Raiders Bloody Broncos, Win 23-20 Despite Penalties

More penalty yards than passing yards. Hue Jackson will be satisfied with the win, but not his team’s lack of mental discipline.

If not for the penalties and a punt return touchdown by the Broncos the score would have been much more lopsided. On the other hand, Orton’s late fumble gave away the Broncos chance at a lead.

Raider Nation has seen this game before. Dominate the game and figure out a way to lose. On Monday night the Raiders figured out a way to win. Perhaps the Raiders were lucky the Broncos were so inept on offense and couldn’t stop Darren McFadden. They will not be so lucky against better teams.

Broken was a streak that had the Raiders at 0-1 to start the season for eight years. Now, for the first time since 2002 the Raiders are 1-0. I think the fans and team would tell you it feels good to be perfect for a change.

Sebastian Janikowski tied the record for longest field goal. A nice highlight and it ended up being the difference in the game.

Let’s revisit the key matchups:

Khalif Barnes vs. Von Miller

Von Miller made his impact forcing a Jacoby Ford fumble, but Barnes, Heyer and Veldheer handled Miller’s pass rush. He didn’t have Dumervil for a large chunk of the game and the Raiders were able give Miller extra attention.

Jacoby Ford vs. Champ Bailey

Bailey limited Ford prior to Ford exiting with a hamstring injury. The injury could be a big one for the Raiders. After the first scripted plays to Ford, he disappeared. Bailey really had his impact and it stalled the Raiders passing game.

Darrius Heyward-Bey vs. Andre Goodman

Who is this guy named Heyward-Bey? Four catches including a pivotal third down catch late in the game. Also on a Raiders play action pass from their own one-yard line Heyward-Bey hauled in a tough catch on a bomb from Jason Campbell out-of-bounds. Had Jason Campbell been able to lead Heyward-Bey it may have been a very long reception and possibly even a 99-yard touchdown. It’s the kind of game everyone has been waiting for from Heyward-Bey. Heyward-Bey is now on pace for 64 receptions and 704 yards. If he keeps this up he’ll make this prediction look good.

Jason Campbell vs. Jason Campbell

A bit of a mixed review of Campbell. He played smart football. He was confident. He completed 59% of his passes. He didn’t appear to tip his pass plays and he was getting plenty of time from his offensive line. He was checking down when the Raiders needed him to push the ball. He’ll need to play a little better when the Raiders run game isn’t churning to put points on the board.

Kyle Orton vs. Rolando McClain

Perhaps better described as Kyle Orton vs. Kyle Orton. McClain didn’t rack up the tackles, but the Broncos didn’t run and couldn’t run. McClain looks good and the Raiders front seven dominated the line of scrimmage. Orton didn’t really have much of chance and before long was imagining pressure.

Chris Johnson vs. Brandon Lloyd

Lloyd hauled in six passes for 89 yards. Chris Johnson was in coverage on most of them. Considering the Broncos were passing most of the game, Chris Johnson held his own against one of the better receivers he will face. The warts in the secondary were easily covered up by the Raiders pass rush on Monday.

Ryan Clady vs. Matt Shaughnessy

Shaughnessy dominated Clady all night. Clady had no answer for Shaughnessy and was routinely holding and was caught leaning and off-balance. If Clady is as good as some scouts say he is than Shaughnessy is dangerously good.

Lamarr Houston/Kamerion Wimbley vs Orlando Franklin

I almost…almost felt bad for Franklin. He was called for at least two holding penalties. Franklin couldn’t stop Wimbley from flying around the edge and was physically dominated by Houston. The Raiders tandem made the rookie look bad.

An extensive review and studs and duds from Monday’s game to come Wednesday (normally Tuesdays).

Posted in Raiders @ Broncos, Regular Season 2011