Raiders Get Tebowed
Broncos 38 - Raiders 24
The Raiders suffered their 2nd consecutive embarrassing loss at the hands of a divisional opponent. The worst part of losing this critical game is how the Raiders defense allowed QB Tim Tebow to execute a college style offense tailored to his strengths without making the proper adjustments.
The Raiders defensive front 7 had no answer for Tebow running the ball out of the shotgun (12-118-9.8) or RB McGahee gouging the interior line (20-163-8.2-2 TDs). With KC inexplicably getting trounced by Mia and SD losing a shoot-out to GBay, the Raiders let a golden opportunity slip away midway through the 3rd quarter with a 24-14 lead. Instead of taking command of the division, the Raiders allowed Denver 24 unanswered points.
A huge part of Denver's success in the 2nd half was their ability to run the ball between the tackles. For the day, the Broncos racked up a total of 299 yards rushing on 38 carries at 7.9 yards a pop. The absence of MLB McClain was very evident and noticeable.
QB Palmer showed good improvement (332 yard passing, 3 TDs) by using the bye week to get a better handle on the Raiders offense. However his 3 interceptions counter-balanced some of the good things he did in leading the unit throughout the game.
I'm optimistic that Palmer will continue to get more comfortable with the offensive game plan and personnel and do a better job in minimizing the # of costly INTs. The defense will need to rebound quickly facing a prolific Chargers offensive unit on a short week. It will be a challenging and interesting final 8 game push to see what this 2011 team is all about.