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Raiders week 17 Ballers & Busters

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The 2014 season is officially over for the Raiders. They finished it out with a trip to Denver where Peyton Manning and the Broncos stomped them for the second time this season. Even though the Raiders were within three early in this game, from the start they looked beaten. They looked like they didn't stand a chance. And as it turned out, they basically didn't.

The past few weeks have been a rollercoaster ride for the Raiders. The highs were on their home field with the lows, the deep cavernous lows, were on the road. That trend continued in the finale in Denver where they were beaten 47-14.

Most teams aren't healthy near the end of the season, but the Raiders were a ragtag bunch of backups and hobbled starters. Khalil Mack was a shell of himself with an injured hamstring and Charles Woodson was slow to get up at least three times Sunday.

Meanwhile the offense could do nothing. The first touchdown came on defense and the offense managed just one score the remainder of the game. On that somber note, let's get to it.

Ballers

Justin Tuck

That first touchdown the Raiders had was thanks to Justin Tuck. He sniffed out a lateral pass in the flat and tipped it. It fell incomplete where Keith McGill scooped it up and alertly ran it back 20 yards for the touchdown. It came at a time the Raiders offense had gone three-and-out on their first three drives and the Broncos had scored on both of their first two drives for a 10-0 lead. Route interrupted.

That wasn't Tuck's first big play either. He sacked Peyton Manning on their first drive which helped lead to them settling for a field goal. You could say between that and the defensive touchdown, he could be credited for an 11-point swing.

He added a couple of tackles against the run in the second quarter and laid a big hit on Manning late in their final drive of the first half  to help hold them to a short field goal. He had another run stuff for a short gain in the third quarter that set up third and long and the Broncos settled for a field goal. With Mack injured, Tuck again picked up the slack against the run and the pass. But he couldn't do it all by himself. He finished with 5 tackles (4 solo), a sack, tackle for loss, a forced fumble, and 2 QB hits.

Latavius Murray

That one offensive touchdown the Raiders had was set up by a 46-yard catch and run by Murray. Also on that same drive, he had a 3-yard run for a first down and a 7-yard run. On the following drive, Murray had a 5-yard run and a 7-yard first down run to help put them in field goal range, though the Raiders opted not to try what would have been a 58-yard field goal.

In total, Murray had 97 yards from scrimmage - 10 carries for 37 yards and 4 catches for 60 yards. That's a lot when you consider the Raiders had a net of 199 yards on offense.

Donald Penn

He gave up one hurry all game. No hits, no sacks. He also recovered a fumbled snap at the Raiders 5-yard line. Had he not been there to fall on it, the Broncos either would have either scooped and scored or recovered in first and goal. Settling for a punt there was a big win. Along with his pass blocking, he didn't give up any run stuffs either.

Betweeners

Keith McGill

The rookie was making his first NFL start due to the injury to fellow rookie T.J. Carrie. Making your first start against Peyton Manning is quite the trial by fire. Mostly McGill just got torched. But he also scored the Raiders first touchdown but puts him in Betweener status for this one. He scooped up a Manning pass that Justin Tuck tipped and returned it for a touchdown. He could have just assumed it was an incomplete pass but he didn't hear a whistle and wisely ran it back 20 yards for the score.

Prior to that play, he had already been burnt for a 27-yard catch that set the Broncos up for their first touchdown. He then gave up a 31-yard catch to end the first quarter on a drive that ended in the Broncos second touchdown of the day. Manning went McGill's directions two more times in the second half, both fell incomplete.

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