Who played well on Monday? Maybe a few are obvious, maybe a few weren’t obvious. It’s always a little more difficult to determine a dud, expecially if the player didn’t make any glaring or obvious mistakes.
Darren McFadden - 150 yards. That should be enough to tell you everything you need to know about McFadden’s night. The Raiders rode on McFadden’s back to victory.
Matt Giordano - The interception was just icing on a very good game from Giordano. He was solid in coverage and a willing tackler and his excellent play enabled the Raiders to use Michael Huff as the nickel corner. Who Stevie Brown? Giordano didn’t even make the initial 53-man roster.
Quentin Groves - He forced a fumble and held his own in coverage making minimal mistakes. He did his job in the run game. For all the abuse Groves has taken for being the weakest linebacker he played like the best one on Monday night.
Kamerion Wimbley – He had his way with the rookie right tackle for the Broncos. He didn’t register any of the five sacks the Raiders recorded, but it was Wimbley who was applying consistent pressure on Kyle Orton. Wimbley also made several excellent run stops. He was the best defensive player on the field for most of the night.
Cooper Carlisle – The best of the Raiders offensive lineman. He’s making the transition from zone blocking to drive blocking quite nicely. When the Raiders needed tough yards they ran behind Carlisle. He didn’t have any penalties and allowed just about zero in the way of pressure on Jason Campbell.
Richard Seymour – Another dominating performance by the Raiders defensive captain. The defensive line has really followed Seymour’s lead. He had two sacks and two pressures.
Honorable Mentions: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Lamarr Houston, Tyvon Branch, Marcel Reece, Darryl Blackstock, Sebastian Janikowski
Stephon Heyer – Rough night for the player who was pushing Khalif Barnes for the starting right tackle job. Back-to-back false start penalties and he had trouble pass blocking. He came in for Barnes, but it didn’t last long as Barnes got twice as many snaps. Heyer should rebound from this dreadful performance and Barnes isn’t doing anything that will prevent the Raiders from giving him another chance.
Jacoby Ford – He hurt his hamstring in the second half, but he fumbled early and didn’t have the kind of impact everyone was expecting. It was a bit of a letdown and his status is very much in question for Sunday’s game in Buffalo. Ford should be fine going forward, but he was a dud Monday night in Denver.
Rolando McClain – He missed a couple tackles and was beat repeatedly in pass coverage. He took some heat in the offseason, but appeared to be playing very well this preseason. He had just one tackle Monday night. Pass coverage is not his strongest suit and he was forced into pass coverage plenty. It was a disappointing 2011 debut for the Raiders middle linebacker, but a batted pass in coverage gives hope for continued improvement. It should be noted also McClain led a defense that played extremely well, but it doesn’t outshine his poor performance.