Posted Tue Sep 13th by Monty
In the end, an NFL-record-tying 63-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski was all that separated the winners from the losers. But that won’t be how this game is remembered by Denver Broncos fans.
Opportunity after red zone opportunity was blown by the Broncos and quarterback Kyle Orton. Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden rushed 22 times for 150 yards, and a flurry of penalties (10 for 91 yards by the Broncos) doomed Denver to a 20-23 final score.
Make no mistake, Kyle Orton was dreadful — but the rest of the Broncos were hardly better. They lost the turnover battle 1-3. They were outrushed 190 to 38 yards. The Raiders had a five-minute edge in time of possession, and, even though the defense looked better for the most part, they couldn’t get off the field when it mattered.
The game will be remembered for Orton’s slippery ball fumble at the worst possible time (the turnover effectively resulted in a 14-point swing), a host of dropped passes, and struggling in the trenches. Chants for “Tim Tebow” fell from the crowd as the offense failed to find a rhythm until the fourth quarter. In truth, one can blame the offensive line as much as Orton — the Raiders’ defensive line had its number from start to finish.
But Orton was bad. This will do nothing to silence his critics. At least three well-thrown balls were inexplicably dropped by his intended receiver, but several others were simply inaccurate, poor tosses, low and behind his target.
It was the Broncos’ first loss in a home opener since 2000.
The Broncos’ pride isn’t the only element hurting; they have to deal with a host of potentially substantial injuries as well. Elvis Dumervil was limited for three quarters, Champ Bailey was sidelined in the fourth quarter, and Brandon Lloyd and Knowshon Moreno were noticeably sidelined late in the game as well.