In its own way, this game was as difficult for me to watch as last season's 59-14 debacle. The reason for that is we should have won this game. As I commented on the game thread, the Raiders did more than enough to hand the game to us. We just didn't take advantage. Where does the blame for that go? Well, there are a number of places to choose from
And you can't discuss Orton tonight without mentioning the play of the game. Anyone who watched the game or has read a recap knows what I'm talking about. That ridiculous fumble. At the moment he dropped it, there was no one within several yards of him. Not only that, but there was a wide open receiver down the middle. If he gets the ball to him, he maybe scores, or at the very least moves the ball inside the 10 yard line. Instead, the ball goes to Oakland on a gift, they drive and score in what, three plays? Instead of getting at least 3 points that you could have pretty much counted on with Prater in that area of the field or getting a touchdown, we hand momentum to the Raiders who take advantage and add another 7 points to their lead. That was at least a 10, possibly a 14 point swing. And we lost by how much?
Well, that's enough about the QB. Let's talk about our run game. We didn't have one. Enough said.
Now let's talk defense. Our overall defense played pretty well considering the field position Oakland kept starting with. They also kept the Raiders out of the endzone for most of the game and kept the score close. The one glaring problem, which we knew was going to be there going in, was the run defense. Mcfadden tore us a new oriface again. And then at the end of the game we couldn't keep Michael Bush from ramming it down our throats. There is just no getting around it, run defense is a huge liability for us again.
And then there was special teams. Well, there was two really bad special teams plays, the blocked punt which led to the Raiders first TD and the missed field goal. But that was somewhat balanced by Decker's supurb punt return. Lechler boomed his punts just ridiculous distances, but what can you do about that? Also, the 63 yard FG from Janikowski, not much you can do about that either. But I'll get to that in a second.
Finally, the coaching. I am going to cut Fox a little slack since it was the first game following a lockout shortened offseason. But that being said, the number of penalties was simply unacceptable, and that is something I lay at the feet of the coaching staff. Penalties are a result of poor ingame discipline. This number of penalties cannot happen again, or we are going to be right behind the Raiders for most penalized team in the league. And these penalties played a huge role. The 63 yard Janikowski FG at the end of the first half would never have happened if it had not been for the personal foul commited earlier in the drive. And that field goal ended up being the difference in the final score.
I think I speak for most Bronco fans when I say there was not much in this game to be happy about. The final score is misleading. We were outplayed to the point of being dominated. The only reason the score was as close as it was is because the Raiders drew more flags than even we did. But that being said, we should have won this game because the Raiders did everything they could to give it to us. They let us stay close, never put us away. And if we had played just a little better in any of the above facets of the game we would be 1-and-oh instead of oh-and-1. And that fact is going to haunt me all week.