By Jim Lyles
BRONCOS RUSH OFFENSE:
The Broncos had 299 rushing yards. Running back Willis McGahee led the ground attack gaining 163 rushing yards on 20 attempts and 2 rushing touchdowns. Quarterback Tim Tebow added 118 rushing yards on 12 carries. The offensive line did a great job opening up running lanes; while receivers and tight ends did a nice job of down field blocking.
BRONCOS PASS OFFENSE:
Tebow passed for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tebow’s quarterback rating for the game was 98.1 which shows that Tebow was effective. Tebow had opportunities to put up better passing numbers but missed open receivers. Tebow was, however, very accurate on his two touchdown throws. The offensive line surrendered only two sacks for the game, but Tebow’s elusiveness was a key to the low sack total. Tebow spent a good portion of the afternoon on his back on passing attempts, partially because of the offensive line and Tebow’s slow throwing mechanics.
BRONCOS RUN DEFENSE:
The rush defense was solid. The benchmark in the NFL is not to give up 100 yards or more on the ground. The Broncos gave up exactly 100 yards rushing in a game, close enough for government work, good enough for the Broncos.
BRONCOS PASS DEFENSE:
The Raiders had 316 passing yards. QB Carson Palmer threw for three touchdowns but Palmer was also intercepted three times.
The Broncos defensive front and blitz packages caused enough of a headache to disrupt Palmer’s passing, and create key turnovers. Elvis Dumervil had one solo sack and shared another sack with rookie outside linebacker Von Miller. CB Champ Bailey had two interceptions and fellow cornerback Chris Harris had the other Palmer interception. The three interceptions halted key Raider drives.
BRONCOS SPECIAL TEAMS:
Eddie Royal returned a punt 85 yards for a score in the fourth quarter giving the Broncos their first lead since the first quarter, and one that they wouldn’t relinquish. The Broncos averaged 23.8 yards on kickoff returns with a long of 33 yards. Matt Prater missed a 43-yard field at the end of the first half.
The Broncos coaches did an excellent job of making the right halftime adjustments. The Broncos outscored the Raiders 31-7 in the second half. This game easily could have gotten away from the Broncos at halfway point. Coach John Fox and the Broncos staff did one masterful job.