Week 10 Game Recap: Denver Broncos 17, Oakland Raiders 13
What you need to know
RB Tatum Bell started for Denver in Week 10 against the Raiders, as last week’s starting RB Mike Bell was on the inactive list even though he was healthy. Once again, HC Mike Shanahan remained completely unpredictable in his RB rotation in Denver, creating headaches for all fantasy football players with Denver players.
RB Damien Nash was activated from the practice squad and spelled Tatum Bell in the backfield, along with RB Cecil Sapp. None of them were very effective, as they combined for 57 yards on 20 carries and each back averaged less than four yards per carry. Bell led all rushers with a paltry 37 yards on a team leading 14 carries.
QB Jake Plummer regressed to his old former self, the quarterback with a predilection towards throwing interceptions. Plummer had two turnovers in the first quarter, followed by a third early in the second half. His slow start to the game was buoyed only by second completion after eight attempts, a very nice catch and run by Week 9 MVP WR Javon Walker. Plummer managed the game better after his third miscue, working the ball underneath to TE Stephen Alexander, who led all Broncos with six catches along with 49 total yards.
DE Kenard Lang had two sacks and forced a fumble from QB Andrew Walter in the fourth quarter.
The Oakland offense continued to struggle, as the injured offensive line could not open up any running lanes for the four RBs used by the Raiders in Week 10. RBs Zach Crockett, LaMont Jordan and Justin Fargas combined for 25 carries but only 46 total yards. The lone highlight came on a one yard score for Jordan, who continues to get very few carries as a starter. Combined with RB ReShard Lee, the four RBs added five catches for 56 yards.
WR Randy Moss continued to be shut out of the end zone as tight Denver coverage afforded him just one catch for just eight yards. QB Andrew Walter targeted other receivers against Denver, connecting with nine different receivers for 214 total yards. WR Alvis Whitted and TE Randal Williams led the receivers with 53 and 61 yards, respectively.
PK Sebastian Janikowski tied his own franchise record with a 55 yard field goal in the second quarter. He also barely missed another 51 yarder just wide right in the third period.
The Oakland defense continues to contribute, as they intercepted Denver QB Jake Plummer three times in an effort to create short fields and stay close with the Broncos. DB Fabian Washington intercepted two passes as Nnamdi Asomugha caught another. DL Warren Sapp added two sacks.
What you ought to know
|QB Jake Plummer, Pass: 20 - 31 - 210 - 2 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 6 - 6 - 0|
Plummer went back to his old ways in Week 10, forcing throws and turning the ball over. After three weeks of no interceptions, Plummer threw three Sunday. Plummer looked terrible in the first quarter, completing just one of seven attempts, throwing two picks before connecting with WR Javon Walker for a 39 yard touchdown. Walker did most of the work, as he caught the ball at about the Raiders’ 29 yard line and ran it in from there.
Plummer continued his issues after halftime, throwing his third interception on Denver’s second possession of the third quarter. HC Mike Shanahan, in what appeared to be an effort to get Plummer back on track, had him targeting short throws and the tight end (in particular, Stephen Alexander) to methodically move the ball down the field and control the clock after the third interception. As Plummer settled down, he was able to work the ball more to his receivers and collect an easy second touchdown pass of one yard to fullback Kyle Johnson.
|RB Tatum Bell, Rush: 14 - 37 - 0, Rec: 1 - -2 - 0 (1 targets)|
Tatum Bell started for Denver in Week 10, but he was not very effective at all. He had two runs of nine yards each, and his other dozen carries added up to only 19 yards. Bell gained four yards or more just four times and picked up just two first downs on the ground.
Nash was activated off of the practice squad and played on a few series. He carried four times, rushing on two consecutive plays on two drives in each half. He gained seven yards on his first carry, but lost a yard on the next play in the second quarter. Nash’s second opportunity came in the third quarter and he picked up four yards two plays in a row. Nash was also supposed to get a goal line carry in the fourth quarter from the four, but the exchange between Plummer and Nash was fumbled (Nash did recover).
Nash added a two yard catch in the third quarter but it was negated by a penalty.
|RB Cecil Sapp, Rush: 2 - 6 - 0, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (1 targets)|
Sapp had two carries in the second half, gaining all of his six yards on the second attempt. He also succeeded in gaining a first down on the second carry.
Sapp also had one catch in the second quarter for nine yards on his only target.
Johnson caught two passes on two targets in the fourth quarter for a total of five yards. His first catch was from the Oakland one yard line, and Johnson reeled in a short toss for the touchdown.
Mike Bell was a healthy scratch in Week 10.
Smith had a relatively quiet game, catching one ball in every quarter. He caught both of his first half targets, one for nine yards in the first quarter and the other for 12 yards and a first down on the final play of the first half. His third target was good for a 15 yard pickup and a first down in the third quarter, but his next target was intercepted by Oakland. Smith nearly scored on his fifth and final target, a short three yard catch where he rolled to the one foot line just outside the Oakland end zone.
Jackson got into the mix in the fourth quarter, where Plummer targeted him three times. Jackson caught all three, starting with his longest, a 24 yard gain for a first down. He added nine more yards on his second catch, but failed to gain any ground on his third.
Walker had a much calmer day after his explosive game in Week 9, despite being the most targeted Bronco in Week 10. Walker was heavily guarded and defended by a swarming Raider secondary, which also was responsible for intercepting the first ball that went in Walker’s direction in the first quarter. The first catchable target for Walker was his fourth, and he made the most of it by catching it for a ten yard pickup then wheeling quickly and dashing the final 29 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Walker had one more catchable ball in the fourth quarter, and again he took advantage of it and gained 23 yards and a first down. His eighth and final pass that came to him was intercepted, or at least appeared to be, but was not validated by instant replay. It did not matter much as Denver had to punt on the next play.
Kircus had just one catch despite three targets in the first half. He dropped a short five yard pass on third and short on the opening possession, costing the Broncos a first down and forcing a three and out. He was later targeted about 15 yards deep down the middle in the second quarter but the ball sailed to high. Kircus caught his third target for a 15 yard gain and a first down just before the half.
Kircus also served as the Denver punt returner, which was almost a costly mistake. Kircus fumbled a punt at the Broncos’ 20 and lost it to Oakland, but a penalty wiped out the turnover.
Alexander was heavily involved in the second half of the game, catching three of his six receptions after halftime. The solid ending to his performance overcame his first target, where he was the intended receiver of an underthrown pass from Plummer that was intercepted. His second target was a throwaway from Plummer, but his next six were all converted for catches and positive yardage. Alexander caught six balls in all for 49 yards, including two of 16 and 15 yards that both picked up first downs.
Elam made all of his Week 10 kicks, starting with two extra points. He added a 24 yard field goal in the fourth quarter on his only field goal attempt.
The Raiders were shut down entirely on the ground, gaining only 46 yards on 26 attempts. Denver allowed only four first downs on the ground, with the only blemish coming as a one yard touchdown by RB LaMont Jordan.
DE Kenard Lang had two sacks and forced a fumble from QB Andrew Walter in the fourth quarter, a critical series of events that protected the Denver lead. Despite Walter having over 200 yards, the Broncos did not allow any completions in the end zone. The Broncos managed just three sacks and no interceptions.
|QB Andrew Walter, Pass: 18 - 33 - 214 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0|
Walter tried to manage the game as best he could, and he had far more time in the pocket than in Week 9 where Seattle sacked him nine times. Walter could not, however, find anyone open enough to get the ball moving in the red zone and get scores for Oakland. Despite connecting on five passes for 20 yards or more, Walter could not get the offense moving enough to put up more than just one touchdown. He completed just over half of his pass attempts for 214 yards and to nine different Raiders, but was unable to hit anyone in the end zone.
In the critical fourth quarter, Walter was sacked and fumbled and then proceeded to fumble away the ball and the game on the next series. He was unable to grasp the snap and lost the ball for the final time.
Jordan had his lowest ever number of carries as a starting RB last week (Week 9) when he ran only nine times. Unfortunately for him, it seems he had his second lowest this week, getting only 10 carries. As a result of the inactivity and a decimated offensive line, Jordan had trouble gaining any yards on most of his carries. He was often hit in the backfield before he could even begin to look for a hole, but there usually was not one to see. Jordan had one positive in the first half, gaining one important yard for a one yard touchdown plunge in the first quarter.
Jordan later added his two longest runs on his final two carries, picking up five and three yards in the third quarter. His longest play, however, was in the second quarter on a pretty screen play that gained 21 yards and a first down. Jordan had one other target but it was uncatchable due to pressure on QB Walter.
Fargas was involved in a committee approach to an Oakland run game, and he was not up to the challenge. He gained positive yardage on only three of his eight rushes and finished further behind than he started, losing a net six yards in all. His only positive play for Week 10 came on a short pass that he grabbed and ran for 21 yards and a first down in the second quarter.
Crockett was used in a committee ground game effort in Week 10. He took a few inside handoffs in the first half, picking up 17 and 11 yards on two of those misdirection types of run plays. He had five carries for 37 yards in the first half as a result, but was only able to gain three more yards on two touches in the second half.
Crockett had three first half targets, but only one was catchable. He converted it for a short four yard gain.
Lee caught two short passes of five yards each on three targets. The third ball was thrown too high. Lee also picked up a first down on his first five yard catch in the second quarter.
Whitted was the leading wide receiver and most targeted Raider in Week 10, catching four balls for 53 total yards. His yardage was only surpassed by TE Randal Williams. Most of his yardage came on a 33 yard deep pass in the third quarter, the longest play of the game for the Raiders. He added a short four yard catch in the first period along with a five yarder in the fourth to go with his fourth catch of 11 yards in the second quarter. Two of the three incomplete targets were uncatchable, and the third was batted away by a defender.
Curry caught two short passes in Week 10. His first catch was for five yards in the first quarter, and he added a six yarder on his second target in the fourth period.
Moss once again failed to find the end zone, something he has not seen since Week 7. He caught just one of his five targets, a short eight yard catch in the second quarter. Only one of the other passes was catchable, a short pass that hit him on the hands as he reached behind him on an out pattern. The ball was thrown behind him, but it was a possible reception. None of the other three were close enough to Moss to make any possible play on them.
Williams played very well in Week 10, racking up the most yards of any Raider via the air game. Williams caught five passes, all of ten or more yards, starting with catches of 11 and ten yards in the first quarter. He added two ten yard catches, one each in the second and third periods, capped by another third quarter catch of 20 yards. He converted three of the catches for first downs. Only one of his targets, the very first, was catchable, and he dropped that short pass of about five yards. Overall, Williams redeemed himself for that drop to be the most productive receiver against the Broncos.
Rookie John Madsen from Utah caught one pass for 25 yards and a first down in the second quarter. It was his lone target in Week 10.
Anderson was targeted twice but was not a factor in the game.
Janikowski connected on his first field goal try, a booming kick of 55 yards. He tied a franchise record with that field goal, tying himself with that long score. He later added a 20 yard field goal but missed a 51 yard attempt that had plenty of leg but sailed wide right. Janikowski also converted his only extra point attempt to finish with seven points.
Denver was ineffective on the ground, gaining only 63 yards and just three first downs via the run. RB Tatum Bell led the way with a paltry 37 yards on 14 tries.
The Oakland defense continues to contribute, as they intercepted Denver QB Jake Plummer three times in an effort to create short fields and stay close with the Broncos. DB Fabian Washington intercepted two passes as Nnamdi Asomugha caught another. DL Warren Sapp added two sacks. Plummer still managed to complete over 60% of his passes and get over 200 yards and two touchdowns.