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Dunkin' Donkeys

I thought that when Shanahan left and Cutler was traded, that my disdain for the Broncos would begin to dwindle away. It has, a little. It's hard not to respect the job that Josh McDaniels has done in Denver with Kyle Orton and Brandon Marshall. But, it's still the Donkeys. It's still Denver. It's still Mile High. And, the sting of last years opening Monday night game against the Broncos is still fresh in my mind. Disdain, back on.

The Raiders won the most important game of the year on Sunday. Why the most important? The victory proved that without a doubt, with half a quarterback, this team is good enough to win. Thanks in large part to an impressive 137 yard day from Michael Bush and exceptional play from the makeshift offensive line, the Raiders controlled the tempo of the game.

Charlie Frye was less than spectacular, especially when he threw that waffling duck of an interception. However, he led the Raiders to ten first downs in the second quarter and maintained a rhythmic offense that not only moved down the field, but got in the end zone.

Charlie Frye got his bell rung and was left sprawled on the ground early in the fourth quarter. For the second straight week, we’ve seen a starting quarterback get injured and The Deuce enter the game. There is no greater gut-wrench in sports than watching The Deuce run onto the field to play quarterback for your team.

Unlike last weeks debacle against the Redskins, The Deuce was poised and limited mistakes. The game culminated with a…wait for it, game-winning drive by the Raiders in the final seconds. Former Las Vegas Locomotive J.P. Losman saw some action on a big 3rd and 10 when it looked like Russell had injured a leg and had to leave the game.

The rules are similar in the UFL, however the speed, size, and tenacity pails in comparison. This rang true to Losman when trucked in his only snap of the afternoon. It’s doubtful that he could have pulled off the comeback victory, so for the first time since draft day, Raider fans were relieved to see The Deuce in Silver and Black.

The Deuce’s late game heroics are not enough to win back his starting job, as Coach Cable has told the media that if healthy, Charlie Frye will be the starter this weekend in Cleveland.

This should be an exciting game. Cleveland has been playing much better as of late and has exposed playmakers like Cribbs, Harrison, and a smarmy quarterback from Notre Dame. The Raiders hope to keep their dominance of the AFC North in full swing.

The Raiders defense should be up to the challenge this weekend. Michael Huff has been unbelievable in recent weeks. He has been living up to his reputation as potentially one of the hardest hitters in the game, causing both Denver’s Brandon Marshall, and Pittsburgh’s Heath Miller to drop big passes in the Raiders most recent victories.

Tom Cable deserves a great deal of credit for his coaching performance leading up to and including the game on Sunday. He made the decision early in the week that The Deuce did not give the Raiders the best chance to win, and went to Charlie Frye to give him the opportunity. He dealt with injuries to key offensive linemen. He was forced to put J.P. Losman into the game due to injury, and kept his team composed throughout it all. Tom Cable may have done enough to secure his job in Oakland for one more year. However, Mr. Davis has a way of reminding us that the irrational can never be rationalized.

Jake Simmons