Broncos up-down drill: Highs and lows for Denver versus the Raiders
Up: Ramming speed. Called from the practice team recently, previous Colorado State star Josh Watson delivered a thunderous hit on unique groups that left Raiders kick returner Jalen Richard wincing on the Allegiant Stadium grass. A strange celebratory dance followed. High marks for the hit. We’ll return to you on that dance.
Down: Math abilities. The Broncos defense failed to count to 11 not as soon as, but two times in the 2nd half. The very first time, Malik Reed worked on the field late to give the Broncos 10– a formation that ended with Josh Jacobs scoring from 5 yards out. On the second, Denver lined up 12 on second-and-9 at its 10, forcing coach Vic Fangio to burn a timeout.
Up: Bryce Callahan vs. Everyone. The Raiders chose to try the Broncos cornerback in single protection several times in the very first half. No dice. The one time Callahan’s coverage broke down in second half, Darren Waller dropped what would’ve been a long gain. Sometimes, it’s much better to be fortunate than good.
Down: Feed Phillip. For the second week in a row, Phillip Lindsay barely got his hands on the football. A week ago, it was eight hurries for 23 yards. On Sunday in Vegas, one of the Broncos’ most explosive gamers had simply four touches through 3 quarters … and didn’t get another the rest of the video game. Undesirable.
Up: Male in the middle. Defensive lineman Sylvester Williams’ name won’t appear a whole bunch in Sunday’s box rating, but the prodigal first-round choice’s made a number of favorable plays for the defense– not the least of which was a drawn holding flag on fourth-and-short that stalled a Raiders drive into Denver area.
Down: When right is wrong. It was a rough day running the best side of the Broncos offensive line, where backup right deal with Calvin Anderson had a hard time to get a push and got exploded on more than one occasion. Get well quickly, Demar Dotson. Your existence is missed.
Down: Holds disallowed. State what you will about Drew Lock’s goal-line interception (we will, it was bad), the holding get in touch with tight end Noah Fant on the play that preceded it was unforgivable, as it negated a foolproof QB keeper goal run. Fant states he wishes to be a complete tight end. It begins right there, Noah.
Down: Offside concerns. A pair of third-down stops in the very first half by the Broncos defense was removed due to the fact that of offside flags. On the very first, Malik Reed lined up in the neutral zone (a huge no-no), while Demarcus Walker was coaxed into leaping early by Derek Carr’s difficult count– keeping alive a drive that ended with a Raiders basket.
Up: Always the gunslinger. Lock’s desire to let it rip can be discouraging (see the 4 interceptions, including one into triple coverage downfield) and fun (back-to-back 20-plus-yard tosses to Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick on a drive that led to a basket). At the minimum, after the days of Case Keenum and Joe Flacco, it’s entertaining.
Down: Broncos screen plays. Nine video games in, and we’re still waiting to see a successful screen play out of Pat Shurmur. The Broncos offending organizer called one up for Fant in the first quarter, however the tight end selected the wrong lane, opting against open field to the outdoors and cutting back to the middle for no gain.
Up: Jerry Jeudy vs. Henry Ruggs. Few things were more on brand during the 2020 NFL draft than the Raiders drafting the fastest guy at the combine (Ruggs), rather of the smooth path runner with supreme pas-catching abilities (Jeudy). The final tally in the former Alabama teammates’ very first meeting: Jeudy four catches-68 backyards, Ruggs 3-31.
Down: Especially bad. Note to Diontae Spencer: You’re expected to run forward on kickoff returns, not reverse field two times prior to you reach the 10. Keep In Mind to Davontae Harris: You’re supposed to block for your punt returner, not tackle him. Note to Tom McMahon: May be time to start upgrading that resume.
Up: Allegiant Stadium. The Raiders got this place right. Terrific natural light through the roof. A view of ‘The Strip’ through windows of one end line. It’s the opposite of the Oakland Coliseum.
Down: Slot machines. The pandemic hasn’t stopped the one-armed bandits from requiring travelers to make a donation to the Las Vegas economy. Start with $20 and the machine teases you with a couple of wins up to $25 prior to dropping the (losing) hammer.
Up: Playing surface. The Raiders play inside at Allegiant Stadium but owner Mark Davis was adamant he wanted a natural turf field. What the owner desires, the owner gets. Well done, Mark.
Down: No fans. In August, Davis said if his 8,000 individual seat license holders in the first 8 rows of the stadium couldn’t attend, no fan would. Bad move. Simply provide the PSL folks brand-new seats and change the costs.