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Published on 12/20/2009 at Sun Dec 20 18:24.
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Quarterback JaMarcus Russell #2 celebrates following the Oakland Raiders' victory over the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 20-19. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Quarterback JaMarcus Russell #2 celebrates following the Oakland Raiders' victory over the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 20-19. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

For whatever reason, Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell‘s best games come in the least likely of places: the home stadium of his fiercest rival.

Russell, supplanted on the depth chart this week for the second time in as many months, came off the bench after Charlie Frye was injured to execute a 62-yard fourth-quarter drive capped by a 10-yard touchdown strike to WR Chaz Schilens. Sebastian Janikowski‘s extra point attempt sailed through the uprights, and the Raiders held on to beat the Denver Broncos 20-19.

Russell has had success in Denver before: he and the Raiders put a 31-10 bruising on the Broncos in November of last year. The third-year quarterback threw one touchdown and no interceptions then, and he he threw for the same this week.

His career has been mired and ridiculed outside of Denver, and rightfully so, but 2007’s top overall draft pick continues to play his best football in Denver.

But the Raiders didn’t win off Russell’s arm, or anyone’s for that matter. They won the game on the ground. Russell’s wild comeback simply finished what was a wild football game from opening kickoff.

The Broncos started by looking dominant, intercepting Frye early and moving the ball with ease on offense. They failed to punch it in on two straight drives (this would become a running theme, unsurprisingly) and had to settle for field goals. They took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, and it appeared the Broncos would hardly have to break a sweat to move to 9-4.

They would start sweating soon. Frye, who had only played in one game since 2007, bounced back with three scoring drives (one Michael Bush running touchdown and two field goals) to give the Raiders a 13-6 at halftime.

Meanwhile, the Broncos offense sputtered. The Broncos went three-and-out on all three drives in the second quarter. For 18 minutes and 20 seconds that spanned the first through third quarters, Josh McDaniels‘ offense failed to tally a single first down.

After a Matt Prater field goal in the third quarter, Darren McFadden‘s fumble led to a Kyle Orton touchdown to Brandon Marshall that gave the Broncos a 16-13 lead.

The Raiders weren’t done, though. They unleashed Michael Bush and McFadden again, and the pair combined for 86 rushing yards on three — THREE! — straight carries.

It was a sign of things to come. The Broncos held on to prevent the Raiders from scoring on that drive, but the Raiders totaled a whopping 241 rushing yards against the 2008-esque Broncos defense.

Then Russell took over in an inexplicable win.

The rush defense was putrid, and the offense as a whole was awful. Those have been the running themes in the Broncos’ six losses this season, and it will continue to doom though as they participate in the AFC’s playoff chase.

The loss knocked the Broncos out of division contention; the San Diego Chargers are officially the 2009 AFC West champions, and it also knocked them down to the 6th seed in the AFC. They join the 8-6 Ravens as wild cards, with a half dozen 7-7 teams salivating to take their place. The Broncos travel to Philadelphia in Week 16 before finishing the season against the Chiefs at home.

No game bodes well for the bumbling Broncos when they suffer the embarrassing type of loss they suffered today.



  • Adrenaline27

    OUCH!! Well I will say this one hurts. This season seems to be a backwards season to me. They are winning games they should be losing and losing games they should be winning, for the most part. Again the Raiders have been hot the last few games but Denver should have never gotten beaten by them at home.

    Not sure what the problem is, some days they look like a totally different team and like today they just couldnt do anything well.

  • ericinvegas

    Denver scored 5 times – 4 FG + 1 TD.

    San Diego today scored 5 times – 2 FG + 3 TD.

    I feel like I've lived through this inability to finish drives before…oh yeah, it was last year.

    SO glad Chicago keeps losing so we'll have a decent 1st round pick next year…

  • the real oldest fan

    congrats to the boy coach and orton. mcdaniels' system and orton's skills did a terrific job of protecting the football today. no interceptions! great job guys.

  • Adrenaline27

    Can you please go back to school and learn some grammer and how to spell. Did you flunk out of 7th grade again? Seriously that up above is just sad. Our School systems must be better then this?

  • Disappointed in Denver

    I am tired of losing to Oakland! This was Raiders week, a big deal around here (though the Broncos seem to have forgotten). We cannot continue to lose the same way. Josh McDanielsand his arrogance has to stop, Moreno is hurt or tired, yet we keep running him. 29 rushing yards after the 1st quarter, how can you justify not running Hillis? We needed a TD late in the game to win and we settled for another field goal. For all the steps we have taken we have hit a wall…our coach! He has done a lot, but he needs to realize that he needs to adjust the offense. This will only result in more loses, more losing and more disappointment. We are on our way to another 9-7 or 8-8 season, 2-6 after the bye. Why?


    BRONCO had 3 turn overs in thier faver and they still got beat.Man handled.they need a hole new d line and get a real qb shit.Kyel Orten gets scratch and he falls down.what a cowerd.that pisses me off so bad.What a cowerd.


    All I want from santa is Kyel Orten to get fired.then I could look fowerd to next year.

  • Mr T

    I just knew the Raiders would beat Denver again. They have won more games than they have lost to the Broncos.


    ya screw this go chargers on the ban waggon ill jump were is my chargers shirt ill sell my broncos stuff and buy one

  • Disappointed in Denver

    Really…It is one thing to be upset at your team, but why jump on a rivals bandwagon? As a Broncos fan you owe it to the team to voice your displeasure in a way that helps the team. This type of fanaticism is why the Broncos continue to be a moribund franchise. We need to boo at games, be critical in a constructive manner and strive for championship football. Lets be intelligent fans, articulate, critical, but always Broncos fans.

  • Scottey

    The play calling in the red zone is possibly the most curious aspect of this team I have ever seen. It was obvious that the defense had a bad day, but HONESTLY, can you please explain the play calling? I don't get it. The second most curious thing is lamont jordon on a pass route? Really? Lamont Jordan? I wish Hillis would play out his contract and go anywhere where he can actually use his skills. HORRIBLE EFFORT in the coaching department today!

  • Joey417

    I was at this game, and boy was it disappointing. The refs sucked, Orton sucked, Our run-blocking sucked, the play-calling sucked, and for most of the game, our defense sucked. It is unbelievably frustrating to go all the way down the field over and over and kick field goals. But in a sense, this shows that we are not a playoff team, so we can stop dreaming. If we can't beat the Raiders and score touchdowns on them, how are we going to head to Cinci now and think to have a chance of winning? Let alone beating Philly. There will be no playoffs again for this team, just another 8-8 or 9-7 choke. Same ol' stuff. There were 72,223 people at this game. The Broncos sure do know how to let their fans down. And the fans were so pissed off that even on the walk to my car, two Bronco fans got into a screaming match that escaladed into a fist fight. And not to mention all of the Raider fans walking around just bragging.
    And the biggest frustration is this offense. To go from the number 2 offense in the league to 20+ is just annoying. Kyle Orton does need to go. But for who? Who do we draft? Tebow? Na, he is not accurate and likes to run to much. McCoy? Na, he is just another Orton, just more mobile. We should have never traded away Jay Cutler. Yeah everyone can say what they want, but we wouldnt be struggling like this if we had him. And he would being throwing 20+ interceptions with us. We actually have recievers. Check this out for a CBS sign:
    Cutler could have
    Been our
    SuperBowl Ticket
    But hey, what happened, happened, and we will never get him back. But oh well, whose bangwagon should we all jump on in the playoff race? I'm for sure not rooting for San Diego or Indy, hopefully Miami wins their division or makes the playoffs or something. There a fun team to watch.
    I still love my Broncos and always will, but it does get frustrating.

  • pwsbronco

    We got our butts beat by the best team today, their 3rd QB and running backs made us look just like the team we were last year. Can't stop the run and can't score a TD.
    A 4-9 team came into our house and beat our *sses all over the place. We need to try out Brandstater and Hillis the next two weeks and anyone else on our waiting list to see what we can do, we already know what we can't do. Win…. We are 2-8 since the bye, lets at least let them play a quarter or so. Really tired of watching once again, our offense sputter to only FG's.
    We need to be able to drive it in either with a running gm or a passing gm but we are not doing it. I would like to see what our % in the redzone is this year compared to last year.
    Our defense looked really good at one pt but we are now a gm away from getting more pt/against than pts/for.
    That is just unacceptable. we can't stop anyone now and we can't score TD's.
    Maybe we should draft a FG kicker next yr that can kick 50-59 yards successfully….only if we could.

  • anthony33

    Disgusting is the only word to describe this game and this team right now. The offense is horrid… wasn't this supposed to be McD's specialty? They can't run the ball in short yardage, couldn't run the ball at all today (it seemed like Moreno had more zero yardage or negative yardage plays than he did positive yardage plays), Orton at his best is only average, maybe.

    Disgusting. Word to the wise McD… know the three rules. 1) Don't lose to the raiders. 2) Don't lose to the raiders at home… ever. 3) Don't get blown out by the raiders. A combination of 2 and 3 and you're ouuta here. Ask Phillips and Shanahan.

  • kerry

    pathetic. absolutely pathetic. yeah that pick of Noyard Moreno sure is working out. i cant believe we spent the 12th pick on a guy who cant get one freaking yard when its needed. Alphonso Smith worth a first round pick?? PFFFTTTT!!! and Ayers is still invisible out there. but yeah hey an improved secondary makes the pass rush better right everyone?? PFFFFFTTT!! we are gonna be the first team to start 6-0 and not make the playoffs. but hey Hillis got on the field……..oh wait no he didnt that was Lamont Jordan, you know the inferior slow fat ass retard. but hey the bright side is Chicago keeps losing and our first round pick gets higher. so maybe we can get a QB who can, you know, COMPLETE A FREAKING PASS WHEN HE NEEDS TO!!!!!!

  • DantePakistan

    I think we need to start a new segment on this blog, “I'm so tired off….”, I'll get started.

    I'm so tired of…..

    Running the ball 3 straight times on 1st and goal, then settling for a field goal.

    Watching Slowshon run up the middle for no gain

    Running it up the middle for no gain on 3rd and short

    5 yard check downs on third and long

    Screen passes

    Gadget plays to a 300 Offensive tackle

    Lamont Jordan in the game

    Alphonso Smith in general

    Playing scared against bad teams

    Bad Challanges

    Anyone else have anything to add?

  • eljbow

    Complain, complain, complain. So we dropped a game, we're still 8-6. If we finish 9-7, so what? Still better than last year. Cutlerf***er wouldn't have gotten us any better. If you wanna jump jump ship then jump, and good riddance.

  • olen

    Why is McD so stubborn to use Hillis . Well he showed us again didn't he , that he is still coach and we know nothing . What happened to the old blocking zone blocking scheme ? There is just something weird going on .The defense is also being told to do the conservative thing .

  • pwsbronco

    I would have to agree with you 100%, especially on a new QB… Tired of all the little worthless dink and dunks that every team knows is coming. A real threat of a QB. good stats that don't mean squat when it comes to winning. How long do we have to live through this? I know we are re-building but would love to rebuild with a QB that I know can win the big one for us or even get us into contention for the big game or hell, maybe get us into the playoffs…..

  • mikebirty

    Sack everyone!

    The ball boys were terrible, the guy with the santa hat who couldn't find the raider fan with the laser – sack him too, sack Miles, sack the cheerleaders!

    Close the Franchise down and move the UFL…….

  • kerry

    is that the best you got?? “Oh Cutler wouldnt have done better!!!” seriously thats getting old. when this plays lousy its always “Oh well how is Cutler doing?!?” let Cutler go man. the rest of us have. its Cutler haters that keep referencing him to this team.

  • Dboys

    GOOOO CHARGERS!! AT LEAST THEY CAN PULL OFF A GAME AND WIN!!!! Maybe we should take some notes and give it to our Kindergarden Coach!

  • arvada62

    I've said since Game 1 that Orton is a journeyman, career backup QB and not a starting NFL QB. It is pretty obvious that with his limited physical skills that anytime the Broncos are behind in the 4th Quarter, the game is lost.

    Add to that Coach McDs second big mistake, wasting a 12 pick on NoShow Moreno and the Broncos just don't have an NFL offense. Is Coach McD the only one in Denver that can't see that Moreno is a first round bust? He's too small to power up the middle between the tackles and too slow to get outside. He's sort of a Tatum Bell without the break-away speed. Surely Hillis couldn't do any worse. Time to put your pride away McD and move Moreno down the depth chart.

  • Garrett Barnes

    Okay, you're just ridiculous.

    Would you prefer Jay Cutler, who is leading the NFL in interceptions and had a 7.9 QB rating last week?

    And learn to spell, or at least learn to spell KYLE ORTON not Kyel Orten.

  • Garrett Barnes

    Okay, you're just ridiculous.

    Would you prefer Jay Cutler, who is leading the NFL in interceptions and had a 7.9 QB rating last week?

    And learn to spell, or at least learn to spell KYLE ORTON not Kyel Orten.