By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, October 24th, 2010 at 2:06 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Some observations and storylines from the first quarter of the Raiders-Broncos game in Denver:
If the Raiders have played a better all all-around quarter of football since they returned to Oakland in 1995, I can’t remember it.
– In the 34 games coached by Tom Cable going in to the Denver game, the Raiders scored 24 or more points seven times. They have 24 in the first quarter against the Broncos.
– Jared Veldheer makes up for a couple of false starts with a key block to spring Darren McFadden for a 40-yard run.
– The Raiders’ fast start probably ensures about 50-plus Kyle Orton passes today. Defensive backs had better stay near the oxygen tank during offensive possessions.
– On fourth-and-1, the Broncos pass. That tells you all you need to know about the Denver offense.
– Cable wanted to see turnovers and some routes jumped. He got it on the first play. Raiders go nickel on the first play, and much-maligned (and not completely undeserved) Chris Johnson takes it back 30 yards for a touchdown.
It was Oakland’s third interception of the season and second by a defensive back. Stanford Routt has the other.
Michael Huff gets a positive forced fumble verdict to set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Darren McFadden.
Three field goals in four quarters against the 49ers. Three touchdowns in two offensive possessions against the Broncos.
– Anyone questioning the play-calling acumen of Hue Jackson on that first drive? Nine plays, 80 yards. A reverse, a read-option play. Finishes with a 43-yard pass to Zach Miller. About as nice of a drive as Raiders have executed all year.
– Still no Darrius Heyward-Bey on the reverse. It goes to Jacoby Ford instead this time for 6 yards and a first down.