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Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
OAKLAND -- The Raiders were expected to rely on the ground game tonight in the season opener against Denver and, so far, there have not been any surprises.
Oakland rushed on seven of their first nine plays. Quarterback JaMarcus Russell, starting his first full season as Oakland's starter, threw an incomplete pass and fumbled when hit by Denver defensive end Elvis Dumervil in Denver's red zone.
The Broncos are leading 7-0 and if the Raiders fall further behind, Russell may be forced to throw the ball more than he was expected to, despite the presence of Darren McFadden, Justin Fargas and Michael Bush in Oakland's backfield.