Friday, July 11, 2014





Broncos, Raiders are miles apart


February 19. 2013 8:48PM
Story Tools
PrintPrint | E-MailEMail | SaveSave | Hear Generate QR Code QR
Send to Kindle


OAKLAND, Calif. — Just a year ago, Denver and Oakland went to the end of the season in the race for the AFC West title, with the Broncos edging the Raiders for first place on the final day by winning a three-team tiebreaker with San Diego.


Now the teams couldn't be further apart.


The Broncos (9-3) are riding a seven-game winning streak into tonight's game in Oakland having already wrapped up the division title. They are spending the last month worried about playoff positioning and staying healthy for the postseason.


The Raiders (3-9) have lost five straight and have been eliminated from playoff contention for a 10th straight season as the franchise has regressed in the first year of the new regime led by general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen.


It's definitely disappointing. Coming into the season, we had a new GM, had a new coaching staff and it felt like the sky was the limit, but for some reason — obviously, we had a lot of injuries — but for some reason, we haven't been on the same page the whole season, Raiders defensive back Michael Huff said. The defense has had their struggles, the offense has their struggles at times, special teams had their struggles at time. It's like we haven't just put that complete game together yet. We're just trying to figure it out and find that perfect game.


The Broncos figured it out quickly after going 8-8 last year in their first season under front office boss John Elway and coach John Fox. The biggest change came when they acquired quarterback Peyton Manning to replace pedestrian passer Tim Tebow.


But nearly 20 other players acquired since Elway took over the football operations have started games this season, including standout defensive star Von Miller, who has 26 1/2 sacks in less than two seasons.


It's been a lot of hard work by a lot of people whether it's personnel department, the coaching staff, the players in the locker room, Fox said. As far as the offseason I know a lot was made of Peyton Manning, but we had a lot of other guys that have been big contributors to this football team as well. But, you know, anything worth a darn takes time to build and so we just in year two of that process.


The acquisition accelerated it. He has come back from a neck injury that sidelined him all last season to set a Denver record with 29 touchdown passes.


The addition of a dangerous passing game to complement a strong defense led by pass rushers Miller and Elvis Dumervil and a solid running game have made the Broncos legitimate contenders in the AFC.


They clinched the division last week and are tied with New England and Baltimore for second place in the conference and a first-round playoff bye.


I think our team realizes what a unique opportunity we have and we are trying to take advantage of it, Manning said. Those are the kind of guys you want to be around.


It might be natural for the Broncos to overlook the struggling Raiders team that hasn't led a game at any point the past four weeks, especially with a potentially key playoff positioning game the following week in Baltimore.


UP NEXT


Denver at Oakland


TV: 8 p.m. today


NFL Network



 
 


Comments
comments powered by Disqus Commenting Guidelines
Poll
Mortgage Minute


Search for New & Used Cars

Make 
Model
 
Used New All
 

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just the home you want!

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just what you need!

Search Pet Classifieds
Dogs Cats Other Animals



Social Media/RSS
Times Leader on Twitter
Times Leader on Youtube
Times Leader on Google+
The Times Leader on Tumblr
The Times Leader on Pinterest
Times Leader RSS Feeds