Broncos v. Raiders Report Card

The Denver Broncos' rushing offense was not very effective against the Oakland Raiders. Damien Nash (in photo) was activated and played in place of Mike Bell. Read how the rushing offense and the other Broncos' units graded in the 17-13 win.

REPORT CARD VS. RAIDERS
PASSING OFFENSE: C-minus -- Jake Plummer threw three interceptions, which put Denver in a hole, but he did rebound late in the game. He went 7-for-7 on a fourth-quarter drive that put Denver ahead for good, and he hit FB Kyle Johnson for a 1-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal. Javon Walker made two big plays but only had two catches. The Broncos compensated by getting the tight ends involved more.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- The Broncos didn't have a rush of more than 9 yards against the Raiders, who had the 27th-ranked run defense in the NFL coming in. Tatum Bell struggled to run effectively, one week after sitting out with turf toe injuries. Damien Nash was signed of the practice squad and was active ahead of Cedric Cobbs and Mike Bell, but he didn't have a great game either.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- The Broncos took Randy Moss out of the game by lining up Champ Bailey against him, and they rushed the quarterback pretty well against the Raiders' suspect offensive line. The Broncos gave up a few more catches than they wanted to against Oakland's tight ends, but no big plays that turned the momentum of the game.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- Denver did a good job containing LaMont Jordan and Justin Fargas. Without much of a passing game, the only way the Raiders were going to win was by putting together long drives running the ball, and they never did that.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- David Kircus had a nice punt return to set up Denver's first touchdown, but the rest of the day didn't go well for the Broncos' special teams. P Paul Ernster struggled. Kircus and KR Brian Clark both fumbled, but the Broncos recovered Clark's fumble and a Raiders penalty wiped out Kircus' fumble. The Broncos didn't allow any devastating returns to Oakland's Chris Carr, which the Raiders needed considering their poor offense.

COACHING: B -- The Broncos had to deal with some key injuries during the week and made a starting lineup change at offensive right tackle, subbing Adam Meadows for George Foster. But they held it together and survived a scare. Mike Shanahan's gamble to pass on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter worked out masterfully. The Broncos weren't great at Oakland, but they did enough to win.



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