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Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos: Victorious Thoughts from a Sloppy Game

This John Doe football sits in sheer terror of its awaiting fate.
This John Doe football sits in sheer terror of its awaiting fate.

Do you remember when Nelly had a Dilema? How about when aliens gave us Signs and could travel through space, but not twist a doorknob and people still thought M. Night Shamalamadingdong could still make good movies?

No worries if you don't. It was a long time ago. But they were the No. 1 song and movie when the Raiders last won their season opener in 2002. Enjoy this moment, Raider Nation. We can finally, once again, say we are rooting for an undefeated team that has actually played a game.

This game certainly wasn't pretty but it was a win. I'll take it. And there are plenty of positive signs to take out of this one. Jump over for some tasty bullet points....

Let's start with the good.

  • Defensive Line

The D-Line was at their dominant best in this one. They manhandled a solid Bronco offensive line. The Raiders had five sacks in this game. Two by Richard Seymour. One by Tommy Kelly and Matt Shaughnessy and one credited to the team. They constantly made Orton uncomfortable and he rarely had time to set his feet.

They also made the Broncos run game a non-factor. John Fox wants the Broncos to be a run first team, but they were dominated so badly in the running game they carried only 13 times and gained just 38 yards. Numbers that look even more impressive when you consider Orton had a 13-yard scramble.

That means the Broncos' backs carried 12 times for just 25 yards. Awesome!

  • Offensive line

The Broncos came into this game with high hopes for a revamped pass rush. They got just one sack and applied little pressure. But it is in the run game where this group shined.

Raiders' running backs carried 32 times for 191 yards. And most importantly they got tough yards to wind out the clock on the 4th quarter.

This was a solid performance by all. Most exciting was the fact that the Raiders found that they can go left for power runs. Jared Veldheer was a beast in this game. And Stefen Wisniewski did a nice job run blocking. He had a few penalties too, but he's rook.

  • Darren McFadden

Preseason? Run DMC don't need no stinking preseason. McFadden looked as good as ever. He is on pace for a 2,400 yard season.

  • DHB

DHB had what I think is his best game as a pro. He ended with just 4 catches for 44 yards, but two of those were huge catches. He had a key third down catch and run in the first half and a second down catch that earned a first down on the final drive.

He narrowly missed on a bomb. He caught the ball with the defender right on him, but the throw was a little too far outside for DHB to stay in bounds.

  • The Safeties

I was petrified at the thought of Michael Huff playing nickel corner. I didn't think either Jerome Boyd or Matt Giordano could do anything but suck at the free safety position. Both turned in solid efforts and Giordano made high impact plays. He had a pick, forced a fumble, and hurried Orton on a third down throw.

  • Hue Jackson

Action Jackson had a solid debut as a coach. He handled his various hats well and was 1-for-1 on his challenges. For the most part, I liked his play calling. I felt he was a little too cute opening the game, but I loved that he committed to the run game and wore the Broncos out.

  • The Kickers

The Raiders kickers are amazing. They are freaks of nature. Sebastian Janikowski booted a 63-yard field goal and drilled every kickoff well out of the endzone. Shane Lechler averaged 58.2 yards on six punts. That included a 77 yarder that traveled roughly 74 in the air. This is the greatest kicking combo in the history of the league.

Alright, it wasn't all positive. Let's look at the bad.

  • Penalties

The Raiders had 15 penalties for 131 yards. That's not good. A lot of these penalties were just plain stupid. Rolando McClain picked up a needless personal foul penalty. Tommy Kelly and Matt Shaughnessy each got personal foul penalties on a third and long.

Had the Raiders lost this game, stupid penalties would have been the first thing we pointed to.

  • Passing Offense

The passing offense never found any rhythm. Jason Campbell was just 13/22 with a measly 105 yards. Only two receivers caught passes. This is not going to cut it.

  • Punt Coverage

The Raiders allowed Eric Decker to waltz 90 yards untouched into the endzone. You can't give away free points like that.

  • Pass Defense

This could have been far worse, but it was still not good enough. Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson were solid, but this defense allowed far too many receivers to run free over the middle. They incorporated more zone defense in this one than we have seen in a long time, but for the most part it was ineffective. Had the Broncos receivers had better hands the pass numbers would have been much better for the Broncos.