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Defense wins championships. This moniker always has and always will be preached throughout sports. If Sunday’s game was any indication, both these teams are on a collision course to the AFC Championship. Although the Raiders defense played better than last week, the offense couldn’t get into rhythm once again, as the silver and black dropped their second straight game of the season. Losing its first division game to the Denver Broncos, 16-10, and falling to 2-2 on the year. Denver improves to 3-1 on the season.

Running the football was close to impossible for the Silver and Black, as the Raiders managed just 24 yards on 15 carries. The passing game was good but to no true avail, as it helped keep the Raiders in this game for as long as they could. While there was a terrific 64-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Johnny Holton in the second quarter, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr went down in the 3rd quarter, taking a knee in his back from Broncos defensive tackle Adam Gotsis. Carr was able to get up on his own, although gingerly, before heading to the locker room. He would not return for the rest of the game.

Replacing Carr was backup QB EJ Manuel, although Manuel struggled, he nearly brought the Raiders back. Manuel was facing a difficult task, down 9 in an already defense centric game. Manuel orchestrated a drive that resulted in a Giorgio Tavecchio field goal to make it 16-10 Broncos. The Oakland defense would hold its own on the next series, setting up a potential game-winning drive for Manuel with three minutes left.

While he made a few nice passes, Manuel’s final pass was picked off by Justin Simmons, sealing the deal for the Broncos.With such a close ending game, it left Raider Nation to wonder… Could Oakland have snuck this one out had Carr been able to play the entire game?

We’ll never know, but Oakland needs to turn the page and get ready for Week 5 @ home versus Baltimore. Losing games like this is tough. It does seem that the Raiders will have stiff competition in the AFC West this year with Denver and the Kansas City Chiefs. At least this was a better effort versus the Broncos than what we saw versus the Washington Redskins last week.