Broncos v. Raiders Report Card

When the game was on the line, the Broncos allowed penetration up the middle on a field-goal attempt and it was blocked by the Oakland Raiders. That was just one of many plays that netted the Denver special teams an .....

REPORT CARD VS. RAIDERS

PASSING OFFENSE
C
-- Given the snowy and cold conditions, Jake Plummer played decently. He completed two long passes, but those two plays accounted for 142 of Plummer's 245 yards passing. Plummer made one very bad decision, trying to go to the end zone on first down after Denver took over on Oakland's 26-yard line after a fumble recovery, and Plummer's pass was picked off.

RUSHING OFFENSE
C-minus
-- Reuben Droughns had another 100-yard game, but the Broncos could have won the game if he had been able to grind out some yards and first downs in the fourth quarter. In the weather conditions, the Broncos should have had a bigger day running the ball, and Droughns had two fumbles that cost the Broncos.

PASS DEFENSE
F
-- The Broncos did have two interceptions, but to allow 339 yards in a snowstorm to Kerry Collins is inexcusable. The Broncos gave up a long touchdown at the end of the first half that kept Oakland in the game, and a 63-yard pass to Ronald Curry in the fourth quarter set up the Raiders' game-winning touchdown, two of many big plays the Raiders made passing the ball.

RUSH DEFENSE
B-minus
-- Oakland didn't do much running the ball, and didn't try to run much after the first few minutes of the game. In the fourth quarter, the Raiders didn't hand off once, which was a big reason they only had 61 rushing yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS
D
-- When the game was on the line, the Broncos allowed penetration up the middle on a field-goal attempt and it was blocked. Denver also didn't get much help from punter Micah Knorr, who averaged 35 yards on his final two punts, which gave Oakland decent field position and allowed them to score twice in the final minutes.

COACHING
F
-- The Broncos had missed defensive assignments, couldn't manufacture a first down offensively and had special teams breakdowns in a fourth-quarter collapse. Denver's playoff hopes took a major hit with the loss to the heavy underdog Raiders, whom the Broncos beat 31-3 earlier this season at Oakland.

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