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Denver Broncos Ride Stingy Defense to Crucial Victory Against Oakland

The Denver Broncos defense was up to its usual stingy tricks Sunday. This weeks victim was the Oakland Raiders. Oakland was in town for a crucial early season match up in the AFC West.

The Broncos played the role of uninviting guests to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon. Denver and Oakland came into Sunday tied for second in the AFC West with both needing a win to not fall too far away from the Chiefs, who are on a roll early in 2017.

Both teams entered the game off subpar road performances that resulted in losses. Denver was out Denvered by the Bills, while Oakland was shellacked by the Washington Redskins. The Raiders were abysmal on offense last week, and Denver wasn’t much better.

Offensive Nightmare

This matchup had the potential to be a defensive slobber knocker, because of either exemplary defense or bad offense. You pick. The game delivered on being a low-scoring, offensive struggle.

Denver ultimately won the game 16-10. Derek Carr went down with an injury for Oakland, but Denver was firmly ahead in the game at the time. Carr’s back injury unfortunately flared up in the fourth quarter. Denver was ahead 16-7 at the time.

Neither team managed 300 yards of offense. Denver amassed 298 compared to Oakland’s 254. Oakland was one-dimensional on offense, but Denver found a refreshing balance on that side of the ball.

The Broncos’ old red-zone struggles resurfaced on Sunday. Out of four trips, they managed no touchdowns, made  three field goals, and missed one.

Denver Oakland
Passing yards 155 230
Rushing Yards 143 24
Yards Per Play 4.8 4.8
Turnovers 0 1
Third Down Success 5/16 2/12
Red Zone TDS/Trips 0/4 0/0

Defense, Defense, Defense

Denver’s defense was really the story in this game. Oakland had -6 yards in the third quarter of the contest, and really only had one good drive all day. The Raiders scored a touchdown late in the first half thanks to a couple of big plays through the air.

Denver held Oakland to 24 yards rushing, marking the fourth consecutive game the Broncos have held an opponent to 75 yards rushing or less. Denver has played Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliot, LeSean McCoy, and Beastmode himself Marshawn Lynch. The run defense has been harshly tested out of the gate and passed with flying colors. John Elway and Vance Joseph appear to have fixed the only weakness in the defense.

Justin Simmons sealed the game with an interception of E.J. Manuel. The NoFlyZone allowed 230 passing yards, but a decent chunk came with Denver up double digits. When Denver needed a stop late to seal the game, Denver’s secondary stepped up and forced the days only turnover.

Takeaways:

  1. The offense still has a long way to go. Improvements appear to be in the process, but Denver is still struggling.
  2. Despite struggles, Denver has found a balance on offense.
  3. Trevor Siemian is who we thought he was. He plays well at home, every single time. Siemian performing well at home is up there with death and taxes.
  4. Trevor broke his 6-game interception streak!
  5. The Denver defense has gotten better. The run defense is now just as good if not better than the pass defense. The Modern Orange Crush defense is in mint condition.
  6. Justin Simmons is going to be a mainstay at safety for years to come. Denver made the right call to cut T.J. Ward.
  7. Isaiah McKenzie is going to win a few games for Denver this season.
  8. The offensive line has taken major strides in the 2017 season.

-JCG



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