It was the 100th meeting between the Raiders and Broncos, and to celebrate, it looked for a time as if the Raiders were looking to celebrate by scoring 100 points.
The Raiders experienced life on the other side Sunday, throwing the knockout punch instead of absorbing it as they have so often in the last seven years.
They liked being Foreman a lot better than playing Frazier.
“The offensive linemen, their eyes were like this,” defensive tackle Tommy Kelly told reporters, making huge circles with his fingers in the aftermath of an unfathomable 59-14 beat-down of the Broncos in Denver. “Big. I told Big Rich (Seymour), `If we score one more time, they’re going to quit.’ And that’s how it played out. It was 14-0.
“After the offense rolled down there and got that next touchdown, you could see it in their eyes. I’ve been on the other side, so trust me, I know what it looks like. They were like, `What the (bleep) is going on?’ And they didn’t recover. We kept our foot on the gas. I’m happy about that.”
Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha concurred.
“Most guys looked like they were beaten,” Asomugha said. “In the fourth quarter, you could tell that we had imposed something on them that they had never seen before, and they weren’t used to. That’s good. There’s times in the pas where we’ve been on the other end of it and to see another team going through that made us feel like we’ve arrived.”
More news, notes, quotes (provided by the Broncos and those in attendance) and observations from the most remarkable Raiders win in recent memory:
– Raiders coach Tom Cable spoke directly to the fans when he arrived at the podium for his postgame press conference.
“Raider Nation, hear me, I hope you get this, we need you in those stands supporting us,” Cable said. “We need to have a great twelfth man from here on in because we’re doing our part and it’s coming together.”
There’s still that issue of not having won back-to-back games since the close of the 2008 season _ the only time in Cable’s 12-23 tenure that it’s happened _ but the coach vowed there won’t be a swoon of the sort that came in San Francisco after the win over San Diego.
“We’re not going to let down,” Cable said. “We learned a lot, we’ve been learning a lot, and we’re moving forward. We’re not going to let down. We’re going to go after this.”
– If the stock market ever had a three week period like Jason Campbell’s quarterback rating, people would have been jumping out of windows only to realize they would have been rich again the following week. Campbell completed 12 of 20 passes for 204 yards with no interceptions and a pair of touchdowns, a 43-yarder to Zach Miller against a blown Denver coverage and a 19-yard pass to Darren McFadden.
To review, Campbell had the second-highest rating of his career, 117.6 against San Diego, followed by the lowest of his career. 10.7, against the 49ers, followed by the highest of his career, 127.9 against the Broncos.
“Last week I came out playing extremely hard early on but sometimes things don’t go right because we got only field goals, and you start to press a little more, and you just can’t do that in the NFL,” Campbell said.
Regarding his sore left knee, Campbell said he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to play Wednesday, had a slight improvement Thursday, then felt much better Friday.
– The last time McFadden broke into the clear as much as he did against Denver, he wound up tying up like a 400-meter runner, getting run down from behind and suffering from turf toe the rest of his rookie season.
Not so against the Bronco, as McFadden had a career-high 165 yards on 16 carries and scored four touchdowns, three on rushes one on a reception.
McFadden’s 57-yard touchdown run surpassed the 50-yard burst in his second game against Kansas City, when he rushed for 164 yards on 21 carries. He didn’t score on that run, however.
For the last two weeks, McFadden has ben out with a right hamstring injury, and on Wednesday, said he was 70-30 to play _ not exactly a sure thing when considering most players say they’re raring to go even when they’re aren’t.
“It’s something that you just try to block out of your mind and go out there and play ball,” McFadden said. “I just wanted to come in and pick up where I left off.”
Even with the two missed games, McFadden has a career-high 557 yards rushing after getting 499 last 357 last season and 499 as a rookie.
For any of you thinking of dropping me an e-mail for fantasy football advice, I offered the expert opinion this week to one fantasy site this week that McFadden would probably play a secondary role to Michael Bush, given that he has been out two weeks with a hamstring injury.
– Hue Jackson said Thursday his biggest issue with the game plan in the loss to the 49ers was execution, not play-calling.
Jackson got more execution that he could have imagined against Denver, but he also had a much more creative game plan. He called for reverses at the right time, implemented a read option series that was seen during minicamps but hasn’t been used extensively during the regular-season, and generally had the Broncos confused and off-balance all day.
He even had an unbalanced line that had Miller essentially playing as an uncovered tackle.
The Raiders broke some of their own tendencies, running out of passing formations and vice-versa.
“They did a lot of things that were new for them this week,” Denver coach Josh McDaniels said.
The offensive coordinator learned a few lessons the hard way last week and aced his test today.
According to Campbell, Jackson also helped ease his mind with a phone call to his home Friday night.
“He said, `J, in order for this team to go where we want to go, you need to be great,” Campbell said. “Not just good, but great. But just play the game _ don’t worry about being perfect. Sometimes you feel like you’ve got to be perfect on every throw.
“Just let all that go and play the game. Let the game come to you and make some throws. Make some throws, miss some throws but don’t feel like you have to be perfect.”
– McDaniels was so complimentary to the Raiders all week came off as insincere and were used as motivation by the Raiders offensive line.
“Some of the comments their coach had made, he was trying to floff us up during the week about last year how physical we were,” left guard Robert Gallery said. “There was some sarcasm in some of those comments. We knew we had to come out, do our thing and show them. We did that.”
– Cable talked at length Friday about the Raiders’ problems with turnovers being a lack of aggression. Nickel back Chris Johnson responded in a positive manner immediately when he stole a Kyle Orton pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown for a 14-0 Raiders lead just eight seconds after the Raiders had scored on a 43-yard Jason Campbell to Miller pass on the opening drive.
It set the tone for the rest of the day.
“I saw Orton looking the whole time, I didn’t think he was really going to throw it and when he threw it, I said, `Well, this is going to be the first (touchdown) of my career,” so I jumped it and took it to the house,” Johnson said.
Said Johnson: “We feel that if we get up and press you, do what we need to do, there aren’t too many people that can mess with us. They have a great receiving corps and if you play off them and give them time, they’ll kill you. So we said at practice we were going to be aggressive with them. The D-line got a couple sacks and we got a pick so it all worked out for the best.”
– Oakland’s quick lead provided the spark the Raiders needed to follow through on a promise by the defense to take matters into their own hands.
“We didn’t want to let an offense dictate what we were going to do; we were going to dictate to them,” Mitchell said. “And I think we did that from teh very first snap to the last snap. We put pressure on the quarterback. We got hits on him. We didn’t let him get comfortable.”
Unlike Kelly and Asomugha, Mitchell said the Broncos didn’t cash it in.
“They never quit this entire game,’ Mitchell said. “We had a great game plan for them and we able to just pour it on them. But did they ever quit? No. (Knowshon) Moreno’s a hell of a running back and he kept going the entire game. You could see it, even at the end, trying to get touchdowns, trying to get yards. We had to keep it up the whole game.”
– Samson Satele left the the game with a concussion, which meant that Jared Veldheer, who helped open some gaping holes for McFadden, moved to the middle after starting at left tackle. Wide receiver Louis Murphy re-injured his clavicle, and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey started the game but didn’t play long because he was “ill,” according to Cable.
Return specialist Nick Miller got his first playing time as a wide receiver and snagged a perfectly thrown 32-yard pass from Campbell in the second half for his first professional reception _ just a yard shy of Heyward-Bey’s longest catch.
“It felt good, man. It felt good,” Miller said. “It’s unfortunate that guys had to go down but I had to step up and it felt good to be in there.”
– McDaniels seemed to realize the Broncos had lost more than just a game. It was a defeat of historical proportions in a 100-game rivalry.
“You get one chance a week to put our name on something for the three hours we play and coach on Sunday, and our name is going to forever be put on this game,” McDaniels said. “None of us are proud of it, but we’re a part of it, and those of us who are a part of the problem will have to be part of the solution.
McDaniels said, “I apologize to Pat (Bowlen), the organization, the fans, everybody else. That was awful.”
– The Raiders were 5-for-6 in the red zone after coming up empty twice last week against the 49ers. They also recovered their only fumble (they’ve had 17 fumbles this year and have lost only two _ must be that recovering-their-own-fumbles drill).
– I’ve long maintained that while penalties are annoying, they were never the difference when the Raiders were good. They’re only the difference when the Raiders are bad.
Submitted for evidence _ the Raiders had 10 penalties for 94 yards against the Broncos and won by 45 points. They lead the NFL in both penalties and penalty yards.