Teams that win division titles normally don’t have letdowns as bad as what the Broncos had Sunday at home to the Oakland Raiders. That’s exactly what took place as the Broncos laid one of if not the biggest egg of the season, dropping a stunning 31-10 setback to the silver and black.
The Raiders were coming in with little to play for, having won just two games all season, and one being against the one win Chiefs. But they played well enough, and used former Broncos WR Ashely Leslie, who haunted his former team with a TD catch and another huge 51-yard grab that set up a score. On the day he had four big catches for 92 yards, basically doubling his season total.
Oakland broke a 10-10 tie in the third quarter with the first of two Darren McFadden scores, and their defense did enough vs a Broncos offense that seemed to be hitting stride after two big road wins the past two weeks in Cleveland and in Atlanta. It was right back to normal for a Broncos offense that spent most of half the season in the stuck mode.
Jay Cutler and the wide outs were not able to make any big plays, and on the day he was 16-for-37 for 204 yards with a pick and a QB rating of 49.8. Peyton Hillis rushed the ball 17 times for 74 yards with a score for the Broncos, their only TD of the day.
The Broncos defense could not stop JaMarcus Russell, who was huge going 10-for-11 for 152 yards. He had a QB rating of 149.1, by far playing his best game of the season. Despite the loss, there is little doubt that the Broncos are not going to win this division. Even at 6-5, they are two games up on the Chargers, who lost again, and three games up on the Broncos.
They have a stiff test up next, as they travel to the Meadowlands to take on the Jets Sunday afternoon.
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