Prior to the Oakland Raiders Week 5 game against the Denver Broncos, Raiders.com Senior Editor Jerry Knaak posed five questions. Here are the answers in the wake of a 16-10 loss at O.co Colisem in Oakland.
1. Can the Raiders slow down Peyton Manning?
If you would have told me the Raiders would hold the Broncos to 16 points, Manning to 266 yards passing and pick him off twice and still lose I would have told you that you were out there somewhere. Also, if you would have told me the Raiders would turn in their finest defensive performance in years one would assume the Raiders chances of winning would be high. The Raiders didn't allow an offensive touchdown and held the Broncos to just 43 yards rushing. Manning wasn't the Raiders problem in this one. Turnovers and mistakes were.
Sebastian Janikowski and Charles Woodson both achieved franchise history Sunday afternoon, despite Week 5 loss to Broncos.
- What will the Raiders do to stop the tight end?**
After allowing 31 catches for 380 yards and 6 touchdowns to opposing tight ends in the first four games, the Raiders did not allow a single catch to Owen Daniels or Virgil Green. I think that answers that question. Defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., and the Raiders defense need to bottle this effort up and open it up every Sunday.
3. Can the Raiders protect quarterback Derek Carr?
No. Despite leading pass rusher DeMarcus Ware exiting early due to injury, the Raiders allowed four sacks, including a strip sack and fumble recovery by linebacker Von Miller that led to a field goal. Austin Howard went for the cut block on Von Miller who made a heads up play on the sack and stripped the ball from Derek Carr. Defensive end Malik Jackson proved tough to block; he had a sack and seemed to put a ton of pressure on Carr. Jackson also got his mitts on a few passes at the line. The Broncos lead the NFL in sacks with 22. Their defense is tops in the NFL in numerous categories.
4. Will the Raiders get the running game going?
Depends on your definition of "going." Running back Latavius Murray carried the ball 13 times for 39 yards, fullback Jamize Olawale rushed 6 times for 13. In total, the Raiders ran the ball 25 times for 65 yards, 2.6 yards per carry. The Raiders did use fullback Marcel Reece to their advantage out of the backfield in this game. Reece caught 7 passes for 49 yards and a score.
5. Who will return kicks and punts?
Although TJ Carrie stepped up and played in the game after a Saturday upgrade to questionable, rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper returned punts while Helu and fullback Marcel Reece shared kickoff return duties. Helu returned 1 kickoff for 27 yards and Reece 1 for 18. Cooper was credited with 1 punt return for 18 yards on the last play of the game.