Greetings, Raider fans! The Great Raiderdamus is here to point out the individual winners and losers from tonight's game. The Raiders destroyed the hapless Broncos on national television. The margin of victory was ten points in the end, but anyone who watched this game knows that the game was not that close by any means. Oakland was utterly dominant and Denver never had an actual chance in this game. The Raiders are now in first place by themselves in the AFC West and are in the driver's seat in the AFC Playoff picture.
1) Latavius Murray
This was probably the best game Murray has played since his breakout game against the Chiefs at home a few years ago. He bowled people over with his size, used his quickness to jump cut (!!!) and did not go down at first contact, which frankly is totally out of character for Murray. He played with violence and intensity and would not allow the Raiders to lose this game.
Murray's 114 rushing yards were just over half of Oakland's 222 rushing yardage total, which should cause everyone in Denver to get uproariously drunk this evening and carry their depression to work tomorrow. Murray's three touchdowns were Oakland's only touchdowns of the game, but were all they would need. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington had excellent games as well, but Murray showed his worth as the team's bellcow.
2) Kelechi Osemele
If you didn't listen to the game on mute, you couldn't help but hear Cris Collinsworth slobbering all over Osemele throughout the evening. And with good reason. Big Os was knocking people on their backsides all night and opening gaping holes that my aged grandmother could run through. He, Donald Penn and Rodney Hudson were totally overpowering and left the Denver defense in shambles.
3) Marquette King
Our beloved punter was once again on his game, even though the Raiders' offense was clicking and they didn't punt often. King pinned Denver inside the five yard line twice, and did a hobby-horse celebration dance that we all know will get lots of airplay this week. King yet again proves why he is the best in the business.
4) The defense
I'm not going to single any of them out here. They played as a unit. Khalil Mack had two sacks, one of which being a strip-sack where he recovered the fumble. Reggie Nelson had an interception to seal the game. Darius Latham was a force in the middle. Perry Riley did what we've grown accustomed to him doing. The defense had a couple of lapses, allowing Jordan Norwood to get open for a long touchdown and allowing Kapri Bibbs to take a short screen the length of the field, but the Broncos started with four three-and-outs and the Raiders (other than those two huge plays) held them in check for the entirety of the game. A very solid effort from Ken Norton's group- their third in a row.
1) Trevor Siemian
When you play in a division with Alex Smith and YOU are the worst quarterback in the division, there is a serious problem. Denver might be better with Mark Sanchez at this point. Siemien was bailed out by a couple feckless plays by the Raiders' defense. Take away those two plays, and Siemian only passes for 178 yards in the game. His arm strength isn't in question, but he never used his greatest asset, which is his ability to run the ball and keep defenses honest. He threw several awful passes which should have been picked, but only one was. He's lucky his line looks as good as it does.
2) Denver's rushing attack
Oakland hasn't been great against the rush this year, but tonight they held Denver to 33 yards rushing on twelve carries. That's total dominance. Devontae Booker was useless and Bibbs was too except for that one screen pass. Denver's offensive line was a joke tonight.
3) Denver's coaching staff
The Broncos came into this game listless and with no passion. They were clearly not ready to play. The Raiders outhustled them, outran them, outschemed them, and outplayed them all night. Oakland is clearly the superior team, but the Broncos had no heart tonight. That's on the coaching staff. Furthermore, at the end of the game Chris Harris Jr. was one-on-one in coverage three plays in a row and committed penalties on all three plays. You can't give him some help over the top, Wade?
4) The New England Patriots
We see you there, at the top of the AFC. We're making the playoffs this year. You may get the top seed, you may not. But we want you to know this: