MAKING THE GRADE
How the Raiders graded out in a 34-14 loss to the Denver Broncos Sunday at the O.Co Coliseum:
Passing offense: Terrelle Pryor was 21 of 38 for 207 yards and two touchdowns, but the bulk of that damage came in the second half. The Raiders trailed 31-0 at halftime, by which time Pryor was 6 of 11 for 35 yards. Rod Streater caught five passes for 40 yards and a 14-yard touchdown and rookie Nick Kasa caught a 9-yard touchdown.
Rushing offense: The Raiders rushed for only 64 yards on 20 carries with just three rushing first downs. Pryor led the Raiders with 49 yards and nine carries while Rashad Jennings (9 yards, 4 carries) and Darren McFadden (7 yards, 6 carries) were stopped in their tracks. The Raiders absolutely had to run successfully to even have prayer of winning and failed.
Pass defense: Peyton Manning was 25 of 28 for 266 yards and four touchdowns as the Broncos had four touchdowns and a field goal in five first-half possessions. Demaryius Thomas had six receptions for 113 yards and scores of 63 and 5 yards to lead the Broncos. The Raiders fared better in the second half against Brock Osweiler, with the Broncos managing only a field goal.
Rush defense: Denver got steady yardage to set up Manning, with Montee Ball getting 72 yards on 10 carries and the Broncos rushing for 124 yards on 29 carries in all.
Special teams: James Olawale had the Raiders' third blocked punt of the season, but the Raiders couldn't capitalize into points as Sebastian Janikowski missed a 42-yard field goal -- his fifth miss this season from 49 yards and under. The Raiders did little of note in the return game, and neither did the Broncos. Marquette King, who finished with the highest punting average in the NFL (48.9), averaged 45.8 yards on five punts with a 41.8 net and put two balls inside the 20-yard line.
Coaching: Most players seem to think the coaches are putting them in position to make plays. They like the process and the game plans. But even with the Raiders' limited roster depth and dearth of talent, they came out against Denver on their heels from the outside, looking nothing like a team that believed it could pull an upset.
-- JERRY McDONALD