Denver Broncos: Moving on

November, 7, 2011
11/07/11
11:00
AM ET
Here are some areas the Denver Broncos need to focus on after a 38-24 victory at Oakland:

Recap: It was a season-highlight win for the Broncos. They showed grit on both sides of the ball, coming back from a 10-point halftime deficit on the road. The undermanned Broncos simply rammed the ball down Oakland’s throats in the second half and are now 3-5 — just one game out of a three-way tie at 4-4 for first place in the division.

Biggest area to fix: Denver was improved in all areas Sunday, but they are still giving up too many yards in the air. Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer tossed for 332 yards. It is an area the Broncos need to continue to shore up.

Biggest area to build on: The running game. The Broncos had 298 yards rushing against the Raiders, giving the run-heavy Raiders a dose of their own medicine. Willis McGahee had 163 yards, with touchdown runs of 60 and 24 yards in the second half. Denver quarterback Tim Tebow had 117 yards on the ground. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Denver succeeded against a loaded box Sunday. The Raiders loaded the box on 40.6 percent of Tebow and McGahee's rush attempts. The two combined for 177 yards, seven first downs and one touchdown on 13 rushes against a loaded box — a whopping 13.6 yards per rush. ESPN Stats & Information’s definition of a loaded box is where there are more defenders in the box available blockers, assuming that one person in the backfield is a receiving threat.

What to watch for: The Broncos will surely stick with Tebow at quarterback next week at Kansas City even though he still wasn’t overly sharp as a passer. I think this means Tebow will automatically get two more starts. Denver hosts the New York Jets on Thursday, Nov. 17; there is little chance the Broncos would move to Brady Quinn on a short week if Tebow struggles badly at Kansas City.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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