Starting off the broadcast of the Monday night game between the Raiders and Broncos, Jon Gruden was asked to offer what advice he would give to his former team to pull an upset in Denver. It ended up being a tongue-in-cheek recap of a time that Gruden was humiliated by the Broncos, but it also proved rather prescient for what actually played out last night.
“I’m tired of hearing that, Mike. The Raiders have a shot tonight. They gotta run the football and that’s what they do best. Give it to McFadden and run it all night. The second thing they have to do is generate some turnovers from their defense. They must steal possessions from Manning. And the third thing is use the element of surprise. Use an onside kick, fake a field goal, do something to create points. But I’m tired of hearing about it. I was here in 1998 as the head coach of the Raiders, we had a young quarterback named Donald Hollas going up against Elway and I gave our team several reasons why we should win this game.”
The similarities were uncanny.
– Terrelle Pryor made his fourth career start against a future Hall of Famer
– Oakland did try an array of trick plays – including a trick touchdown pass by Darren McFadden and an onside kick.
– The defense forced Peyton Manning to fumble, his first turnover of the season.
– Final score: 37-21. Not an exact match but that’s mostly a function of how scoring during garbage time played out.