It was a tight race, but the Oakland Raiders’ 59-point performance against Denver on Sunday was the winner of our “you pick it” AFC west storyline contest this week.
Oakland set a franchise records for points in the 59-14 win over Denver. The other candidates were Oakland running back Darren McFadden rushing for 165 yards and scoring four touchdowns in the game after missing the past two games with a hamstring injury and Kris Brown missing a 50-yard field goal in the final seconds in a 3-point loss to New England. Brown replaced Nate Kaeding, who is missing some time with a groin injury.
The story of Oakland’s domination barely beat the McFadden story. I think the McFadden story was a sidebar to the bigger picture. Anytime you beat a division foe by 45 points on the road, it’s a huge deal.
Below are some of your responses. Thanks to everyone who participated:
Micah from Olympia: This week's storyline has to be about McFadden. Not just his performance against Denver, but his perfomance overall in 2010. He's showing that he has the mettle to work hard and compete (despite being a top-5 draft pick, one could argue). I'm excited to see what the rest of the season holds for him. He's looking like a player that you tune in just to watch play.
Joe from San Francisco: RUN DMC!!! The word "bust" was being thrown around when you discussed Darren McFadden prior to the start of the season. That can be put to rest. He sat out two games and came back against the Broncos like a mad man. 196 total yards and 4 touchdowns. That is sick!!! He is moving into the elite class.
Ryan from Denver: Bill hands down it has to be the 59 points the Raiders layed on the Broncos. That is the most points they have ever scored and it came in a very important division game against the most hated rival. Mcfadden's return goes hand in hand with this beatdown so defintily is the 59 points scored as the story of the week! Go Raiders.
Matt from Jacksonville: As a Raiders fan it has to be Mcfaddens return. He has showed this year if he is healthy he can be a top 5 rusher in this league. He is running with power and has made a highlight year this year so far running through defenders. When the raiders decide to hand him the ball or let him run a sweep he makes play, and is a great receiver out the back field. As in ecstacy as I was to the blow out last sunday it was all due to mcfadden. His impact in undeniable on the first series you see the bronces focus on him and it cost them big on the zach miller td. Mcfadden is the key to the offense running smoothly. His return if he stays healthy means a renewed hope for our season.
David from Santa Fe, NM: It has to be the beat down that the Raiders put on the Broncos. This lopsided victory was something that NO ONE saw coming, and may be what the Nation looks back on as the "Turning Point".
Kevin B. from Fort Collins, Co.: Oakland routing the Broncos is definitely the story of the week. Even us Raider fans who knew the Raiders had a good shot at winning this game didn't see a performance of this magnitude coming. I've been relishing the reaction ever since. Listening to all the analysts and the radio talk show hosts out of Denver bashing the Raiders leading up to the game, and talking a blowout by the Broncos... lets just say their tears are tasting pretty sweet right now.
Shane Perkins from Wasilla, Ak.: Hey Bill, it has to be the raiders record setting performance against the Broncos. It was simply the best we have looked in years and the way I hope we look the rest of the season. It was an awesome game to watch and even better reading articles in the newspaper the next morning. As a longtime raiders fan I've been waiting for something like this for awhile. Mcfaddens game looked elite and they had no answer for em. Campbell might not be Jabustus after all but we'll see. For now Raider Nation this day was and is for us.
Parker from Seattle: Bill, Story line of the week is the 59ers. Not only did the Raiders look great thrashing their rivals, they did it with some dignity. Letting off in the 4th and not having the kind of personal fouls that can happen in those kind of rivalries shows that this young team may be coming around. If Oakland starts winning with this young (Most starters are on rookie contracts) team they could make a long run. Winning, and playing well in all phases like they did Sunday, is the best way to develop physically talented individuals into a dominate team of football players. If the Raiders can roll on from this win an beat a surprisingly good Seattle (Who fortunately for the Raiders struggle on the road) then they may take enough momentum into a game with KC to see who will win this division.
Mitch from Hamilton, Ontario: Hi Bill,The story of the week is definately the Raiders 59 - 14 win over the Broncos. Not only did they set a franchise record, but they did it on the road, in 3 quarters, against a division rival! Run DMCs performamce was amazing and definately worth recognition but he was a piece of this huge victory and I think the whole team deserves credit. This team has some great potential and have showed it this season. If they didn't lose those close games early on (cough cough...Arizona) they would be over .500 but I do think we will see the Raiders in the Playoffs this year as long as they don't get overconfident. It looks like there is a changing of the guard in the AFC west with Denver and San Diego falling behind Oakland and Kansas City (who saw that coming?)
Casey from Telluride, Co.: It is McFadden, he has been having a great year. going for 100+ yds every game he played, except the titans -95 and when he left early against Houston and he had 45 all ready. He is finally not going down when someone touches his legs and he has been so much better with ball security. i hope he can continue this the rest of the season!
Bryan G. from Fairfield, Ca.: Hey Bill they storyline of the week is McFadden's return. Any other week it would be the Raiders scoring record, which as a Raider fan made for a wonderful day, but considering DMacs first two seasons and that he missed two games because of injury, it is definitely the storyline. The way he is running this season, and especially the way he ran against Denver, is amazing. He's outrunning everyone, just as was expected of him when he was drafted, but he's also running over people, as when he scored on the screen. DMac returning from injury and leading the Raiders to a huge win with a big game against a division rival is the story of the week!
Mike from Olathe, Ks.: It absolutely has to be the Raiders dominating the Broncos at their house. This was a historic day for the Raiders and can't be overlooked.I can't say that I like it, being a Chiefs fan, but they looked damn impressive Sunday.