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Broncos Stampede Raider Nation

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Raiders’ struggles worsen with three consecutive losses and no answers

Broncos 31, Raiders 3


By Gary Montgomery

Oakland - The Raider Nation hasn’t seen a day like this in a long time ...maybe never before.

The dreaded Denver Broncos rolled into the Nation, handed the football to Ruben Droughns and set him loose.

When it was all said and done Droughns had ripped the Raiders for 176 rushing yards and a touchdown on 38 carries.

Quarterback Jake Plummer threw in 190 yards passing and 3 touchdowns giving the Broncos a 31-3 victory and a 2 game lead in the AFC West.

Droughns 38 carries was a Denver regular game franchise record and his second straight 100 yard game. “After last weeks performance, I didn’t want anybody to doubt I could do it again” said Droughns.

The game was over by halftime and the Raider Nation voiced its displeasure, booing every time the offensive unit took the field Most of the boos were directed squarely at quarterback Terry Collins “I understand that’s part of it. When a team is struggling like we are right now, when the offense is struggling , the quarterback usually gets the blame for it,” Droughs said.

Actually the Raiders could pass out blame like poker chips. There would be plenty enough to go around.

Oakland (2-4) was never in the game beyond the first quarter. The Broncos had 444 total yards to the Raiders 145.

More troubling, quarterback Terry Collins threw another interception, giving him a total of 8 since replacing injured starter Rich Gannon against Tampa on September 26th.

Denver’s top rated defense showed why it holds the number one power ranking in the NFL. It held the the Raiders to just 31 total yards rushing on 16 attempts.

Raider head coach Norv Turner seemed a little puzzled at how thoroughly Denver had dominated his team. “What we are doing is not that effective, I think we did some good things, but obviously we need to do better”. said Turner.

With three consecutive losses Turner’s inaugural season is shaping up like Bill Callahan’s last one ended.

The last time Denver beat the Raiders by 28 was in their second meeting of the 1997 season. The Broncos went on to win their first NFL Championship beating Green Bay in Superbowl XXXII 31-24.

By most accounts, Sunday’s performance was one of the most embarrassing ever witnessed by fans of the Silver and Black. “Its not the scheme its the skill. Skill wins football games. Said Warren Sapp when asked about Denver’s zone blocking technique, “This is a game of skill, we are not playing with skill”. We are not transferring what we’ve learned on the practice field and in the classroom to the game.”

After suffering a complete meltdown in a every statistical category of the game the Raiders are in obvious trouble.

With Rich Gannon lost for the season Turner’s challenge is to reinstate Collins confidence and get the offensive productive, the defense will follow.

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