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Monday, September 23, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Broncos 37, Raiders 21

By Paul Gutierrez


 
DENVER – A few thoughts on the Oakland Raiders' 37-21 loss to the Denver Broncos:

What it means: Under the brightest lights a regular-season game can provide, the Raiders showed they are not yet ready for prime time. Not when Peyton Manning is at his peak. Manning carved the Raiders up Monday, at one time completing 15 consecutive passes en route to throwing for 374 yards on 32-of-37 passing with three touchdowns. The defense was simply worn down, and the offense did not come to life until it was too late. And Terrelle Pryor took a nasty blow on a helmet-to-helmet hit by Wesley Woodyard late in the fourth quarter. Though Pryor stayed in the game for another play, he left for the locker room and was replaced by Matt Flynn.

Stock watch: Falling -- Darren McFadden. A week after rushing for 129 yards on 19 carries, McFadden was stopped time and again by the Broncos, who stuffed the box and dared the Raiders to beat them with the pass. Through three quarters, McFadden had just 8 yards on 10 carries; he finished with 9 yards on 12 attempts. He finished with more yards passing.

Why not try the FG?: Sebastian Janikowski kicked a record-tying 63-yard field goal in the Mile High air here two years ago, so what about 15 more feet into the closed end of the stadium to close the first half? Instead, coach Dennis Allen had Pryor drop back for a Hail Mary … and the play, and half, ended with a dispiriting sack.

Trickery: No, McFadden could not get it going on the ground. So he went to the air. Taking a pitch from Pryor, McFadden rolled to the right, stepped up and fired a perfect spiral to fullback Marcel Reece for a 16-yard touchdown pass that got the Raiders (1-2) within 30-14 late in the third quarter. It was the eighth TD pass by a Raiders running back, along with Marcus Allen (4), Harvey Williams (2) and Tony Teresa (1), the first since Williams in 1996.

What's next: The Raiders (1-2) host Washington on a short work week. Washington is 0-3 for the first time since 2001. The teams have traded victories in their past four meetings, Oakland winning in 1995 and 2005, Washington winning in 1998 and 2009.