Originally published on SBReport.net on Dec. 7, 2012
Frustration continues to build in the Raiders organization as the continued the losing as they fell to the Denver Broncos 23-16 on Thursday night to extend their current losing streak to six games.
“Extremely frustrating to rack up this many losses in a row and in the fashion we’ve done. It is just extremely frustrating.”
The Raiders defense struggled in the beginning of the game as Peyton Manning carved up the defense for scores on Denver’s first three drives. Manning took advantage of the Raiders deferring to the second half by driving down the field 68 yards in 10 plays resulting in a touchdown pass to a wide open tight end Joel Dreesen in the end zone to start the game off with a touchdown.
Manning used two more 10-play drives that each resulted in just field goals to give the Broncos the early 13-0 lead.
While Manning was orchestrating scoring drive, Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer was struggling to get the ball moving.
In what seems to be summing up his Raiders career, Palmer followed up a perfect throw with an imperfect throw. Palmer found rookie wide receiver Rod Streater for a 58-yard gain on a perfect ball into Broncos territory. As pretty as the throw was, the next throw was just the opposite. On the very next play, Palmer threw behind tight end Brandon Myers and was intercepted by veteran rookie Champ Bailey.
The interception marked Palmer’s ninth game in a row with an interception, the most of any Raiders quarterback in franchise history.
Oakland wasn’t able to score until the two-minute warning of the first half on a great call from offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. Palmer faked a throw to the right but came back left to find running back Darren McFadden on a screen pass that allowed him to walk into the endzone to bring the deficit to just 13-7.
It was McFadden’s first game back after missing the past four weeks due to a high-ankle sprain, though the running back did leave the game after tweaking the same ankle late in the game. McFadden finished with just 11 carries for 52 yards, thanks to a 36-yard run he broke loose to start the third quarter.
It appeared that the Raiders would have gained the momentum after a goal line stand that forced a field goal, but the tables quickly turned.
After return man Mike Goodson took out a deep kickoff to only the eight-yard line, Broncos pass rushing specialist Von Miller was able to get around right tackle Khalif Barnes to force the fumble on Palmer and Denver recovered on the Raiders’ two-yard line. The Raiders were unable to stop them this time as Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno rushed the ball into the endzone to put the Broncos up 23-7.
“[Miller] got a good pass rush and being in that situation, backed up like that, I’ve got to throw the ball out of bounds,” Palmer said of his fumble. “I didn’t have the guy that I wanted to throw it to open and I tried to pull the ball back and throw it to another guy. Obviously, looking back on it now, I wish I would’ve just chucked it out of bounds.”
Barnes struggled much of the day against Miller, giving up a some pressures along with a false start and a couple of holding penalties.
“He’s a good player,” Barnes said of Miller following the game. “He’s real flexible and has a variety of good moves and is pretty good at what he does. He’s pretty elusive and he’s good in the run and he’s good in the pass.”
The Raiders were unable to overcome the deficit as they were only able to score one more touchdown during what was relatively garbage time.
With a little over five minutes remaining, Palmer found wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey who eluded a tackle and scampered 56 yards for the touchdown. After a failed two-point conversion, the score sat at what would become a final of 23-13.
The silver lining this week comes from the play of cornerback Phillip Adams, who took over for Michael Huff after he left with a wrist injury.
Adams had a couple of nice plays including an interception in the endzone on Manning. It appears that his play the last couple of weeks has caught the eye of Allen and warrants more playing time.
“I was real pleased with the way Phillip Adams played and Phillip has earned the right to get more playing time,” Allen said after the game.
Allen returned to Oakland to coach the game Thursday night after heading to the Dallas area to make the decision to take his father off of life support. As hard as it was for him, he believes that his father Grady would want him to be back with the team and coaching them.
“You know, I went home on Sunday and took my father off life support and that’s not easy to do. So, was it hard? Yeah, it was hard. But I know my father would want me to be here with this football team. And I wanted to be here with this football team. I’m sure you guys can imagine that wasn’t an easy situation.”
Allen noted that he has received a great deal of support from the team, the organization, and from all over the NFL.