Sunday was a tale of two teams in the same color, again

Dennis Best Avatar
October 13, 2015


It has been five weeks now and a 5-0 start for the Mile High crew without a quarterback.

The Denver Broncos went into the “black hole” of Oakland Sunday and limped away with a 16-10 win against the division rival Raiders. It’s all thanks to another stellar performance from the defensive side of the ball.

Notable was Raiders’ kicker Sebastian Janikowski setting a club record for starts on Sunday. But that milestone was ruined when he missed two field goals, including one being blocked by the middle of the line midway through the first quarter, as well as the loss.

Sunday’s game was the first time in nine quarters the Broncos had trailed; Denver seemed like they were trying everything to lose to an AFC West foe. Somehow, the defense pulled it off, again. Mid-way in the fourth quarter, cornerback Chris Harris Jr. read the eyes of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and took an interception 75 yards to the house, much to the disdain of Raider Nation.



It was not all Harris and Aqib Talib on Sunday. Outside linebacker Von Miller came up with what may be the fumble recovery of the year, if you even want to call it a “fumble.” Miller got to Carr and simply took the ball away from the second-year QB.


We can sit here and talk about how great Denver is on the defensive side of the ball all day, but there is still the elephant in the room; the offense’s ineptitude. Sunday was the second time this season the Broncos ended up without an offensive touchdown, despite a 111-yard day from wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Peyton Manning completed 22-of-35 passes for 266 yards with two sacks and two interceptions. Both picks were by 1998 Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson, who had never intercepted a ball from Manning in his career. Manning on the other hand did get the last laugh.

“It took him 18 years,” Manning said of Woodson finally picking him off. “It probably offsets the two TDs I threw on him last year, call it a wash.”

The ground game was of no help either, with a total of 43 yards rushing. Oakland dominated time of possession in the first half, holding the ball almost nine more minutes total.

Manning, the five-time MVP, possesses a passer rating of 77.3 this season, which is the lowest since his rookie year in 1998. The schedule is not in his favor either.

Denver travels to Cleveland on Sunday for an early 11 a.m. MDT start time. The Browns may not sound like a formidable foe, but they did something on Sunday they had not accomplished since 2007; win in Baltimore. This could be the trap game of the season if Manning has another sub-par outing.

Then, a much needed bye week comes before the 5-0 and seemly unbeatable Green Bay Packers come to Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium under the lights on Sunday night. To top off the stretch, Denver travels to Indy the week after to face the Colts who are trying to salvage their season. Manning has a 1-2 record against his old team.

This team can win, we all know, we’ve all seen it happen for five straight weeks. The defense will continue to do their best and create game-changing plays, but Wade Phillips and Co. can only do so much. Manning needs to play better, period. The bye week could not come soon enough and will be most beneficial before welcoming the Packers on Nov. 1.

So, once again we all witnessed two teams in the same color jerseys; the NFL’s best defense and possibly the league’s worst offense each wore orange and blue. Simply stated, the offense must step their collective game up. Now.



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