This game was what we thought it was going to be; A complete blowout victory for the Denver Broncos. Although the game started out slowly, once the Broncos' offense found their rhythm, there was no turning back. Then there was the defense... How awesome were they all day? Sure, they allowed 10 points early, but they were put into bad situations by the offense. Bradley Roby and T.J. Ward both picked off David Carr and set up Peyton Manning and the Denver offense beautifully. And then the best thing we could have wished for today happened... We had a non-injury Brock Osweiller sighting. I really liked that he was allowed to pass some if for no other reason than to get him reps. I contend that he won't get any better by simply handing the ball off; he needs to throw to become a better QB.
How would the loss of Nate Irving affect the defense? Would his injury be the injury that broke the linebacking corps back? Hardly. Brandon Marshall and Steven Johnson filled in admirably, and our defense didn't skip a beat.
Now on to the reactions:
Peyton Manning started the day off shaky, really shaky, but he managed to find his bearings and simply dominate from that point. At one point in time, Manning was 9 for 9 with 4 touchdowns. It just doesn't get any better than that. During the course of Peyton's three quarters of play, he managed to surpass Johnny Unitas for sole possession of 3rd place in NFL history with 48 consecutive games with a TD pass. He also has 15 multi TD pass game, and broke a tie with Drew Brees for most 5 TD passing games with nine. Early in the game, Peyton would have 11 incomplete passes... He'd only miss 2 passes the rest of the game. Wow, just wow! If I had to say anything about Peyton that needed improved on, it would be his slow starts on the road. But that is just nit picking for the sake of nit picking.
CJ Anderson had a day for his record book. Not only did he keep the Raiders' defense completely off balanced, he also hauled in a beautiful 51 yard touchdown reception. He looked like Demaryius Thomas on that touchdown more than a running back as he broke multiple tackles and zig zagged his way across the field. He racked up 163 total yards and a touchdown during this blowout. I can not stress enough that an effective running game is vital to an unstoppable offense. You must keep defenses at least semi honest. There is little argument counter to this when you examine the games that the Broncos dominated vs the ones they didn't. The difference is the running game. It's still that important.
Demaryius Thomas now has his sixth consecutive 100 yard game. What more can anyone say about this guy that hasn't already been said? He's elite. Possibly the best in the business (although Dez Bryant and Calvin Johnson might have something to say about that). DT is simply dominant. He is one of the rare receivers who aren't quarterback dependent. It's been time to pay the man. I'd try to get it done before he costs even more!
We finally had a Julius Thomas sighting! When he's on, he's on, and when our coaching staff thinks our offensive line can block without tight end help, this offense is elite. Two touchdowns and 63 yards is plenty for this fan. Welcome back JT, we've missed you.
Same goes for Emmanuel Sanders. Two touchdowns and 67 yards including an all too common deep over the shoulder catch for a huge gain and a touchdown. Sanders may not be the biggest receiver, but he's certainly one of the best. He's pure electricity. He makes all the plays we wished Decker would make last year. It's refreshing to watch him play, and he gives the Broncos the vertical threat that every defense in the NFL is afraid of.
The offensive line had a major shakeup this week. I don't care what excuse John Fox gave, this shakeup wasn't simply because Cornik was hurt. That right side of the line needed major help, and Manny Ramirez wasn't all that great. While this line provided good protection and running lanes, they still need to gel. They started out shaky which is a major reason why Peyton Manning and this offense started slowly. Remember people, winning teams are typically built front to back, inside to outside. If you can win the battle up front, your chances of victory are much better, and that goes for offensive lines and defensive lines.
Brandon Marshall had 11 solo and 2 assisted tackles. Holy Pro Bowl Batman! Marshall is playing at an all pro level. I really hope he gets some recognition. How do you put him on the bench once Danny Trevathan comes back? I'm not sure you can!
Strangely enough, nobody sacked Derick Carr. Von Miller had a sack that was called back by penalty, but other than that, the Broncos had a lot of near sacks, but never got the job done. Still, they put enough pressure on Carr to force two interceptions. Well done up front boys.
The secondary was other worldly today. Sure, there were a few drops by the Raiders' wide receivers, but our secondary led by Chris Harris Jr., Aquib Talib, and TJ Ward dominated. C.J. Anderson had almost as many yards from scrimmage as the entire Raiders team. That's how dominant our defense was today.
Not only was the defense dominant, but they once again got a couple impressive interceptions. Bradley Roby and T.J. Ward each had nice grabs. Way to go gentlemen!
Our defensive line also held up stout against the run. Terrance Knighton, Derek Wolfe, DeMarcus Ware, Sylvester Williams, and Von Miller kept the Raiders to a paltry 30 total yards rushing. If you find a defensive line that is more dominant than the Broncos, please tell me because I just don't see it. These guys are ridiculous!
Isaiah Burse had a couple of really nice returns, and he secured the ball in traffic. Our special teams didn't make any huge plays, but they also didn't make any boneheaded plays. For a team that has the offensive fire power that the Broncos do, that's all you need out of your special teams.
John Fox finally got the memo: You have the most talented roster in the NFL, use them! Perhaps it's because he has no confidence in the kicker, but Fox looks more aggressive. I'm liking that. Style points do matter. I know it goes against everything you've been taught, but it does matter. When you can psyche your opponent out before you even take the field, that's a good thing, and winning with style points will get inside the heads of upcoming teams when they watch film on you. Every little edge you can get in this sport, you take, and making teams press from the get go because they think they can't keep up before they even take the field is a huge advantage.
Jack Del Rio, thank you for not letting up too much. You have taken a good step in the right direction.
Overall, this was a thorough ass-kicking from start to finish. It's what this team and this fanbase needed.
Let's hear about your favorite moments of the game in the comments below.