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Raiders vs. Broncos: Oakland's Run Defense Never Returns from Bye Week

The Oakland Raiders talk during the bye week focussed almost entirely on the offensive side of the ball. All anyone wanted to discuss was whether Carson Palmer would be ready to play and on whether it was a wise decision for Hue Jackson to go out and sign TJ Houshmandzadeh. Forgotten by the media and the Raider Nation was the defense that has struggled to find consistency this season. Unfortunately for the Raiders, it appears that the defensive struggles were not the only thing forgotten over the bye week, apparantly, the defense forgot that that it is their job to stop the run.

For weeks now, one of the most popular talk subjects in the NFL has been how bad Tim Tebow is. I almost felt bad for Tebow as his name was dragged through the mud. No need to feel bad, the Raiders defense is here to save the day. Tebow became just the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 200 yards and run for over 100 yards in a single game. Two of Tim Tebow's naked book legs led to massive gains for the Broncos and played a major role in their upset victory against the Raiders. Maybe the Raiders defense did not forget about the concept of covering the back side of a play, maybe they just felt worse for Tebow than I did.

Tebow was not the only Denver player to run all over the Raiders on Sunday. NFL heavy weight and clearly one of the best running backs in the game today, Willis McGahee also had a big day for the Broncos. I know, I know, McGahee is not anywhere near being an NFL heavy weight or one of the best running backs in the league, but the Raiders sure made him look like it. McGahee put up 163 yards and two touchdowns. His average of 8.2 yards per carry was double his career average coming into the game.

All total, the Raiders gave up 299 yards on the ground to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. There is simply no way the Raiders are going to win games when they allow teams to dominate the game on the ground. This type of performance is nothing short of embarassing for the Raiders.