It’s understandable why some fans of the Denver Broncos came away from the win over the Oakland Raiders with the feeling of “they won, but.” However, that feeling is misguided and there are a number of reasons why. The first reason is obvious: that was the eighth win in a row for the Broncos and that’s hard to do in the NFL, no matter who you are playing.
Think of all of the things the Broncos were dealing with on Thursday night: a short week where they had to travel, a classic trap game with the Baltimore Ravens looming next week, playing a team whose head coach had just lost his father and knowing that the Raiders would have loved to put an end to the Broncos winning streak. When you combine all of those things, the win over the Raiders is a solid one. Road teams on Thursday night have not fared well at all either and the Broncos had complete control of the game, even if it did not show up on the scoreboard. They did win the game by 13 points and until the Raiders scored a meaningless late touchdown, it was 26-7.
The Broncos also improved on some things that they had been struggling with going into the game. The running game with Knowshon Moreno was better, they converted a couple of short-yardage situations, Matt Prater got back on track with a 4 for 4 night and they ran out the clock with the running game.
It was not a perfect night, but when you consider all of the factors listed above and the fact that the Broncos were tired, both physically and mentally, then it was a good night. It was a professional effort by a group of guys who knew they weren’t at their best, but they grinded out a win that they had to have. That should make Bronco fans feel good–not worried about style points. They are 10-3, have the weekend off and are riding an eight game winning streak. It’s really OK to be happy, it really is.
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