, come on, stop SOMETHING. They didn't stop anything. Manning completed at least four passes against each of them and only had four incompletions all day on 37 passes. Jenkins was the worst offender. He gave up five catches for 122 yards and a touchdown. This included a 61-yard pass play in which he missed the tackle to give up most of the yards on the play. It came on the drive immediately following the Raiders' big 73-yard touchdown and gave the points right back to the Broncos. Porter gave up 5 catches as well as being out of position on a screen play for 70 yards of offense surrendered. He would leave the game late with a concussion. Hayden gave up four catches and added a pass interference penalty that set the Broncos up at the Raiders 13-yard line for a total of 75 yards of offense. The only good plays by any of them were a pass defended by Jenkins followed by an assist on a short catch to force a punt on the Broncos' second series and a pass defended by Porter which helped end the Broncos' first drive of the second half with a field goal.
Probably his worst game I can remember. On the first play of the second drive he had a false start. A rare thing coming from the man who is actually snapping the ball to have a false start. The next possession he gave up a tackle for loss when he couldn't hold his block. The very next series, he gave up a run stuff again. In the third quarter, he snapped the ball early and over Terrelle Pryor's head into the endzone and it was only a great play by Pryor that kept it from being either a safety or a Broncos touchdown. Overall it was a bad day for the Raiders' interior line and Wisniewski led the way in the bad day department.
While playing more snaps than any other defensive tackle in the game (55%), he didn't manage a single tackle or statistic of any kind. All the while the Broncos put up 164 yards on the ground and their interior offensive line had their way with the Raiders interior defensive line all game long.