The Oakland Raiders opened AFC West play Sunday afternoon, falling to the Denver Broncos 16-10 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
With the loss, the Silver and Black now fall to 2-2, and 0-1 in the AFC West.
Head Coach Jack Del Rio and his squad will fly back to the Bay Area this evening; here are four, quick observations from today's game.
1. The interior rush enjoyed another strong day
There admittedly weren't a ton of bright spots in last week's loss to the Washington Redskins, but one of them was the play of the interior defensive line. All throughout the evening, the Silver and Black were able to generate pressure up the middle, and that trend continued today against the Broncos.
Not only did Mario Edwards Jr. record his third sack of the season, he was a constant presence in the Broncos backfield, making life increasingly difficult for Trevor Siemian throughout the afternoon.
We all know what to expect from the Khalil Macks and Bruce Irvins of the world, but if the big fellas in the middle of the Raiders defensive line can start getting pressure too, the defensive unit as a whole becomes all the more dynamic.
2. The Raiders weren't playing with a full deck
Injuries are part of the game, as unfortunate as it is, that's just the way things go in the NFL; with that being said, the Raiders certainly weren't able to trot out the best iteration of themselves Sunday afternoon.
Not only was the team without veteran wide receiver Michael Crabtree, rookie cornerback Gareon Conley was also unable to go, and after making a tackle in the first quarter, David Amerson missed the rest of the game as he was put into the concussion protocol.
Let's also not forget that Derek Carr missed the entire fourth quarter after taking a hit that ended his afternoon early.
Now were the Broncos the better team today in Denver? Sure, but there's no question that they didn't get the Silver and Black's most-complete version of themselves.
3. Johnny Holton made the most of his opportunity
With "King Crab" down for today's game in Denver, the rest of the Raiders wideouts were looked at to pick up the slack in his stead.
Seth Roberts and Cordarrelle Patterson saw an increase in playing time with Crabtree on the bench, as did Johnny Holton, who made sure that he took full advantage of his opportunity.
With the Raiders trailing 10-0, and in dire need of an offensive spark, Holton provided just that, hauling in a 64-yard bomb from Carr – doing his best Willie Mays impersonation in the process – to give the Silver and Black their first points of the afternoon.
The score not only infused some life into the Raiders offense, but it was also the first touchdown of the second-year wide receiver's career.
4. The Raiders struggled to contain the Broncos ground attack
While Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.'s group actually did a pretty effective job at limiting Trevor Siemian and the Broncos aerial attack Sunday afternoon, but once again, the team had a hard time stopping the run.
When all was said and done, the Broncos finished with north of 140 rushing yards, including a few long plays that proved to be problematic for the Silver and Black.
Photos from the Raiders Week 4 match-up against the Denver Broncos.