Broncos v. Raiders Report Card

The Denver Broncos did what they had to against Oakland. They took a 13-0 lead in the first half and played conservatively after that, figuring the Raiders couldn't score two touchdowns.Check out the grades of the various Broncos' units in today's report card.

REPORT CARD VS. RAIDERS

PASSING OFFENSE: D-minus -- Denver had 35 yards passing in the final three quarters. The Broncos were very conservative after hitting a 54-yard pass to Javon Walker in the first quarter. Not wanting to take any chances after building a 13-0 lead in the first half, Denver handed the game over to the defense to win. That approach did work, but the Broncos are eventually going to need more from their passing offense.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C-minus -- Tatum Bell averaged only 3.6 yards against a defense that was ranked 29th in the NFL before last week's games. Denver's biggest runs were a 19-yard scramble by QB Jake Plummer and a 29-yard reverse to Walker. The Broncos couldn't sustain many drives in the second half because the running game wasn't clicking.

PASS DEFENSE: A-minus -- Denver gave up one long pass, a 51-yard gain to Randy Moss. Aside from that, the defense kept Andrew Walter off balance with a good pass rush. CB Champ Bailey had a big interception near the goal line late in the first half. The Broncos also forced a fumble on a short reception by Oakland's LaMont Jordan. Denver doesn't have many holes in the secondary and isn't giving up many big plays.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- Oakland tried to run, with 30 rushing attempts. But Denver allowed only one run longer than 10 yards and gave up 2.8 yards per carry. The Broncos punished LaMont Jordan, who had 60 yards on 23 carries. The defensive line is playing well, and the linebackers have been fast to the ball as usual. Denver is allowing fewer than 4 yards per carry to opponents this year.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- The Broncos had a couple of penalties that set them back, but the special teams as a whole are playing much better than they did during a disastrous first three weeks. Quincy Morgan doesn't get many opportunities to return kickoffs because Denver doesn't allow many points, but he has big-play potential. PR Darren Williams is also getting comfortable after a slow start.

COACHING: B -- The Broncos did what they had to against Oakland. They took a 13-0 lead in the first half and played conservatively after that, figuring the Raiders couldn't score two touchdowns. They were right, as Oakland only put a field goal on the board. But at some point, Denver has to figure out what is holding back its offense. The Broncos haven't scored more than 17 points in a game yet and couldn't break out against a mediocre Raiders defense.



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