From the pressbox: Broncos v Raiders

It was so fun last time, we’ll do it a again….

6:05p…….Just sat down with my press box burrito and “green chili”. We’ll see how it is. Ever notice how there’s flames everywhere on “Thunder-vision”? Silliness I know….and the Calvary has the color guard to day. I didn’t know there was a Calvary anymore. You learn something new everyday.

6:10p…….O.K. It’s not the Calvary anymore. It was the Ft. Carson Mounted Color Guard. The 17th Avenue All-Stars sang the National Anthem. That’s the good thing about night NFL games. The singers tend to be better than the regular afternoon anthem singers.

6 :16p…..And as always, the 6:15 start will actually begin sometime after 6:15. Gotta clear the smoke from the fireworks, I guess.

6:18p……The coin toss. Maybe Oakland’s best chance to win…but no. The Raiders pick heads and tails comes up. This IS a trap game for the Broncos. The Raiders seem to always play well in Denver. Hope not tonight.

6:20p…….The kickoff!!!! Broncos receive and…….it’s a touchback. 15:00 left to go in 1st quarter

6:23p…….CalBear is happy that the Raiders got throught the first minute of the game without getting scored upon (he’s a Raider/49’er fan…sad). Right then Tatum Bell with a big play. The screens aren’t working but Tatum looks good right now.

6:25p……Nice scramble by Jake Plummer who had a big ovation when introduced. Funny how winning makes everyone love you. 10:47 left in first quarter

6:27p……When Jake throws a bad one, it’s bad. Fourth down and punt by Paul Ernster. Ernster looks a lot smaller then Sauerbraun was. Must have been the steroids. A fair catch by the Raiders at the 17. 9:23 left in the first quarter

6:29p……Television timeouts are a lot more boring at the stadium….unless you have binoculars to watch the cheerleaders up close.

6:31p……That was quick. Kyle Johnson out with sprained ankle. Meanwhile Randy Moss gets Oakland their initial first down. 7:19 left in first quarter

6:32p…..The Broncos practice squad players sit near me in the press box. They can’t believe how wide open the Raiders are. I agree. run stopping looks good though. 5:57 left in first quarter

6:35p……A BIG sack…negated by a dumb hands to the face penalty. We were all wondering who Elvis Dumervil, who made the sack was. He’s a rookie out of Louisville. 4:10 left in the first quarter

6:38p……Bronco Defense almost had Lamont Jordan, but close is only good in horseshoes and handgrenades. Can’t stop making mistakes on third down. 2:36 left in first quarter

6:41p…..Another third down after an Oakland injury….now a timeout. Nice to see John Elway here tonight. This is a big third down for the Denver Defense. They haven’t been able to get off the field on the last couple of third downs. 1:46 left in first quarter

6:44p…..A long pass..Oh No Moss is open..but Lynch makes the play. A long field goal try is…….no good. Janikowski had plenty of leg though. 1:33 left in first quarter

6:47p…..A huge pass from Plummer to Javon Walker! 53 yards to take it to the two yard line. Green Bay has to miss Walker. I say it every week, but so does Brett Favre, most likely. I’m not sure anyone was expecting a scoreless first quarter, but if the Broncos don’t punch it in on first down, that’s exactly what we’ll have. :42 left in first quarter

6:50p…..Not to worry though, as Tatum Bell scores on first down. Broncos 7, Raiders 0 :39 seconds left in first quarter

6:53p…..Tee kid gets the biggest ovation of the night.

6:54p…..Back to the action…and a flag. A lot of those so far. The Raiders aren’t doing much at the end of the first quarter. Time to get another coke and see if there are cookies. The dinner was average, but the cookies in the press box rule! End of the first quarter

7:01p…..No cookies, but a good stop by the Broncos to start the second quarter. Broncos keep moving the chains, and the Raider penalties don’t help their cause. 11:20 left in the second quarter

7:04p…..I tell ya, the only thing stopping the Broncos from blowing out the Raiders is the Broncos. A 51 yard field goal, however, is nice to see. Jason Elam could go down as one of, if not the best, field goal kicker of all time. Broncos 10, Raiders 0 :10:09 left to go in second quarter

7:09p…..It’s loud here, and that causes a false start by Oakland. A fact: Invesco Field has much more metal in it than Mile High Stadium did in order to make it louder. Unfortunately, the fans at Invesco Field are much softer than the Mile High fans, but they are going at it tonight. Another false start penalty, followed by a sack. This Bronco defense is very good. 8:51 left in second quarter

7:15p…….A double reverse to Javon Walker for a big game. Ol’ Jake Plummer was out front blocking. Nice to see. Everyone in the press box thought so. 7:13 left in second quarter

7:17p……Oakland is getting flagged nearly every play. Terrible. CalBear is beside himself (I’m on his other side). Meanwhile, Tatum Bell is finally showing that he can be the feature back. He’s doing a really good job tonight. Broncos are looking to score again if Shanahan doesn’t keep getting conservative inside the five. But a TOUCH…oh no!!! Cecil Sapp dropped it! That ARRRGGGGHHHH you heard was all of Denver groaning. Sapp was wide open. But a field goal from Elam softens the blow a little. Broncos 13, Raiders 0 3:59 left in the second quarter

7:22p…..CalBear is complaining about the Bronco uniforms. Yes, they do look like blueberries, but he’s complaining about the numbers. He says they look like soccer numbers. I disagree, and anyhow, I’d rather have blueberry uniforms with a good team, rather than good uniforms and a bad, bad team. Oh, and another flag as the Broncos kick off. Take that CalBear. 3:10 left to go in second quarter

7:25p…….Andrew Walter is getting rattled by the noise. Had to burn a timeout. It really is loud, as loud as I’ve ever heard it here….Until the huge catch by Randy Moss. Thought it could have been pass interference, but both guys were fighting for it. Not touching him after he fell is inexcusable. Raiders finally driving, we’ll see for how long. 1st Half 2:00 minute warning

7:27p…..Ooooh Cookies!!!! Be right back

7:32p……reat interception by Champ Bailey!!! They’re reviewing it, but Champ had both feet inbounds. There is no one who wishes we still had Clinton Portis over Champ Bailey. What a steal! I’ll have to talk to Champ after the game. Great guy, great interview. 1:10 left in second quarter

7:34p…..Broncos kneel on the ball and take it in to the first half. Could, and should be a wider margin, but the Broncos defense continues to shine. I’ll take it. Let’s see what happens in the second half. I’m heading over to Resurrection Song to see what Zombyboy has to say. Broncos 13, Raiders 0 Halftime

7:48p…..Time for the second half. No word on whether Nikole or Jayime (real spellings) said yes to the marriage announcements on the “Thunder-vision” at halftime. Broncos kick off into the endzone. 15:00 left in third quarter

7:50p…..A long pass to Moss broken up by John Lynch. I sure wouldn’t want to get hit by Lynch.

7:51p…..I don’t know how Ian Gold missed Walter for a sack on third down. But a punt nonetheless. A great return…but a FUMBLE!!!! Oakland recovers. Not good Darrent! It looked like a great strip though. This could give the Raiders some life. 13:47 left in the third quarter

7:56p…..Another important 3rd down. A fumbled snap. Now a fight…broken up quickly. And the ever present “Raiders Suck” chant. Yes, we all know the Raiders suck. Now 4th and 1, and it’s a first down. The one problem with the Broncos Defense is the inability to get off the field after 3 downs. Will cause them problems down the road. 10:23 left in the third quarter

8:00p…..Darrent Williams has a big stop and a tackle on thwo straight plays. Looks like he’s trying to make up for the fumble.

8:01p……Andrew Walter is having a pretty good game, actually. Getting sacked by Demetrin Veal and then Patrick Chukwurah on back to back plays desn’t help. A field goal by Janikowski is…..good. (Can’t we get some Smiths or Jones’ in there? My fingers are hurting after writing those three last names) There goes the shut out. Denver has still only allowed one touchdown this year which is a remarkable statistic. Broncos 13, Raiders 3 7:11 left in third quarter

8:05p…..The kickoff and flags everywhere. At least three different flags were thrown. Yikes, that was bad.

8:06p…..Bad stat of the night….The Broncos offense hasn’t been on the field yet in the second half until now. CalBear’s favorite group, the Bronco Drum Squad, was seranading us during the break. 6:33 left in third quarter

8:09p…..Cecil Sapp gets a first down. Wish he’d made the catch on the same play in the first half.

8:13p…..Another pedestrian drive by the Broncos. They’re lucky that they have the defense they do. Ooooh look!!!! Cheerleaders! Sorry, what was that? Oh yeah, the offense. They need to score more than 13 if they want to win. How’s about a blowout fellas? Can you manage that? 2:59 left in third quarter

8:16p…..Did I mention the defense? Champ Bailey with a tackle in the backfield. Nice, but Lamont Warren is getting some big gains. It looks like the defense could be getting a little tired. Hear that “O”? They can’t because the stadium is so loud, causing another false start. It sure got quiet though, after Walter passes for a first down. And another false start…egad!!! :33 left in third quarter

8:20p……The Denver Defense gets off the field after harrassing Andrew Walter. Time to punt. Let’s hope Darrent Williams doesn’t fumble this one. Another false start. My Goodness. This has to be close to some sort of record.

8:22p…….What a punt by Shane Leckler! And the end of a pretty boring quarter. 984 no shows. That will get a boo when they announce it. Denver’s offense needs to do something. They move the ball in spurts, but don’t sustain drives. They’re a bit like American League hitting in baseball, standing around waiting for a 3-run home run. Can’t wait for big plays in football. End of third quarter

8:26p…..There’s Javon Walker again. Plays so strong. This offense needs to open it up a little. Even John Madden is calling them conservative. That’s a bit like Madden calling someone overweight. Ho Hum, another punt, and the defense is…..walking slowly back on the field. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Raiders put together a good drive on this possession. The defense is tired. The fans will need to continue their false start enducement right now. 12:04 left in fourth quarter

8:30p……And right on cue, false start. I love predicting stuff and have it happen.

8:31p……Through 3 quarters the Raiders have 11 penalties for 75 yards. The Broncos? 2 for 14. A big difference. Here comes that Raider drive. Moss moves the chains.

8:32p……Now Jordan has a 9 yard gain. The sure tackling Denver Defense is not tackling so well now. Another flag on the Raiders err Broncos. I can’t believe it! Raiders still driving. 9:01 left in fourth quarter

8:36 p……4th and 6 for the Raiders. A huge call, but the right one. They need to keep the Denver Defense on the field. A timeout, and then a bad incomplete as Moss zigged and Walter threw the zag. Can’t do that coming out of a timeout. 8:40 left in the fourth quarter

8:40p…….Someone below us started the “Raiders Suck” chant again. And no one disagrees in the press box.

8:41p……CalBear notes that no one is agreeing either. Details, details.

8:41p……The Broncos offense is stalling….again. Plummer gets sacked on third down. Another 3 and out, and I’m hearing a few boos in the stands. I’d boo to, if I could cheer in the press box. A punt by Ernster…and a flag. This one should go against the Broncos for Illegal Formation. Yep. The refs are just trying to make the Raiders feel better, I guess. 7:18 left in fourth quarter

8:46p…..Here come the Raiders again. The lack of rest by the Defense is really showing. If this were any team but the Raiders, the Broncos would be getting killed. I need to ask Jake about the stagnant offense….again. Now a big reception by Courtney Anderson takes the ball down to the Denver 29. 5:24 left in the fourth quarter

8:48p…..About time for me to go down to the field. A pass…and a FUMBLE!!! Michael Myers returns the ball and goes out of bounds. OOOH! A big, illegal hit by Gerard Warren. That’s gotta hurt. Second bad penalty on Warren tonight. Gotta go downstairs. Be back after interviews. 4:24 left in fourth quarter

9:54p…..Just got back up to the press room. Time for some final thoughts. A 13 – 3 Broncos win is nice, not spectacular but nice. Yes, the offense needs work, and yes, the defense can’t be expected to play this well all year, but this team is very, very good. The offense will come around. You can’t have players like Rod Smith, Javon Walker, and Tatum Bell playing like they are and not have a breakout game. As for the defense, they may not be historic all year, but they will continue to be very good. When Demetrin Veal and Elvis (Elvis?) Dumervil are getting pressure and sacks for you, you know you have something that most defenses don’t have, and that’s depth. When you have a deep defense, you can keep your guys fresh. then they can make more plays. Add to that, not just Champ Bailey, but Darrent Williams and Dominque Foxworth, playing great in the secondary, and you’ve got a great chance to win a lot of football games.

In short, worry about the offense, but not too much. And marvel at the defense, but don’t expect them to play like they are all year long. But know this, this team is 4-1 and we haven’t seen their best game yet. That’s scary. If the Broncos don’t get injured, expect this team to be in the mix in late December and early January.

Be sure to enjoy the ride.

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