Hi folks! Here is a pre New Year's edition of "Unfinished Business". I will discuss the domination of the "black hole" and take a look at Wild Card weekend. After next Sunday, we will know who will come to Denver for the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
Raiders- The Broncos marched into Oakland looking to secure home-field advantage in the playoffs and break some more records along the way. Denver kicked off to the Raiders to start the game. Oakland proceeded to go 3 and out and give the ball to Denver. The Broncos marched 71 yards in 12 plays with Peyton Manning connecting with Eric Decker for TD #52. On the next series, the shotgun snap to Terrelle Pryor was blooper reel bad. Sylvester Williams recovered the ball and Denver responded with a short drive and TD #53 going to Knowshon Moreno. After another punt forced by the defense, Denver took the ball 50 yards only to stall out and settle for a Matt Prater FG.
Finally the Raiders got going on offense, but was again forced to punt the ball for a touch-back. Manning then threw a long ball for 63 yards to Demaryius Thomas for TD #54. Pryor and the Oakland offense stalled again and punted with just over three mins left on the clock. Denver took over at their own 11 and marched 89 yards leading to TD# 55 to Demaryius Thomas and also breaking the single season passing yards record that was held by Drew Brees. At the half, the game was 31-0 Denver.
In the second half, John Fox decided to pull Manning out and put in Brock Osweiler at QB. From then on, the game was a slug-fest and Oakland netted some "garbage time" scores and stats. At the end, the score was 34-14 with the "black hole" left empty and embarrassed. While I have no sympathy for the Raiders, the effort that they displayed was to me not even NFL caliber. Maybe they were checked out and wanted to get on their vacations faster, but I thought playing a division rival would get them more fired up.
I noticed some things that were unrelated to the game. Do you see all the tarps that covered the upper decks of the stadium? I would be embarrassed to allow cameras to show an aerial view of that. I also saw a ton of orange in the stadium too. Considering the reputation of how visitors are normally treated, it came as quite a surprise. I think the most pathetic thing I saw was the fan that wrote "YOUR FIRED" on a cardboard sign. I knew some raider fans were not too bright, but that was comical. Maybe he can head back and get some grammar lessons before next season. OK enough talking about that. Now it's time to take a very brief look at the Wild Card match-ups and who Denver could face in two weeks.
Wild Card Weekend- While the Broncos and Patriots get a much needed rest, four AFC teams will battle it out to earn a slot in the Divisional round. The Chiefs face the Colts and the Chargers face the Bengals. The only thing right now that we know is that Denver won't face Cincinnati in the next round if they win. Conversely, the other three teams have a chance to play in Denver on January 12. The Broncos have met all three and are quite familiar with them.
#6 San Diego - San Diego went to overtime against the Chiefs back-ups and barely won in OT. Denver split the series with them and this includes the embarrassment on December 15. The Chargers are playing with house money since no one expected them to be in the playoffs. Thanks to the choking of the Ravens (eliminated! how sweet is that?) and Dolphins, Philip Rivers gets a shot. They will face a Bengals team who hasn't won a home playoff game since 1990. Andy Dalton did all he could to lose the game against the Ratbirds, but "elite" Joe Flacco did nothing with it. If Dalton plays like that next weekend, Denver could meet the Chargers for a third time. If that is the case, expect an angry Broncos team to pay back Rivers and company for their lone home loss.
#4 Indy vs. #5 KC - If the Chargers don't upset the Bengals, then the winner of this game gets a trip to Colorado. Denver swept the Chiefs this season and lost to the Colts in Peyton's return to Indy. I would love to see the Colts win so that Manning and Co. can put a beating on Andrew Luck in Denver. This would be the major hyped match-up of the post season if this comes to pass. If the Chiefs take the game, this could be the toughest third game to play against them. We will see if Andy Reid's decision to rest most of his starters last Sunday pays off. If it does, Denver will have to take care of business for a third time to host the AFC Championship. Not an easy task to beat a team three times in a season. If that is what comes to pass, then expect an intense match.
Well, that's all I have for now. Be careful this New Years and get ready to do some scouting like the Broncos will do this weekend. GO BRONCOS!!!