Oakland Raiders Play a Rude Host to Tim Tebow Mania

In recent years, it would bring relief to a quarterback making his first NFL start to have the Oakland Raiders be the ones throwing the welcome party.

Go in, shake some hands, have a few drinks and hors d’oeuvres, and go home feeling great about yourself. In other words, it was anything but a daunting task, even for the greenest of signal callers.

That wasn’t the case yesterday for Florida Gators legend and Denver Broncos rookie Tim Tebow, and the days of teams looking at games against the Raiders as nothing more than an lousy scrimmage could be over.

They aren’t “back.” If having a .500 record and needing far too much help in the season’s final two weeks to expect the unlikeliest of playoff berths means you are back, then Oakland has always been a very mediocre franchise.

I think John Madden, Marcus Allen, George Blanda and Al Davis would disagree with that sentiment, but it’s safe to say that the former greats like the direction the franchise is headed after eight seasons of being lost in the abyss.

In Sunday’s 39-23 demolishing of Tebow and the lowly Broncos, the Raiders won the way they have been winning all year long—by running the football. Led by Darren McFadden’s 119 yards, Oakland rushed for 264 yards on 41 carries and three touchdowns. They also won by doing something they haven’t done this season—stopping the run.

Entering Sunday, Oakland was giving up an average of 130.9 yards on the ground, but allowed Denver just 106 on 33 carries, a measly 3.2 yard average. Take away Tebow’s 40-yard touchdown run and the numbers read: 32 carries for 66 yards. That’s impressive even if the Broncos came into the game with the 29th-ranked rushing attack.

The good news is that the win evened the Raiders’ record at 7-7, making next week’s home game against Indianapolis important. That alone is improvement...

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