Schon: Denver Broncos Game Notes

Broncos Update columnist Michael Schon gives us all the latest from Invesco Field as the Denver Broncos take on the Oakland Raiders.


So here we are… it's Raiders Week, the weather is perfect and I've actually seen more Raiders Suck t-shirts than I can count. I guess we're off to a good start.

Here's the Game Day Inactives for Denver - S Marlon McCree, CB Champ Bailey, RB Selvin Young, S Calvin Lowry, LB D.J. Williams,LB Nate Webster, DT Nic Clemons and DE Tim Crowder.

Buckle it up … We're ready to roll

1st Quarter
Raiders win the toss and they're starting it at their own 19 – I can hardly wait. Back to back runs by Fargas and a quick toss to Miller goes nowhere, Oakland goes three and out and JC get's his shot from inside the 20.

Out of the gate they drop four as Hillis gets nailed in the backfield, another slam and Denver's looking at 3rd and 14 from the 12. Connects it to Hillis for a 16-yard gain and it's a Denver first down. Cutler continues to roll – mixing it up nicely between the ground and the air. Completion to Stokley and the Broncos are in Raiders territory. Quick toss to Royal and it's another first down at the 28. Good morning Mr. Marshall – 21-yard catch and run and Denver's knocking at the door. Well, maybe not too loudly – handoff from Cutler to Hillis backfires and the Raiders recover at the five. Whole lotta dancing – absolutely zero return.

It's hard to tell if Denver's defense is playing that good – or is Oakland really that bad. Raiders drive stall short of midfield and Cutler gets another crack from his own 20.

There's something about watching the Broncos cheerleaders shaking it to Pink's "So What" that makes you feel glad you live in Denver. Not that any of us stand a chance, but it's great to show off to out of town guests.

Denver's got no problem moving it. From their own 32-yard line Cutler hits Darrell Jackson for a beautiful 64-yard gain. Déjà vu – ball is down at the four as the first quarter comes to a scoreless tie. That almost hurts to say that. Raiders challenge the spot of the ball like it's gonna matter.

2nd Quarter
I guess it does matter – zebra's rule that Jackson was down by contact and the ball is shipped back to the 40. Instead of a 64-yard gain – it's a 28-yard pick up. Cutler's in the shotgun – perfect completion to Chris Johnson, unfortunatlyt Johnson's wearing a Raiders jersey and he brings it back from a mile or so away for a touchdown. Hang on – here's a dagger in Al Davis' heart. Defensive holding ball is brought back and Denver gets another shot – you could almost hear his arteries harden. Drive stalls and it's Mr. Semi-Automatic from the 47-yards out. Kick is no good – Semi-Automatic does it again. Broncos walk away empty.

Raiders are beginning to realize they not as outmatched as they thought. JaMarcus Russell busts out a huge drive and before you know it the Raiders are sitting a yard away from paydirt. Keeping it on the ground and Karl Paymah sends Fargas on the ride of his life – loss of one. More to Fargas and the Raiders just can't punch it in. Fourth and goal from the 2 – Raiders call time to check Al Davis' pulse and make sure he's still awake. They're going for it in the noise – flags fly – false start – forget about it – here comes Janikowski – Raiders take the lead 3-0.

Broncos' offense walks out to a thunderous round of indifference. Incomplete to Marshall on the sideline – on the ground for a few – delivered to Stokley and it's moved out to the 36. Three plays later Hillids takers a pitch out and buries it at the Raiders 42-yard line. Back to Stokley – pushed out of bounds at the 26 – it's another Broncos first down. Toss to Scheffler in the end zone is broken up. Toss to Marshall is broken up. Toss to Royal is about 2-yards out of bounds – look out it's Mr. Semi again. Matt Prater saves his job and the excitement just wont stop here at Invesco – Broncos and Raiders are locked in 3-3 thrillfest with just under 3:00 left in the first half. Ever accidentally wake yourself up with your own snoring? Welcome to the media room… I'm counting down the seconds till I can go burn one in the parking lot with the rest of the derelicts.

Somehow the Raiders went three and out and I missed it - Broncos ball at their own 20 - 1:46 left on the clock.

Back to back incompletions on the long ball – one to Marshall, one to Royal. Cutler on the keeper but it's not enough – Broncos go three and out and give it back with way too much time on the clock. Then again, it doesn't seem the Raiders need that much time – Johnnie Lee Higgins (who?) brings the kick back 88-yards for the score. Nice special teams coverage. Oakland pulls on top 10-3 with a buck six remaining in the half.

In between yawns the Broncos managed to move it into Oakland territory – thanks in part to huge penalties on the Raiders. Drive stalls again and…. Don't tell me…. Semi's back to try it from the 43? We're doomed – he can't hit inside the 50. Kick sails wide left and a chorus of boos escort what was once one of the NFL's top offensive teams. Raiders lead 10-3 at the half.

3rd Quarter
Stepping out from the warm confines of the media room - to the freezing winds of the parking lot - just to catch some quick nicotine is enough to shrink your anatomy... back to the madness

It's not real pretty, but the Broncos are moving the ball. Thanks to the third roughing the passer call of the day, the Broncos are inside the twenty. Out of the shotgun - Cutler sends it five-yards outside the end zone - its 3rd and 7 from the 12. Complete to Hills and they're bringing out the chains... just short - 4th and one. If Prater hits the field there'll be mutiny. Broncos are going for it. Hillis off the left side and six-yards later Denver scores it's first touchdown of the afternoon. Prater's PAT ties it up at 10-10. 13-plays, 85-yards and roughly 37 minutes after they began playing, the Broncos grab a TD.

Note the sarcasm...

Ouch… Oakland's bent – Russell comes out swinging. Fifty-one yard pick up to Ashley Lelie (remember him) and it's all downhill for the Broncos defense from that point. Six plays, 70-yards and the Raiders pull back on top 17-10. I can't believe I l gave 9.5 on this one… someone shoot me.

What better way to follow up a lame defensive effort, than for the offense to come out and fall flat on its face in front of 70,000+. Cutler and Co. go three and out as the clock falls under 5:00 left in the third. Denver's got issues…

Raiders are on a roll once again. Huggy Bear Jr. is ripping it on the ground and the Broncos can't seem to stop anything. Third comes to a close as Oakland rolls it to the Denver 30 with first and ten.

4th Quarter
Russell fires it to the end zone – Manuel gets flagged for pass interference – Raiders ball on the six – first and goal. I'm pretty sure I'm bleeding internally… Russell to Lelie across the middle and it's another Raiders touchdown - 24-20 and Shanahan looks like he busted a blood vessel.

Here comes J.C. – Eighteen-yard pick up to Scheffler starts with a bang. Raiders challenge – zebra's rule it incomplete and the ball is moved back to the 20 – second down. Out of the shotgun to Stokley – a big 2 on the play brings up 3rd and eight. Shotgun again and it's a pick for Thomas Howard at the Broncos 43-yard line… how pleasant is this?

Huggy Bear JR. for a 21-yard pick up off the right side – this is getting sick. Raiders are inside the 20 – Fargas again and it's down to the nine with first and goal. McFadden down to the one… back to McFadden for the score – Al Davis wakes up and thinks he's dreaming – Raiders on top 31-10. This game can't end fast enough…

Cutler lights a desperation spark on third and ten with a long strike to Marshall – ball moves into Oakland territory – don't hold your breath. Even the playcalling is pretty much a gimmee… this one's in the books with 6:52 left. Punked at home by one of the worst teams in the league…

Here's some excitement – two fans break onto the field and are get nailed by security – that's the best tackling I've seen all day…

Raiders take over on downs - I'm headed to the locker room. This should be interesting...

In essence the Broncos have given two away to the worst teams in the AFC - KC and Oakland, and now they're headed to the Big Apple to take on Favre (who incidently knocked the Titans off the undefeated list).

Talk all you want about missed opportunities - this was a lack of effort, lack of coaching, lack of motivation and a lack of overall caring...

Let's hope the season doesn't ride on it...

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