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The Morning After: Raiders vs Broncos (season's end edition)

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Disappointing. Hurtful. Those are the two words that Marcel Reece used to describe the Raiders 2013 season and that is pretty dang accurate. Here is another word to describe the 2013 season for Oakland: Over!

With this beat down by the divisional rival Denver Broncos the 2013 season has officially come to a close, and it couldn't have come a moment too soon. By the time the end came there wasn't a single Raiders fan left that wasn't ready for it. Not that any of us want to go through such a long time before we see our football team take the field again, but nobody wanted this disastrous season to last even a single game longer.

Peyton Manning is amazing, there is just not much more you can say about him. He diced through the Raiders defense in that first half like they were a hot knife through butter. It is actually surprising that the Oakland defense was able to stop them the one time the Broncos had to take a field goal with their starters on the field. Had Manning played the entire game the Broncos might have scored the most points in a single game in NFL history.

Luckily the Broncos had already accomplished everything they needed to accomplish by the time that monstrous first half was over and Brock Osweiler came in for the rest of the game. Brock only managed to lead their team to a field goal in the 2nd half, despite being pretty accurate with 9 of 13 passing. They weren't playing to dominate anymore though, they were just playing to run out the rest of the clock.

Terrelle Pryor saved the game from being a total shut out with two very nice drives at the end of the game in garbage time. If he had done that in the first half the Raiders might have had a better chance in this game, but he didn't play well in the first half. He played absolutely awful in the first half in fact. He completed 6 of 11 passes for just 35 yards in the first half when the game still actually mattered.

Then the 2nd half came and most of that with little action until the final two drives for the Raiders went for touchdowns. Pryor actually ended up with nice numbers in the 2nd half because of those two drives, going 15 of 27 for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns. No matter what the feelings are regarding Terrelle Pryor, it was still nice to see him putting it all out on the field to the very last second.

The most disappointing aspect from the offense was the missing RB Rashad Jennings. Rashad only got 4 carries and 2 receptions for a grand total of 17 yards before a stinger ended his game and therefore season.

Why that is even more disappointing than the rest of the game is because Jennings was only signed to a 1 year deal and will be a free agent for 2014. After how good of a season he had he might very well be on his way elsewhere now. It is sad that what might be the final game for him as a Raider ended up being one that he was ineffective and knocked out of.

Somebody else who hopefully did not play his last game as a Raider but very possibly might have is Safety Charles Woodson. The secondary did not have a good game considering the decimation that was the first half but nobody can deny that C-Wood left it all on the field. He had 10 tackles in this one along with a sack, if this was his last game at least it isn't one like Rashad's where he didn't even get much stats in.

After all that it comes down to the coaching staff and the word around the way is that they will remain intact for another season. This might not turn out to be true but so far the Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, and Cleveland Browns have all announced that their coaches are gone while not a peep has come from the Raiders front office.

This is news that will not be taken well by some and will be received well by others. It is a tough to forgive Dennis Allen when the team has been historically bad on defense when their head coach is their first defensive orientated coach since the 70's. However, the team has been held back by a lack of cap space and the argument can be made that the roster was the biggest problem for the Raiders this year.

The gut reaction is to fire him. To bring the torches and Salem Witch Hunt attitude and just burn them all down to the ground. It looks like that won't be the case in the Raiders front office though and therefore the fans also will need to put down the pitchforks. If Dennis Allen does indeed stay then he needs to have as much support as possible from the fans, though the amount of support that he gets will inevitably be questionable at best.

The two years of “deconstruction” are over and the built in excuses have been all used up now. Hopefully the Raiders will turn things around next year with a full cap space available to them to improve the roster. If not it will be another completely lost season and the staff that is likely to sneak out of this season alive will be doomed after that.

Now that the season is over though the off-season optimism gets to begin. Now most of the clouds are gone from the sky and the sun gets to peak out again. The Raiders have cap space, they have draft picks, and the NFL allows teams to go from worst to first on a regular basis. This team now has the opportunity to get better and we as fans get to speculate about and watch all the new players get added. Lets enjoy this time as much as possible, the off-seasons have been a lot better than the seasons as of late anyway.