The Broncos (12-4) secured the AFC’s No. 2 seed and a first-round bye with a 47-14 whipping of the Oakland Raiders on Sunday in which Manning didn’t throw a single touchdown pass. In a game that totaled 451 yards for Denver and a grand total of 199 yards that Oakland managed to produce, it was total domination over the fledging Raiders.
Another typical year in which the Raiders didn’t win a single away game, fail to go to the playoffs again, (2002) and collapse under the Bronco’s year after year. The last time Oakland beat Denver was back in 2011, eight games ago. The Bronco’s defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will be interviewing for the Raider’s head coaching position this week, why anyone would take that miscarriage of a job is beyond me but coach’s egos are a specular aria to behold.
Last Sunday’s game was ruled by Denver’s defense and run game. Three running backs totaled up 148 rushing yards against Oakland with CJ Anderson racking up three touchdowns on top of his 107 yards from scrimmage. R. Hillman with 58 yards from scrimmage and J. Stewart rushing for five yards on four carries. I don’t know who Stewart is either so don’t ask me.
“When you get all three phases of the game playing like we did today, we can be a dangerous team to stop,” said Anderson, who has eight TD runs to Manning’s five TD throws since Thanksgiving.
Manning’s passing game wasn’t all bad either. His catchers racked up 312 receiving yards with a lone touchdown caught by V. Green and thrown by the Bronco’s future MVP quarterback, B. Osweiler. It was nice to see Green given the opportunity to catch a garbage TD late in the game. His blocking for the run game has been immensely successful and a little reward in a TD catch was pure class by the Broncos. His first touchdown of his career.
“C.J.’s been great,” Manning said. “He’s been really solid and good in the passing game, good in the pass protection and made a lot of big runs. The line’s done a good job of springing him. It was good to get Ronnie (Hillman) back today. Those two guys can be a pretty good little 1-2 punch.”
A Bronco’s receiving record was broken on Sunday as well. Demaryius Thomas finished with 1,619 receiving records, breaking Smith’s mark of 1,602 yards in 2000.
“Ever since I got here, you heard the name Rod Smith,” Thomas said of the receiver who last played in 2006. “I wanted to be better so that’s what I worked on. He’s a guy who I stayed with after practice and talked to on the phone. Now, I can throw it in his face sometimes.”
The Raiders scored 14 points or fewer for the 10th time this season, so grading the Bronco’s defense on this game is unrealistic. Again on Sunday, the Raiders couldn’t run outside or complete a pass to a receiver longer than nine yards. Derek Carr had some nice moments this season, but there has been plenty of games like these in which he had no answers. Allowing only one first down in the first half and creating five, three and outs, Denver also had three sacks and a fumble return for a touchdown, so there’s that. Biggest event was that Brandon Marshall did not play and will have an additional week off before he is needed in the AFC Divisional round, 2:40 p.m. Pittsburgh/Indianapolis/Cincinnati at Denver (CBS).
All in all the Broncos looked good and earned the first round bye, a absolute necessity for the boys to heal up. They haven’t had a week off since the fourth week of the season. Some much needed rest. The team is fourth in Vegas to win the Superbowl; New England, Seattle and Green Bay have better odds than the Broncos. Since I picked Green Bay versus Denver in the preseason, I’m still hoping this game works out, if nothing else to show off my brilliance.
Enjoy the week off fans!