In a game few expected the Raiders to win, they were done in by the end of the third quarter. That's when the Broncos had gone up 41-10 and took Peyton Manning out of the game in favor of Brock Osweiler. Of those 41 points, 35 of them were scored in within a span of 17 minutes between the end of the second quarter and the end of the third quarter. Those points went unanswered.
It's times like these when it can be hard to find anyone who doesn't deserve blame, let alone a pat on the back, but if there is anyone in there, it's my job to find them, while offering specific reasons why certain players or coaches contributed greatly to the loss. So, here we go, the B&B for a week the Raiders would just as soon forget.
Yes, a Baller. And his fine performance wasn't just relegated to the first 25 minutes while the rest of the defense was keeping their head above water. Sio's first positive play came on the second play of the game. DJ Hayden picked off Peyton Manning and Sio was partially responsible for it. He had good coverage on Emmanuel Sanders, forcing Manning to try and drop the ball over him. The ball sailed and Hayden was in position to haul it in.
After a field goal to take a 3-0 lead, the Broncos got the ball back and drove into scoring position. That drive stopped short of the goal line in part because on second and goal, Sio stayed with his assignment to push him out of bounds for no gain on the catch. They would settle for a field goal. On the following drive, he had another bit of great coverage to force and incompletion. Three plays later, they would settle for another field goal.
The Raiders would put a touchdown on the board on the next series to take a 10-6 lead and it was up to the defense to try and maintain it. Sio certainly did his part when on the following drive he added a pass defended, a run stuff, and another bit of tight coverage to tackle his man for a 1-yard completion. This time they were forced to punt.
He had already shown his prowess in coverage and run support, so he added pass rush by getting pressure up the middle to force Manning into an intentional grounding penalty. That series ended in a three and out.
The game soon got out of hand, but not before Sio started the next series wit ha run stuff. In the second half he would add three more run stuff, one for a three yard loss, and a hit on Manning on a short pass.
While playing half the snaps in this game, he made a much larger impact. His big play came early in the second quarter when he rushed in on Peyton Manning on an attempted screen pass, leapt in the air to tip the ball and then corralled it for the interception. The Raiders would get the ball at the 12-yard line and score a touchdown a few plays later to take a 10-6 lead. He was an enabler for the defense much of this game, assisting on a run stuffs, a tackle for loss on a catch in the flat, and getting into the backfield to allow for another tackle for loss. If only he could perform this well as an every down defender.
Brice Butler -- He had two catches in the game, both were key to the points the Raiders had in the game. He had a 7-yard catch on third and five on the first drive for a field goal, and had the touchdown in the second quarter to give the Raiders the 10-6. It was a nice catch on a great throw from Derek Carr.
He made one big mistake in this game. Outside of that, he had a pretty good day against Peyton Manning and the Broncos elite passing attack. That one mistake was the Broncos second touchdown of the day where he got torched by Emmanuel Sanders for a 32-yard score. It came just before halftime to put the Broncos up 20-10 and sucked the life out of the Raiders. However, it was Hayden who on the second play of the game, helped breathe life into that defense when he picked off a high pass from Manning to set up a Raiders field goal to put the first points on the board.
He would have two more passes defended in the game, one on third and nine to force a punt and another in which he stayed right with Demaryius Thomas on a long attempt and nearly intercepted in the endzone. Later he would be the victim of a well called play by the Broncos that resulted in him essentially getting picked to give up a touchdown. He would finish the game having given up four catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns, but also had an interception, 3 passes defended and 3 tackles. He left the game at the end of the third quarter with a groin injury of unknown severity.