Raiders 39 Broncos 23
Uncle. Thankfully, the Broncos don't need to face the Raiders again this year. For those not counting at home, with the 39-23 drubbing that Oakland put on Denver yesterday, the Raiders have now hung 98 points on the Broncos this year.
We got to see Tim Tebow, and he looked confidence inspiring. Then you look at his stats, and you realize that no matter how encouraging he might have made you feel, the dude completed only 50% of his passes and for only 138 yards. 8 completions is not going to win very often in the NFL, and it didn't yesterday. Of course, 78 yards rushing helps, too. Tebow did almost as much damage with his legs a including a 40 yard scamper up the middle that was very reminiscent of the form which won him a Heisman at Florida.
Unlike almost every game he played at Florida, though, Tebow's team was less talented than the opponent, and lost. It was an odd feeling watching Tebow, as his truly does carry himself with confidence and yet it's obvious the coaching staff has zero confidence in him. The handcuffs were on, and it was painfully obvious they trust him to do too much. However, when he was allowed to toss the ball, although his delivery looks weird, it looks good in the air. His accuracy was much higher than I was expecting, and after the game, I felt like he might have a shot.
Actually, the game in Oakland was almost exactly what I wanted. Tebow looked good (not great, but good.), the Broncos played tough and hung with Oakland for awhile, and most importantly...they didn't hurt their draft position by winning a meaningless game. It's strange having your team have nothing to play for. As the game is going on, I am cheering for them to win, but as soon as it's over I'm almost relieved they lost.
The fact is, this is a team that was plus two in turnovers, got decent production from a rookie quarterback in his first start, and still lost by sixteen points. The defense looked foolish on several occasions, allowing a fullback to scamper 73 yards on a basic screen play and giving up a 71 yard touchdown on a reverse on the game's first play. The Raiders more than doubled the Broncos total offense, gaining an obscene 502 total yards. (Add that to the 508 from the first game, and the Raiders gained 1010 yards of total offense against the Broncos this season, Egad.) Then, just to make sure the Raiders scored just about every possible way, they got a safety.
So, the Broncos are bringing up the rear of the NFL, as right now, I'm not sure there is anyone they could beat. We could wallow in sadness about it, or believe that there is no way to go but up from here, right? (They can't possibly get WORSE, can they?) The rebuilding may take a few years, or it could take less than that, as this is the NFL and teams do rebound often to get good quickly. For now, let all Broncos fans take comfort in the fact that this particular edition of the Broncos can only shame us two more times before we get an offseason to try and heal a little bit. Have a Merry Christmas, and Go Broncos.