Paul G's Instant Replay: Broncos 37, Raiders 6

September 30, 2012, 11:00 pm
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DENVER -- The Raiders trilled at the half, 10-6, and probably should have been behind 20-3.So would they take advantage, make some adjustments and knock Peyton Manning off his rhythm in the game's final 30 minutes?Um, no. The Broncos blew the Raiders' doors off and outscored the Raiders 27-0 in the second half as the Raiders had four straight three-and-outs to start the second half, the defense folded like it did in Miami two weeks earlier and even special teams had a collapse in the punting game.Well, at least Juron Criner had his first NFL reception, a 13-yard catch on fourth-and-one in the fourth quarter. And with the "real refs" back, the Raiders were only flagged five times for 41 yards. And yet, the 125 points allowed through their first four games are more than they ever surrendered in their first four games under Al Davis, per Associated Press.Where's the run game?: Darren McFadden had at least 100 yards rushing the previous three times he faced the Broncos. This time? Not so much. The Raiders' problems with the zone-blocking scheme resurfaced again -- a week after McFadden had a big 64-yard touchdown run against Pittsburgh -- McFadden was limited to 34 yards on 13 carries.Where's the pressure?: The Raiders could not break Peyton Manning of his rhythm and paid for itdearly. Manning simply picked the Raiders apart all day long. In fact, Oakland did not knock Manning down until late in the third quarter.McClain takes a big step backwards: Yes, middle linebacker Rolando McClain is playing hurt -- his left ankle was heavily taped -- but he was victimized time and time again. In fact, former Raiders coach Tom Flores offered unique critiques of McClain's play on the radio broadcast. "I'm not sure where McClain is even going, or playing, on some of these runs," Flores said. Later, Flores offered, "That time, McClain was like a scarecrow. Just standing there, watching. Doesn't do anything." McClain is making a base salary of 970,000 this season and is due to make a base salary of 4.005 million next year.Flores sounds off again: Midway through the fourth quarter, the Broncos faced a 3rd and 3 and Raiders DB Joselio Hanson was lined up eight yards off the receiver. "That's ridiculous," Flores said. "That's elementary football."A first down: The Raiders did not get a first down in the second half until there was 12:44 to playin the game.A Raiders hustle play: Demaryius Thomas was gone. Hauling in a short pass from Manning, Thomas had empty real estate in front of him until, at about the Raiders' 20-yard line, he spied Tyvon Branch closing in. Trying to switch the ball from his right hand to his left, Thomas simply dropped the ball. A hustling Lamarr Houston, the Raiders' left defensive end, was following the play and recovered the fumble at the four-yard line.Up next: The Raiders (1-3) enjoy a bye week before playing at Atlanta on Oct. 14.

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