Raiders Defeat Broncos in Ugly Season Opener

By Shawn Etemadi

The Oakland Raiders snapped an eight-game losing streak in season openers after defeating the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. Respectively, the Broncos snapped their own streak of 11 consecutive wins in home openers. With the Broncos descending and the Raiders on the rise, these two teams are seemingly moving in opposite directions.

Aside from Oakland’s victory, there were few reasons to cheer for Raiders fans. In a vastly unenlightening game, the lone bright spots for Raider Nation were Darren McFadden, the defensive line, and the kickers.

McFadden rushed for 150 yards on 22 carries (6.8 YPC). The former Arkansas star also added one catch for six yards, but his greatest contribution could have been recovering a Jason Campbell fumble to prevent a Raiders turnover in the second half. All in all, it was a good start to the new NFL season for Run DMC.

The defensive line for the Raiders dominated the Broncos up front. The Silver & Black held the Broncos to 38 yards rushing on 13 attempts (2.9 YPC) and recorded 5 sacks on quarterback Kyle Orton. Former New England Patriot Richard Seymour anchored the front-four, recording two sacks and two tackles-for-loss.

Despite having a punt returned 90 yards for a touchdown, Shane Lechler had a great game for the Raiders. Lechler has averaged 47.4 yards per punt in his career, the top mark in NFL history. The former Texas A&M Aggie punted 6 times for Oakland on Monday, averaging 58.2 yards per punt. His longest punt of the game, an astounding 77 yards.

Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski stole the spotlight from everyone on Monday night. Well, except from Tom Brady. Janikowski, who converted a 70-yard field goal in pregame warm-ups, booted an NFL record-tying 63-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired in the first half.

Aside from that, the game could be described with one word: penalties. The Raiders were penalised 15 times for 131 yards while the Broncos were flagged 10 times for 91 yards. The game was ugly in all regards. Thankfully, it’s finally over. Here are each team’s stats from Monday’s forgetful game.

1st Downs 20 25
Passing 1st downs
7 17
Rushing 1st downs
10 2
1st downs from Penalties
3 6
3rd down efficiency
5-14 6-13
4th down efficiency
0-0 0-0
Total Plays 62 64
Total Yards 289 310
Passing 99 272
13-22 24-46
Yards per pass
4.5 5.9
Rushing 190 38
Rushing Attempts
39 13
Yards per rush
4.9 2.9
Red Zone (Made-Att) 2-4 1-3
Penalties 15-131 10-91
Turnovers 1 3
Fumbles lost
1 2
Interceptions thrown
0 1
Defensive / Special Teams TDs 0 1
Possession 32:35  27:25

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