It wasn’t as bad as it could have been or even as bad as it should have been, but the Denver Broncos proved that they are by far the superior team in their division by beating the Oakland Raiders 26-13 Thursday night.
The Raiders were never in position to take control of the game and even though Broncos QB Peyton Manning didn’t have nearly a perfect game, he never put his team in a position to lose.
This game could have been much worse for the Raiders had the Broncos capitalized on most of their opportunities. Denver settled for four field goals by K Matt Prater and he connected on all of them. A Manning interception near the goal line in the first half also cost the Broncos seven points and the Raiders scored after that turnover.
Manning and Broncos must take advantage of these scoring opportunities when they play better opponents if they are to contend for a Super Bowl. I think they will step up to the competition and play at a much higher level than they did against the Raiders.
This game was complete dominance by the Broncos, who gave up three big plays but other than, that they pretty much gave up nothing. The Broncos defense gave up two pass plays over 50 yards to receivers and a 36-yard run to Raiders RB Darren McFadden. If you take those three plays away, the Broncos defense only allowed 184 total offensive yards.
The improvement the Broncos need to make is to eliminate these big plays. It will be tough to play with a team like the New England Patriots if they give up big plays like that throughout the game, especially in the playoffs.
This game should have been a blowout, but the Broncos settled for field goals and Manning threw one costly interception close to the goal line. The Broncos are ready for the Baltimore Ravens next week and I am ready to see them play well and beat a division leader instead of the weaker teams they have been playing lately.
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