Raiders routed 34-14 by Broncos in season finale
The 2013 season ended with more questions than answers for the
Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
The futures of the general manager, coach and quarterback remain
murky. Same goes for rest of the roster, too. From the top to the
bottom, nobody delivered a strong lasting impression.
Just like most games the past two years.
Peyton Manning directed Denver to a 31-0 lead before sitting out
the second half, and the Broncos routed the Raiders 34-14 in the
Raiders owner Mark Davis had said he would wait until after the
season to make decisions about whether to bring back general
manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen. He never surfaced
in the postgame locker room.
”That’s a decision that’s made over my head,” Allen said. ”I
fully expect to be back. I fully believe that I deserve the
opportunity to come back here and get a chance to go through the
reconstruction phase. I want to be part of the rebuilding
Allen has an 8-24 record in two seasons with the Raiders (4-12),
who have been hampered by bad contracts and bad drafts in the final
years of late owner Al Davis’ tenure. No Raiders coach has even
been brought back after two straight losing seasons.
Oakland also has struggled to find impact players in the first
two drafts under McKenzie and done little in free agency because of
financial restrictions. The Raiders had more than $50 million of
”dead money” on their salary cap, meaning about 40 percent of
their cap went to players no longer in the organization.
”It’s been a tough couple of years on everybody,” Allen
The decision to go back to Terrelle Pryor at starting
quarterback after six games with Matt McGloin also failed to
provide a spark to carry into the offseason.
Pryor looked rusty in his return, missing receivers and having
little room to run on read-option plays and scrambles. He completed
21 of 38 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns after the game was
out of reach.
”I would say I’m inconsistent. Period,” Pryor said. ”I got to
Oakland’s struggles were only magnified more by Manning’s
Manning set the NFL single-season record for yards passing and
threw four first-half touchdown passes to help the Broncos (13-3)
clinch the top seed in the AFC playoffs. He broke Drew Brees’
record of 5,476 yards set in 2011 with a 5-yard pass to Demaryius
Thomas with 13 seconds left in the half.
That ended Manning’s day having completed 25 of 28 passes for
266 yards. He finished the season with 5,477 yards and 55 touchdown
The Raiders, meanwhile, ended their 11th straight non-winning
season with six straight losses and just barely avoided another
dreadful mark. Oakland allowed 453 points this season, the
second-most in franchise history. The 1961 team allowed 459
Players applauded Allen and the front office and called for
continuity moving forward, as players usually do.
”The tough thing about the NFL is it’s a
what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league,” Raiders safety Charles
Woodson said. ”It’s a league of no patience. It’s kind of hard to
see things when you have a couple of losing seasons like they’ve
had here. Of course the knee-jerk reaction is to blow it up, but I
think to get the consistency you have to give someone a chance to
let it run its course. We’ll see what happens.”
After showing signs of progress early this season, the Raiders
regressed down the stretch to put McKenzie’s and Allen’s jobs in
The season finale was no different. The Raiders were completely
exposed by Manning. He frequently targeted fill-in cornerback
Chimdi Chekwa, who started for the injured Mike Jenkins.
A bad snap by Stefen Wisniewski on the first play of the next
drive set up a 7-yard TD pass to Knowshon Moreno and the rout was
Brock Osweiler played the entire second half for Manning in his
most extensive action of his two-year career. He completed 9 for 13
passes for 85 yards but only led Denver to one field goal.
The Raiders couldn’t even capitalize on their one good chance as
Sebastian Janikowski missed his ninth field goal of the season
after a blocked punt by Jamize Olawale gave Oakland the ball at the
”We fell short,” Pryor said. ”That’s the most disappointing
NOTES: Pryor ran for 49 yards to give him 576 yards rushing for
the season, breaking Rich Gannon’s franchise mark of 529 for
quarterbacks set in 2000. … The Raiders had about 45 members of
the 1983 team that won the Super Bowl on hand for a halftime