Paul G's Instant Replay: Broncos 26, Raiders 13

thomas_demaryius_mitchell_mike_raiders_broncos.jpg

Paul G's Instant Replay: Broncos 26, Raiders 13

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- For the first time since 2006, the Raiders have been swept by Denver with Thursday night's 26-13 loss to the Broncos in front of a national TV audience, falling to 3-10 on the season.

AFC West champion Denver (10-3) started quick, leading 13-0, and was threatening to go up by more when Phillip Adams picked off Peyton Manning in the end zone. The Raiders offense responded and had perhaps its most impressive drive of the season, going 80 yards in 14 plays and taking 6:33 off the clock. Carson Palmer pump-faked and hit Darren McFadden, who went in from six yards out for the score.

For the Raiders, who lost their sixth straight, Palmer threw for 273 yards, on 19 of 30 passing, with two touchdowns, a fumble on a strip-sack, and a costly interception when he threw behind an open Brandon Myers at the goal line and future Hall of Famer Champ Bailey picked it off.

"That's one guy you don't want to hang the ball on," two-time Super Bowl winning coach Tom Flores offered on the radio.

Meanwhile, Peyton Manning threw for 310 yards, with one TD and one INT. The Raiders did have three sacks, all in the first half.

Rookie WR Rod Streater had a career-high 100 yards receiving on four catches, on the first Thursday night game in Oakland since Oct. 25, 1979.

It was Raiders rookie coach Dennis Allen's first game since his father Grady passed away Monday night. The younger Allen was away from the team Sunday night through Tuesday night and will leave the team again for his father's services.

McFadden returns: Playing for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain on Nov. 4, Darren McFadden was, as he mostly was before the injury, a non-factor. The first time McFadden touched the ball, on a pass across the middle from Carson Palmer, he dropped it. McFadden ran for 52 yards on 11 carries, with 36 yards coming on one breathtaking run down the right sideline, and did have a six-yard TD catch that got the Raiders within 13-7. But other than that…silence.

Greatness in the house: The Raiders honored their 19 Hall of Famers and 12 of them were on the field, plus three widows, including Carol Davis, for a classy halftime tribute. Those that were at the Coliseum: Jim Otto, George Blanda's widow Betty, Willie Brown, Gene Upshaw's widow Teresa, Fred Biletnikoff, Art Shell, Ted Hendricks, Mike Haynes, Howie Long, Ronnie Lott, Dave Casper, James Lofton, John Madden, Rod Woodson and Carol Davis. Also recognized were Bob Brown, Eric Dickerson, Jerry Rice and Marcus Allen.

Third-quarter woes return: After decent third quarters against Cincinnati and Cleveland, the Raiders went back to their falling-down ways against the Broncos, getting outscored 10-0. For the season, the Raiders have been outscored by a combined 139-51 in the third quarter, including 34-0 in two games against the Broncos.

The scourge of penalties: After having a combined seven penalties against New Orleans and Cincinnati, the Raiders had their second straight game of double-digit penalties. Oakland had 11 penalties for 94 yards against the Broncos, who did not have a flag thrown at them until the 3:37 mark of the third quarter. The Raiders had 10 penalties for 65 yards against Cleveland and a season-high 12 penalties for 110 yards at Atlanta. Right tackle Khalif Barnes had two holding penalties and a false start Thursday.

All suited up with nothing to do…again: Terrelle Pryor was activated for the second time this season, but the third-string quarterback spent the evening wearing a skull cap and jacket. He did start to play catch in the third quarter, but just as suddenly, put his jacket back on

Checking in with Tom Flores: The Raiders were bringing blitzes at Peyton Manning early and often, but Manning was beating them with ease by simply hitting his running back. Tom Flores, the two-time Super Bowl-winning coach-turned-broadcaster, said leaving the backs open in hot reads was "inexcusable." Later, under a crush of flags, play-by-play man Greg Papa said, "Another holding penalty?" "Oh yeah," Flores answered. "Why not?"

Up next: The Raiders (3-10) have a bit of a break as they do not play again for 10 days, when they play host to Kansas City (2-10) in Oakland's home finale. The Raiders beat the Chiefs, 26-16, on Oct. 28 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”