Jack Del Rio, Bill Musgrave, Ken Norton Jr
I can’t recall a time in which I had more trouble naming a Top Buster before. Literally anyone and everyone on this list could top it. For that reason, the blame must go to the top – the coaches.
The only coordinator who gets a pass in this one is Special Teams Coordinator, Brad Seely. The rest of the team was so wholly unprepared to take the field without Derek Carr to carry the offense and rescue the defense.
Right from the start, this team was Bad News Bears. The defense put them behind by giving up a touchdown on the opening drive. The next score was set up by that 64-yard run which appeared as if it may have been a designed shift by Autry which opened up the B gap to allow it and put the Raiders down 10-0 to begin the second quarter.
The offense first took the field looking across at the Broncos with TEN men in the box and so of course they ran it up the gut, getting two yards out of it. Two plays later, the Broncos packed nine players in the box and the Raiders ran it again, this time for one yard.
You think perhaps they were setting up the Broncos with those runs into nearly their entire defense. If that was the case, a simple play action would be in order. But in the next series, in the same situation, they passed it but without the run fake, the pass was batted down.
The defense gave up 24 points before the Raiders offense scored a point. The last touchdown came off of a fumble. The second fumble came on one of those highly predictable Johnny Holton end arounds Musgrave likes to break out now and then. From there the fourth quarter was rendered basically pointless.
Fielding even a competitive team would have spoke volumes for Jack Del Rio’s Coach of the Year prospects. But with the way they came out in this one, it suggests the credit for the Raiders probably goes mostly to Derek Carr.
Matt McGloin, Connor Cook
With Derek Carr injured, what he Raiders needed McGloin to simply offer a threat to pass to keep the Broncos’ defense honest. He couldn’t do that. When he came to the line and saw ten men in the box – that is IF he saw them – calling out of a run up the gut might have been a good idea. Or maybe the next time when there were nine. But nope. He followed that up by being flagged for delay of game.
By the end of the second quarter, McGloin had already been hit hard and knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury. In his short outing, he completed 6 of 11 passes for 21 yards. Three of his four passes before the injury were overthrown, including to a wide open Amari Cooper who had a clear path for a long touchdown.
Cook took over for McGloin and early on looked much better than his counterpart. His second completion went for 13 yards to Michael Crabtree which was the longer than any completion McGloin had in the game. But on the next play, Cook fumbled the ball while trying to scramble and the Broncos capitalized on the turnover with a touchdown drive to take a commanding lead at 24-0..
Cook would rebound later in the third quarter with a 17-yard completion to Clive Walford and the Raiders only score on a 32-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper. But that was the only bright spot.
The following series featured off target passes which turned great field position near midfield after a turnover into a three-and-out. He later missed an open Seth Roberts underneath on third and 4, opting to throw for a covered Walford incomplete. The next drive, which realistically was the Raiders last chance at making any kind of comeback, Cook overthrew Mychal Rivera and was intercepted, with it returned 45 yards into Oakland territory.
Donald Penn, Kelechi Osemele
McGloin and Cook could’ve used help in the run game along with some great protection in order to work. They didn’t get a lot of either and the worst performances were handed in by the left side of the line.
Osemele gave up a big hit on McGloin just after he released the ball on their first third down of the game. Later Osemele would be partially responsible for allowing a rusher to go up the middle and again hit McGloin hard just after he released the ball. This hit would injure McGloin, ending his day.
Early in the second quarter, Penn gave up a run stuff for one yard on third and 4.
It was Cook’s turn in the second half to get blasted by oncoming rushers. Penn gave up pressure from the left, causing Cook to try and elude it into the pocket where he was sacked (in somewhat of a Carr flashback moment) and fumbled the ball away to the Broncos.
The following drive ended on third and one with Penn and Osemele allowing a defender to spit them, giving up a tackle for loss.
In the fourth quarter, Penn would give up another hit on Cook just after he released the ball on a screen pass. Two plays later, Penn would hurt himself and leave the game briefly. He returned on the next series and on fourth down was driven into the back of Cook as pressure came around the right side and Cook was strip sacked. That was the final play of the game for the Raiders’ offense.
David Amerson, Sean Smith
The Broncos were without Emmanuel Sanders for nearly the entire game, taking away Trevor Siemian’s top weapon. This should have made things a bit easier on the Raiders’ starting corners. Especially because it was Trevor Siemian throwing the ball.
Amerson was brutal on the Broncos opening drive. His missed a tackle for on a screen that went for 19 yards on the first play. Two plays later he gave up a catch and missed a tackle for a 7-yard gain. Three plays later, on third and 5, he gave up a 9-yard catch and missed another tackle. Two plays after that, he was called for a facemask penalty that set the Broncos up at the 25-yard-line. They scored the touchdown two plays later.
In the second quarter, with the Raiders already down 10-0, Smith gave up a 23-yard catch to put the Broncos at the Oakland 35-yard-line. From there, the Broncos would lose 8 yards on penalties. In third and 18, they sent running back Davontae Booker out wide where Smith was giving his receiver a sizable cushion. Seeing the running back over there, he should have came up to protect against the screen, but he didn’t. The result was Booker catching the screen, Smith getting driven upfield by a blocking receiver, and Booker racing for a 43-yard touchdown.
Off Cook’s fumble, the Broncos lined up in third and five and Amerson gave up a 14-yard catch. Three plays later, in third and 8, Smith gave up a 26-yard catch that put the Broncos in the red zone at the 17-yard-line. Three plays later, in third and 4, Amerson was called for pass interference in the end zone to put the Broncos in first and goal from the one-yard-line. They scored their third and final touchdown two plays later.
Smith later gave up an 11-yard catch to set up a Broncos field goal attempt from 48 yards out, but they missed it.
Perry Riley Jr
When Autry shifted to his right, leaving the big gap along the line, it was Riley who was supposed to fill it. He was blocked easily, allowing Forsett to take off for 64 yards. Riley had also been blocked on a 10-yard run on that drive and a 7-yard catch a couple plays later.
In third and 5 on the Broncos finale drive of the first half, Riley missed a tackle on a 12-yard run. He gave up runs of 5 and 4 yards later in the game, finishing with 2 solo tackles and 2 assists. Not great numbers from your middle linebacker.