Peyton Manning and the Broncos shatter the hopes and dreams of Raider Nation
Just a week after upsetting the Steelers in Oakland, Raider fans went into the game against the Broncos with hopes that they might be able to pull off another upset. At halftime, both fans and players remained confident that they had a very realistic shot at winning the game - the Raiders trailed 10-6 and would receive the ball to start the second half.
They started their drive with an incompletion, then a five yard run by Darren McFadden. On 3rd and 5, Carson Palmer threw to Denarius Moore, who caught the ball and rolled down the sideline past the first down marker. However, it was marked a yard short of a first down. It was obvious on replay - to both myself and the Nantz/Simms tandem that was calling the game - that the Moore had picked up a first down, yet Raiders' head coach Dennis Allen opted not to challenge the play. After the game, he noted that he had believed the refs made the correct call. It was all downhill from there for the Raiders.
After looking so solid against the Steelers, the offensive line once again struggled mightily. They couldn't open any holes for Darren McFadden, and it seemed like Carson Palmer was getting drilled into the turf every time he dropped back to pass. The offense was completely inept, and it all stemmed from the porous offensive line.
The defense, as has become customary, couldn't cover anyone in the passing game. Most of the damage came on underneath routes that went for big yards due to poor pursuit of the ball carrier. In addition, the pass rush was once again completely nonexistent, and no one can contain Peyton Manning without making him rush his throws. The run defense was also terrible and could never get stops when they needed them most.