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McGahee runs Broncos back to relevancy

Tim Tebow, Willis McGahee AP

Willis McGahee made sure that the headlines weren’t about Tim Tebow for one game.  (At least we hope.)

The Broncos running back rushed for 163 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown and a 24-yard touchdown as the Broncos beat Oakland 38-24 on Sunday.  Eddie Royal added an 85-yard punt return touchdown during a furious second half rally in which the Broncos scored 24 unanswered points.

Suddenly, the Broncos are only one game out of the AFC West lead.  Seriously.

At 3-5, Denver is within striking distance of the mediocre three-team pileup atop the division.

The Raiders brought Carson Palmer in Oakland for just these sort of games. He got the ball up seven points late in the third quarter.  Here are his remaining drives:

1. First drive: Interception.  (McGahee touchdown next play.)

2. Second drive: Three and out.

3. Third drive: Three and out. (Royal punt return next play.)

4. Fourth drive: Two first downs, and a punt.

5. Fifth drive: Interception.

That is how a team implodes. Palmer has been a big factor in two straight division losses at home. Fair or not, they are the worst two Raiders games of the year.

Tebow was hardly great in this game, but he was improved. We saw the same frantic play in the pocket, but there was also a nice touchdown drive in each half by the offense.  Tebow wasn’t the key to the win, but he contributed.

While Tebow only completed 10-of-21 passes for 124 yards, he had two touchdowns throwing and 117 yards rushing. The Broncos rushed for 298 yards in all.

The Raiders were supposed to the bullies on the block in the AFC West. On Sunday, they looked soft on defense and disjointed on offense.

No one in the AFC West looks particularly good. It’s a division that’s completely up for grabs.

That means even the Broncos are still relevant, at least for one more week.

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66 Responses to “McGahee runs Broncos back to relevancy”
  1. KIR says: Nov 6, 2011 8:27 PM

    Oakland has the worst linebackers in the NFL. Curry will not be in the league within the next 2 years. Curry seems overpriced for a 7th round pick he has absolutely no football instincts. McClain is desperately needed back. I don’t think I’ve ever seen linebackers play a worst game. Their defensive ends weren’t much better. Have they ever heard of the word contain?

    I will withhold judgement on (2) 1st round picks for Palmer until the end of the season. He doesn’t look like a Superstar at this point. FYI, some of his balls were floaters with no zip. Very very disappointing game.

  2. hendeeze says: Nov 6, 2011 8:27 PM

    tebow > raiders

  3. Chairman Al says: Nov 6, 2011 8:28 PM

    Willis looked scary good.

    Raiders defense looked scary bad…Scary, scary bad.

    HORRIBLE missed holding call on Royal’s punt return, but Raiders shot themselves in the foot too many times for it to matter.

    Still a three-way tie for first.

    I still think Tebow’s passes were pathetically inaccurate, but he did throw two TDs when it mattered.

    Palmer looked great at times, but threw two bad picks and one in desperation.

    Overall, the AFC West just gets more and more interesting!

  4. lelabear47 says: Nov 6, 2011 8:30 PM

    Carson Palmer goes to show a tiger doesnt change his stripes. Tebow also rushed for over 100yards on the so-called big bad bullies. Broncos 1 game out from first and without Run DMC being a gamer currently it appears the future isnt so bright in oakland.

  5. hallcyon says: Nov 6, 2011 8:30 PM

    I don’t think of Tim Tebow as a starter, but as a no-huddle reserve he is a great change of pace, kick’em in the ass quarterback. He is a hard worker and the ideal player one wants as a second or third string quarterback with his work ethic. How many quarterbacks in NFL history have rushed for over a hundred yards? Only a handful.

  6. eagleswin says: Nov 6, 2011 8:30 PM

    The raiders live and die depending on how McFadden does. Hue was kidding himself if he thought Palmer was the missing piece.

  7. raideralex99 says: Nov 6, 2011 8:32 PM

    Maybe you should watch the game before writing a comment.
    The defense was pathetic … they should all be cut. The refs looked bad too.
    Palmer had nothing to do with the loss infact he kept the game close … they make alot of good throw with small windows.

  8. broncobillie says: Nov 6, 2011 8:33 PM

    Will the 2011 AFC West be like the 2010 NFC West, where 7-9 wins the division? The Broncos are only one game out of the AFC West lead… thoughts don’t get much scarier than that!

  9. oakfan23 says: Nov 6, 2011 8:34 PM

    Chuck Bresnahan HAS TO GO!! He shoulda never been brought back, ridiculous. Palmer is still getting comfortable with his receivers, i was encouraged by Carson, this wasn’t his fault. Defense sucks, it sucked last time he was here, the offense was just so great back then. Im still furious that he’s back, Hue better fix that next year

  10. fwippel says: Nov 6, 2011 8:35 PM

    It was a nice game for the Broncos and Tebow. For a guy that people were labeling “The worst starting QB in NFL history”, he made some key plays, got his team back in the game after that fiasco at halftime where the Broncos took three points off the board and didn’t get them back.

    Yeah, Tebow isn’t John Elway, but he’s QB’d his team to two come-from-behind wins, this one with some assistance from defense and special teams. Nothing bad about his, or the team’s performance today. Nice road win against a team that most considered the division’s best just two weeks ago.

  11. phadedwun says: Nov 6, 2011 8:35 PM

    Make no mistake – this loss was not the fault of Carson Palmer. He did everything he could to keep the Raiders in it.

    This loss was the fault of the once again pathetic Raiders defense and special teams.

  12. oakfan23 says: Nov 6, 2011 8:35 PM

    Only good news is that the Chefs and bolts lost too

  13. donniebmc says: Nov 6, 2011 8:35 PM

    Tebow has his flaws, but that was an impressive win for the Broncos.

  14. mrplow3 says: Nov 6, 2011 8:38 PM

    His stat line was identical to the type of games Vick used to have in Atlanta. Sub 200 yards passing and 75+ yards rushing with a TD or 2 was the old Michael Vick. Yet when he did it we called him a great athlete. When Tebow does it we say he sucks.

    Whatever

  15. trbowman says: Nov 6, 2011 8:40 PM

    There goes Brady Quinn’s chances of starting.

    Disappointed…

  16. phadedwun says: Nov 6, 2011 8:40 PM

    Oh – and let us not forget the FIFTEEN penalties by the Oakland Raiders for 130 yards.

    Palmer was not the problem. No quarterback can be a hero when you are constantly faced with having to get 20+ yards just to get a first down. He forced those interceptions because the team was constantly putting him in horrible position to have to try to make something happen.

    Penalties, horrible defense and special teams play is the reason they lost. Not Carson Palmer.

    Palmer did well given the circumstances, but the Raiders as a team blew this one.

  17. pff says: Nov 6, 2011 8:41 PM

    2 1st rounder for Carson Palmer…whoops!

  18. bronco1st says: Nov 6, 2011 8:43 PM

    Say what you want about Tebow, but he’s won as many games in his first 6 starts ever as Orton did in 13 games in 2010.

  19. devinmr711 says: Nov 6, 2011 8:49 PM

    I’m still gonna hate on you Tebow but I gotta respect you this week. Who passes for 100 yards and 2 scores combined with running 100 yards.

  20. 1buckeye76 says: Nov 6, 2011 8:50 PM

    Thats what you get with Carson Palmer, Raider fans. He’ll throw TD’s to keep you in the game, and then turn the ball over to get you beaten.

  21. pacash80 says: Nov 6, 2011 8:54 PM

    AFC West is new NFC West

  22. denverdave3 says: Nov 6, 2011 8:55 PM

    Palmer was worse than Tebow today. If it wasn’t for a couple miracle receptions by his receivers and Denver missing a couple field goals, this game could have been 44-10 Denver.

    At least when Tebow sucks at passing, he has another arrow in his quiver.

    Palmer just throws INTs.

    Considering what the Raiders gave up for him and their inability to control penalties, they are headed back for a long run in the basement of a weak division.

  23. suck2bu says: Nov 6, 2011 8:57 PM

    Hats off to the Broncos!!! RAIDERS needs to get a new defensive coordinator. Gave up 120 + yards of penalties, and a 30 year old running back look like he still got it. I tell you the Raiders know how to make bad teams look like SB contenders. The “Just Win Baby” is used up, and the Raiders have not lived up to it. Palmer is in no way at fault for the way the Raiders fell apart in the second half. Come on Man!!!

  24. mmmcusa says: Nov 6, 2011 8:59 PM

    Hum, the so called worst QB in the league is 2 – 1 (and both wins on the road). Stats are for losers, and Tebow played like the winner he is and always has been. I’m neither a Tebow lover or hater, just can’t believe how totally irrational the arguments are and the ignorance of those that criticize him for non-football reasons.

    The NFL has seen some very bad QB’s over the years and Tebow is far from being one of them (and basically still a rookie), not even this year.

    I agree with the comments above that if today’s performance was by Michael Vick, we would of been reading how he “carried his team to victory” so really, get a life haters and get your priorities in order and not let them influence the totally uneducated, blatantly biased, unfair and completely stupid arguments used against this guy.

  25. cmack21 says: Nov 6, 2011 8:59 PM

    Tough day Carson.. maybe that happens when youre a quitter.

  26. nflofficeadmin says: Nov 6, 2011 8:59 PM

    Paid too much for Carson. The trade will set the franchise back a few years as we figure out he just isn’t the same player Hue traded for.

  27. raiderman41 says: Nov 6, 2011 8:59 PM

    The Raiders’ defense lost that game. There were a number of plays made and not made by the defense that left me scratching my head. How can you even think about hitting a QB one yard out of bounds on a third and forever when the QB goes out of bounds 20 yards sort of the first down? Stupid. Stupid.

    Palmer made some throws that only two or three QBs in the league could make. Now if only his receivers begin to look for the ball as soon as they come out of their breaks. He throws the ball a full second before Jason Campbell because of his quick release and anticipation.

    The momentum completely turned around on the punt return for a TD, a score that never should have occurred. There was a clear and blatant block in the back on our gunner, Taiwan Jones. I don’t know how the ref could have missed it, as it happened right in front of him. When you watch the return on the highlights show, watch how number 22 is pushed from behind, taking him out of the play. He was he first player down.

    I’d say the Raiders defense began believing all the press reports of how bad the Broncos and Tebow are because they clearly didn’t come to play.

  28. R8RBOB says: Nov 6, 2011 9:01 PM

    The RAIDERS defense is horrible. The squad should be cut and Bresnahan should be fired, cut in little pieces and scattered to the four winds never to be found again. The run defense is pathetic and the secondary is running around wearing cement shoes because they are always out of position.

  29. joetoronto says: Nov 6, 2011 9:02 PM

    Anybody who says this loss was on Palmer either didn’t watch the game or is simply hating.

    Palmer made some throws only a few QB’s in the league can make, great balls right on the money.

    So much for the bullcrap about lack of arm strength.

    Once he gets to know his receivers, he’s going to look awesome.

    This loss was squarely on the defense.

  30. Spencer says: Nov 6, 2011 9:06 PM

    I watched. Tebow threw two nice TD passes and didn’t turn the ball over. It looked like a pretty decent performance from a young QB to me, but what do I know? I’m not invested in his failure.

  31. rangersleadtheway says: Nov 6, 2011 9:07 PM

    At least we have the draft next year to build this team around.. Oh wait…

  32. mymorningstory says: Nov 6, 2011 9:09 PM

    Didn’t watch the game but paid close attention to it on ESPN. I think Tim Tebow handled the game AMAZINGLY . Many times the offensive line was putting him in 3rd and long situations & he still held his own out there and did not throw 1 interception.

    Say what you want, but for a guy starting 3 times on a team with a coaching staff that doesn’t want him.. I think 2 wins is pretty darn good.

    SO another thought… Where was DHB this week? The man was a monster for like 3 or 4 weeks and today he dissapeared? DId he play?

  33. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Nov 6, 2011 9:11 PM

    So Tebow accounted for 58% of the offense( and 2tds. Not bad for a guy that sucks so bad huh? That’s 21 attempts and 12 rushes for 33 touches and that works out to 7.33 yards a touch. Not bad I’d say….

  34. bonniebengal says: Nov 6, 2011 9:14 PM

    mmmcusa, you are right. Tebow had a decent game this week. He had a bad game against the Detroit defense last week, but so have a lot of other QBs this year.

  35. suck2bu says: Nov 6, 2011 9:17 PM

    I think the Broncos front office needs to relax and so are the haters out there. Tebow mat not have the accuracy of Tom, Peyton, or Rogers, but he does have the work ethics to get there, maybe a full season of getting used to his receivers and a little pressure off from the so called experts, will do the job. Who knows only time will tell.

  36. marcsasharc says: Nov 6, 2011 9:27 PM

    noodle arm made 5 terrible throws, 2 great throws and a few good throws. his arm still looks pathetic though, and he easily could have thrown 2-3 more INTs. Palmer wasnt the biggest reason the Raiders lost, but he was 1 of the reasons why. he now has 6 INTs in 6 quarters.

    that trade is looking terrible.

  37. jfd117 says: Nov 6, 2011 9:29 PM

    I guess the Bengals won’t get 2 first round picks for Carson…. still a steal for them.

  38. commandercornpone says: Nov 6, 2011 9:34 PM

    bill kilmer started his pro career as a running back also, and the next pretty pass he throws will be his first.

  39. whodeyn832 says: Nov 6, 2011 9:49 PM

    hey raiders, now you know what it felt like to be a Bengals fan from 2003-2010

  40. mmcdan13 says: Nov 6, 2011 10:14 PM

    I watched my team get destroyed by a winless, hopeless squad led by Matt Moore. If not for the Raiders getting Tebowed with a side of McGahee, it would have been a lost weekend.

  41. toaster463 says: Nov 6, 2011 10:14 PM

    joetoronto- its hating alright

    “Palmer has been a big factor in two straight division losses at home.”

    LOL, he entered the game in the 3rd qtr down 21-0 vs the Chiefs.

    Obviously hating,

    oh, and where is the ‘resurgence of reggie bush article” 2nd straight big game for him, where are the weekly articles about how he isnt a good NFL player????

    Gregg, did you go to UCLA by any chance?

  42. milehigh85 says: Nov 6, 2011 10:19 PM

    To all you raiders fans… You got beat! Accept it! We ran all over you today!! I’m not sold on tebow yet but you guys got worked by “the worst quarterback in the league” and a sorry excuse for a running game. Go broncos!!!!!

  43. ronlm says: Nov 6, 2011 10:51 PM

    Palmer has had all of two weeks to practice. Anyone who expects something more than what he did today, are either football ignorant or haters. Palmer was a bright spot on the Raiders today.

  44. pastcoaches says: Nov 6, 2011 10:55 PM

    Hue needs to give up play calling. No ingenuity at all. He believes he is THE MAN in charge now. Building a bully is getting old. Building a smarter bully might actually lead to some wins.

  45. dafixisin says: Nov 6, 2011 10:55 PM

    As a Raiders fan, I must concede that the S & B got flat out beat today. When a team runs for nearly 300 yards on a defense that HAS to know it’s gonna be a run with St. Timothy at the helm, that’s called getting whipped.

    I 2nd and 3rd anyone and everyone in the Raider Nation that lamented the recall of Coach Pumpkinhead as our puppet in training defensive coordinator. Worse yet, I get the sneaking suspicion that the defensive players mostly tune Bresnahan out, even with Al Davis’ passing. Everybody knew that Al Davis coached the defense, and that his coordinators were mostly pawns. These guys may be paid professionals, but they’re human beings too. Human nature tells us that if somebody is viewed as a puppet then that person probably isn’t going to garner much respect. The last time this team had a halfway decent coordinator was Willie Shaw, during Gruden’s early years. So it’s been a LONG time. There should be some decent candidates for this job during the off-season; the team will have to address this area.

  46. commitment2excrement says: Nov 6, 2011 11:19 PM

    Did Palmer choose #3 because thats how many picks he throws in a game?

  47. chazatlas says: Nov 6, 2011 11:21 PM

    Tim leads DEN to a win against a horrible Miami team then gets embarrassed by Detroit. Today Tebow wins against a Heckyl and Jeckyl Oakland and I wouldn’t be surprised if they beat a clueless KC next week. But as soon as they play more serious teams they will probably be brought back to reality.

  48. ruckthefaiders says: Nov 6, 2011 11:25 PM

    Take two… guess pft doesn’t like criticism? Would it really kill you to post something positive about Tim Tebow? Not that he was great but far from bad and had he been bad we would have had at least one post by halftime to let us know that he needed to pray more, Quinn would be coming in anytime, and they should put him in at fullback. Try presenting some facts on your “news” site instead of so much of your obviously biased opinions. The part about how you hope there wont be any headlines about Tebow really was classic as you are one of the ones that creates all the hype that makes people so sick of hearing about him. Hey faiders why did you stop the Tebow sucks chant? I thought it was working really well for you..

  49. vietnambob2473 says: Nov 6, 2011 11:40 PM

    McGahee=Comeback player of the year so far this year.

  50. gosuhgo says: Nov 7, 2011 12:16 AM

    What is it with these crappy West divisions in the NFL?

  51. slickster35 says: Nov 7, 2011 12:24 AM

    Yes, it was a bad loss, but the fade can rebound from this disappointing loss with a bright future full of draft……..nevermind.

  52. broncfolife says: Nov 7, 2011 1:22 AM

    Ouch Raiders,
    well at least you dont have to worry about going to church this week. Those Tebow stiff arms were actually blessings.

    Hahahahahaha

  53. tdk24 says: Nov 7, 2011 2:27 AM

    Don’t be a hater Rosenthal, this one is all on the defense. Pathetic play in the 2nd half. Stupid bone head penalties to keep drives alive. The play calling in the 2nd half was way too conservative at times. Carson is not superman, he needs more time to gel with this team, but when he does, look out world!

  54. bucks12965 says: Nov 7, 2011 6:21 AM

    Tebow’s career stats …11 passing TDs, 4 INTs…7 rushing TDs.

    Yeah, this guy just can’t play QB in the NFL.

  55. bobbyhoying says: Nov 7, 2011 7:18 AM

    There are tens of thousnds of Eagles fans who are deeply offended by the comment here suggesting that the Raiders have the league’s worst linebackers.

  56. dolphincritic says: Nov 7, 2011 8:00 AM

    To be a good leader and coach in any endeavor, you have to be able to take the cards you are dealt and build on your staffs strengths. Part of this process is identifying your staff’s weaknesses and teaching them how to turn those weaknesses into strengths. Coach Fox is doing just that. All you can ask for is constant improvement. Steady, consistent improvement will make you a winner!

    I see Tebow’s strength in a “Hurry-up Wild Cat offense run from a shotgun. The real secret to Ronnie Browns success in the Wild Cat was his ability to first see the mistakes opposing defenses made after the snap and then improvising to exploit those weaknesses. Brown was a good runner and a below average passer but it worked on a limited basis with him in charge. Tebow can run well and pass a little better than Ronnie. Tebow is already comfortable in the shotgun where he can see what the Defense is doing!

    McGahee should thrive in this sand lot game because he has been in the league long enough to understand, like Ronnie Brown, what a running back must do to exploit the defenders 1 on 1!

    The shotgun can spread or compress the defensive lineman’s starting positions and requires more of the front for coverage because they have to play an even zone defense. Motion gives this formation an added dimension of confusion. You can place tight ends, wide receivers, H-backs and running backs in motion from this formation.

    The hurry-up complicates this formation by reducing the time defenses have to communicate with each other, which means each defender must make the correct read on his own. The dumber the defense, the more successful this concept is. By overloading sections of the zone, Tebow has a better chance of finding an open receiver or scrambling into an area with lots of blockers.

    Tebow is not a good QB but this could work to beat teams that are stupid, slow or otherwise ill equipped to play man-to-man football.

  57. bigdaddybullwhip says: Nov 7, 2011 8:16 AM

    Carson is my all time favorite NFL player.

    Bengal fan

  58. hiwaymessiah says: Nov 7, 2011 8:17 AM

    Tebow was being labeled as one of the worst starting QBS ever? I 2nd that when he hasn’t even played a full season in the nfl yet. And I give Jamarcus Russel and Ryan Leaf the honors of being the worse QBS ever.

  59. huejackson says: Nov 7, 2011 9:21 AM

    Now I know all the Broncos fans all so happy today but I hate to break it to you but…
    That game was a fluke..
    Raiders are going to win the WEST, Come week 14 or 15 it will already be wraped up..
    That was like a pre season game for Palmer, It was his first start! The guy has not played football all year.. Raiders will be ready for the Chargers (the only game that matters) and they will win..
    Do you really think the Raiders or Chargers even think for 1 second that the Cheifs or Broncos are their competition? The West is all about the Raiders and Chargers… Just like Last week when the Chiefs beat the Chargers, that was a fluke.. It means nothing.. Both Chiefs and Broncos will not be in the picture

  60. mannyicey says: Nov 7, 2011 9:34 AM

    Tim Tebow. OK, here goes:

    I saw his passes and most were wobbly. I also saw some inaccuracies that made my heart jump into my throat. But I also saw some really accurate passes with nice touch. I saw some intelligence and the ability to be a triple threat.

    So here’s my thought: Tim Tebow is a rookie. I don’t care about last year, he’s basically a rookie. This year is going to be a good experience for him because he’s gaining experience. His mechanics are still off, but he should work on that during the season and offseason. He’s keeping the ball in his hands too long, but that can be corrected, just like you would correct it with any other rookie.

    But I think that Tim Tebow can be a pretty decent NFL quarterback. He’s not going to be a world-beater, but I think that he’s going to be adequate enough to be a starter as soon as next year.

  61. londonfletcher says: Nov 7, 2011 9:51 AM

    These last couple weeks should shut up any left over Jason Campbell haters. It’s going to be a shame if he’s out of Oakland next year. I hated watching him leave the Skins. He’s dependable if nothing else.

  62. nflofficeadmin says: Nov 7, 2011 10:42 AM

    The game will continue to slow down for Tebow (as to does for all QBs that put the work in) and he will get better. And more teams will get Tebow’d.

  63. sourdough says: Nov 7, 2011 10:49 AM

    Do Raiturd fans still expect us to believe then when they say their team is made of bullies!?!

  64. Broncofanatic7 says: Nov 7, 2011 11:25 AM

    This is the best game Tim Tebow has played in his professional career if you ask me. It’s funny how this guy says “Tebow wasn’t the key to the win.” What does that even mean?
    Football is a team sport, and this is probably the best overall TEAM effort I have seen from the Broncos in a long time. We have a couple weak links left on defense, but I hope those will be assesed in the future.
    If you actually watched the game and not the highlights you will see that Tebow made some very key plays to keep drives alive and get us some TD’s. The guy threw for 2 TD’s ran for 117 yards, but yet he wasn’t the key to the win… Is that because Mcgahee ran for 163 and 2 TD’s, or because Royal returned a punt?
    Like I said it was a team effort, and yes Tebow had a great game as well. Get off of him.

  65. jel290 says: Nov 7, 2011 3:47 PM

    I’m a big Denver fan and I fully expected them to win maybe only one more game this year after getting crushed by Detroit. I don’t know that this game was so much about Tebow or even McGahee (though he had a monster game). Denver was across the board more opportunistic and at the end of the day, the Raiders just aren’t the same team without McFadden. McFadden plays, there’s no way Denver wins that game.

  66. ruckthefaiders says: Nov 7, 2011 4:28 PM

    Hey jello, tell me again how mcfattie playing helps the defense stop the 290+ rushing yards put up by the Broncos???? It doesn’t help to validate your opinion by claiming to be a “big Denver fan.” Me thinks there is a darth vader costume in your closet with your lifesty

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