|Other Week 15 Game Recaps|
|ARI at DET||ATL at NYJ||CHI at BAL||CIN at SD||CLE at KC||DAL at NO||GB at PIT||HOU at STL|
|IND at JAX||MIA at TEN||MIN at CAR||NE at BUF||NYG at WAS||OAK at DEN||SF at PHI||TB at SEA|
Week 15 Game Recap: Oakland Raiders 20, Denver Broncos 19
|QB Charlie Frye, Pass: 9 - 17 - 68 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 26 - 0|
Frye started the game out against the Broncos and showed signs of rust early on. He threw an interception that looked more like a lame duck punt, and the pass was picked off by Champ Bailey when it returned from the stratosphere. However, on the last play of the first quarter Frye scrambled for 26-yards and the play seemed to make him more comfortable as the Raiders continued to drive and scored their first touchdown of the day a few plays after that run. Frye did a good job of keeping plays alive with his feet, and was throwing well on the run when under pressure. With a little over 11 minutes left in the 4th quarter Frye was hit hard by the Broncos defense and left the game with an apparent head injury.
|QB JaMarcus Russell, Pass: 5 - 11 - 47 - 1 TD / 0 INT|
When Russell entered the game in the 4th quarter for an injured Charlie Frye many felt that this substitution would seal the victory for the Broncos. Instead Russell led the Raiders to victory with a last minute touchdown pass to Chaz Schilens. The Raiders winning drive started with 3:29 left to play in the 4th quarter. The 10-play drive chewed up most of the remaining time, and Russell was calm under fire although his first 3 passes fell incomplete. The drive seemed to stall early when the big quarterback hit his reserve tight end Tony Stewart for a gain of 11 yards on a 4th down and 10. Russell moved around behind the line of scrimmage to keep the plays alive and did a good job of stepping up in the pocket to buy extra time to throw. The game winner came on a rub route where rookie Alphonso Smith was unable to react quick enough to stop Schilens. Russell's pass hit Schilens in stride and the much maligned quarterback got the win for his team.
|QB J.P. Losman, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 0 INT|
When Russell went down with an injury Losman entered the game for one play. The UFL championship winning QB was promptly sacked by the Denver defense, and Russell returned on the following play.
|RB Michael Bush, Rush: 18 - 133 - 1, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (2 targets)|
Michael Bush came into the game because of the injury to Justin Fargas and ran tough. The Broncos did not have an answer for the big back, and Bush was frequently getting to the second level of the defense. The Raiders were using simple misdirection plays to get big gains from Bush as the Broncos defense lacked discipline against the run. Bush is surprisingly fast for a big man, and that speed/quickness combination seemed to catch the Broncos off guard.
|RB Darren McFadden, Rush: 12 - 74 - 0|
McFadden had a good day against the Broncos, but a bigger day was there for him. His fumble in the 3rd quarter gave the Broncos some momentum and led to their only touchdown drive of the game. He ran hard and showed good explosiveness on his runs to the outside. McFadden could have scored a touchdown on the first play of the 4th quarter but instead the Broncos won the goalline stand on a 4th down carry from the 3-yard line. Had McFadden used his speed to get to the outside he could have walked into the end zone. Instead he tried to turn upfield, lower his head and was stuffed by Mario Haggan and Andra Davis.
|RB Justin Fargas, Rush: 3 - 8 - 0|
Fargas started the game for the Raiders, but was unable to finish because of a knee injury he sustained early on. Raiders head coach Tom Cable said after the game that the injury was not serious and Fargas could have returned to the lineup.
|RB Luke Lawton, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (1 targets)|
Lawton was targeted with one short pass on the right side and hauled it in for a gain of 1-yard. He spent most of the game blasting open holes for the Raiders ground game.
|WR Chaz Schilens, Rec: 5 - 37 - 1 (7 targets)|
Schilens' return has meant good things for this Raiders passing game. He caught the game winning touchdown catch on a rub route where he was able to get open against rookie cornerback Alphonso Smith. Schilens could have had another touchdown earlier in the game, but that pass was stripped from his hands by another rookie cornerback -- this time it was Tony Carter with the coverage. The Broncos seemed to have problems with Schilens throughout the game and he provided a consistent target for both Charlie Frye and JaMarcus Russell.
|WR Louis Murphy, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (7 targets)|
Murphy only had a couple of catches on Sunday and was sometimes matched up against All-Pro Champ Bailey. Charlie Frye targeted Murphy once deep against Bailey, but the pass fell incomplete. Emotions ran high in this game, and late in the game the rookie lost his composure after an incomplete pass and spiked the ball in front of the sideline official. The Raiders were hit with a delay of game penalty, and the rookie heard about it from his coach Tom Cable on the sidelines.
|WR Johnnie Lee Higgins, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (7 targets)|
The Raiders tried to use Higgins blazing speed against rookie cornerback Tony Carter on Sunday. The rookie held his own for the most part, and thus Higgins was limited to only one catch against the Broncos.
|TE Tony Stewart, Rec: 3 - 27 - 0 (3 targets)|
Stewart got to start for the injured Zach Miller and came up big when his team needed it the most. With time running out on a 4th down and 10 Stewart caught a short pass over the middle from JaMarcus Russell and was able to turn upfield for a gain of 11 yards. It wasn't his only catch of the day, but by far the biggest. The very next play went back to Stewart as the Raiders were exploiting his mismatch against linebacker Wesley Woodyard. Two of his three receptions on the day were on that final drive as he was Russell's most trusted target.
|TE Brandon Myers, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets)|
Myers saw an increase in playing time because of the injury to Zach Miller. He backed up Tony Stewart and played a role as a blocker when the Raiders pounded it on the ground. His lone reception came in the first half as the Raiders were working out of the shotgun. Myers was able to haul in a short pass against linebacker D.J. Williams.
|QB Kyle Orton, Pass: 19 - 34 - 278 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 11 - 0|
The Broncos had Orton rolling out to his right early and often on Sunday. Orton's not the best quarterback when throwing on the run, but seemed more comfortable on bootlegs then he did earlier in the year. The Raiders pass rush got to Orton later in the game, and several key passes fell incomplete as Orton was flustered. Because the Broncos have been struggling in short yardage situations they decided to run a few quarterback sneaks with Orton which were not successful. Orton had one touchdown pass on the day where he kept the play alive by stepping up in the pocket before he found Brandon Marshall in the end zone. However, after a 63-yard gain by Brandon Stokley that got the Broncos down to the 2-yard line Orton could not connect on a touch pass to tight end Tony Scheffler in the end zone. The play calling was questionable by the Broncos, but the execution just wasn't there for the passing game. Orton failed to put in a consistent performance for the second week in a row.
|RB Knowshon Moreno, Rush: 19 - 42 - 0, Rec: 3 - 39 - 0 (7 targets)|
Knowshon Moreno showed little patience when running against a motivated Raiders defense on Sunday. Once again the rookie seemed to be running a little out of control, and was dancing too much in the backfield. When he did gain positive yardage a simple arm tackle would most often bring him down. It seems like Moreno is looking for a big play on every carry instead of simply lowering his head and taking what the defense gives him. He averaged barely over 2 yards per carry against a team that had been getting gashed on the ground all season long. The rookie again struggled in pass protection, and was failing to chip oncoming rushers which lead to more pressure for his quarterback Kyle Orton. Moreno has the confidence of his head coach, but the fan base is quickly starting to question whether or not he was worth the #12 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.
|RB LaMont Jordan, Rush: 5 - 27 - 0 (2 targets)|
With Correll Buckhalter inactive for the game against the Raiders, head coach Josh McDaniels turned to the veteran back to be the change of pace runner behind Knowshon Moreno. Jordan did more carries than his counterpart, but failed to move the chains when he was targeted on a crucial 3rd down on Denver's next to last drive.
|RB Peyton Hillis|
Hillis was on the sideline for most of this game, and Broncos fans are wondering why he is not getting more opportunity as the short yardage woes continue in Denver.
|WR Brandon Marshall, Rec: 7 - 73 - 1 (9 targets)|
The Broncos know that in order to move the ball through the air they must target Brandon Marshall early and often. It's a recipe they've used nearly every week, and Sunday against the Raiders was no different. Marshall once again led the team in receptions and receiving yards, but was curiously not targeted when the Broncos could have put the game away. With the ball at the Raiders 2-yard line Kyle Orton instead looked to tight end Tony Scheffler twice with both passes falling incomplete. That situation is perfect for Marshall's jump ball skills, but the team decided to go another way. The lone touchdown of the day for the Broncos did come from Brandon Marshall earlier in the game. Marshall ran a slant to the inside and found the Raiders in a zone. He simply found a soft spot in the middle of the field, sat down and opened up his hands for Kyle Orton.
|WR Eddie Royal, Rec: 3 - 28 - 0 (4 targets)|
With the Raiders defense so focused on Brandon Marshall it opened an opportunity for Eddie Royal to have a big day. That day never materialized as Royal continued to struggle with reading zone/man coverage on option routes. The Broncos tried to involve him early on a wide receiver screen, but the Raiders sniffed the play out and tackled Royal for a 3-yard loss.
|WR Brandon Stokley, Rec: 2 - 67 - 0 (2 targets)|
Stokley had the biggest play of the day for the Broncos when he caught an inside slant and found himself staring at a wide open field. He raced for a 63-yard gain, but was tackled from behind at the Raiders 4-yard line. It was a horse collar tackle, so the Raiders were penalized and the ball then moved to the 2-yard line. It was a huge play for the Broncos, and Stokley's second reception of the game.
|WR Jabar Gaffney, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (3 targets)|
Gaffney was not that involved in the gameplan on Sunday, but did manage to get one short catch in the middle of the field. Kyle Orton targeted Gaffney a couple of more times, including on a deep pass but the football fell incomplete.
|TE Tony Scheffler, Rec: 2 - 48 - 0 (5 targets)|
Most of Scheffler's receiving yards came on the last play of the game when Denver was desperately trying to get into field goal position. He hauled in a deep pass from Kyle Orton but time ran off the clock before the Broncos could spike the football and stop the clock. Scheffler was targeted a couple of times in the end zone, but was unable to secure either of those passes.
|TE Daniel Graham, Rec: 1 - 15 - 0 (2 targets)|
Graham did a nice job of hauling in his lone pass of the day. He secured the ball and then gained a few yards after the catch. Graham was primarily used as a blocker for the ground game.