Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders

The fact that I went to the University of Alabama is only one of the reasons
I strongly dislike former Florida/current Denver Broncos quarterback Tim
Tebow. Ironically his first NFL start made shooting the Raiders-Broncos game
fun, despite steady rain, muddy sidelines, and cold temperatures. I'll never root
for Tebow, but I came away from this game with a lot of respect for how he
plays the game.
© Matt Cohen 2010

Before the game, I joked to my fellow Crimson Tider Rolando McClain that
I'd be in for a grand if he just happened to pick up a fine for driving Tebow a
few feet under the turf. I'm going to assume that he was thinking about that
offer as he prepared to blitz on this play.
© Matt Cohen 2010

With all the talk about how much time he spent in the off season working on
his mechanics, he still throws the ball oddly. And yes, he is smiling here, in
fact he smiled the whole time. He's either completely insane, or really loves
playing football, or, i guess, both.
© Matt Cohen 2010

On the Broncos' third drive of the game, Tebow ran the ball up the middle,
made a few Raiders miss, then gave safety Michael Huff a brutal stiff-arm that
cleared the way into the end zone for a 40-yard touchdown. Any way you look
at it, it was a big-time play that proves Tebow is up to playing in this league.
© Matt Cohen 2010

Once the play was over, Tebow let out a shout, being careful to turn away from
the Black Hole before he did. I won't repeat what the denizens of the Black Hole
were shouting back, but I can assure you it wasn't pleasant.
© Matt Cohen 2010

Tebow was lucky this guy wasn't packing live rounds...
© Matt Cohen 2010

On the other side of the ball, Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell had a decent
game, but continues to look shaky at times, and is still throwing too many
interceptions.
© Matt Cohen 2010

Raiders tight end Zach Miller made this catch and then ran straight at me into
the end zone, but the play was nullified by a Raiders illegal motion penalty.
© Matt Cohen 2010

A few plays later, Miller caught one that counted and dragged a couple of
Broncos down the field.
© Matt Cohen 2010

Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt did well to break up this pass intended for
Broncos wide receiver Eddie Royal.
© Matt Cohen 2010

Raiders running back Michael Bush scored on a one-yard dive...
© Matt Cohen 2010

...and then celebrated a little.
© Matt Cohen 2010

Near the end of the first half, former Cal cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson
couldn't hold on to a Raiders punt in the heavy rain, and the Raiders recovered.
With Thompson still on his knees, Gunner Rock Cartwright streaked down the
field signaling Raiders ball.
© Matt Cohen 2010

With the Broncos trying to mount a second-half comeback, Broncos tight end
Richard Quinn jumped over Raiders cornerback Chris Johnson.
© Matt Cohen 2010

With time running out in the game, the Broncos were pinned inside their five
yard line, when the Raiders defensive front came up big, stopping Broncos
running back Lance Ball for a loss...
© Matt Cohen 2010

...and then it was Raiders linebacker Quentin Groves catching Broncos running
back Correll Buckhalter in the end zone for a safety which pretty much sealed
the game.
© Matt Cohen 2010

The Raiders got back to .500 and have an outside shot to make the playoffs if
the Chiefs stumble. They will have to start by beating Peyton Manning and the
Colts who come to Oakland on Sunday for the last home game of the season.