Denver Broncos: 4 Observations from Loss to Raiders

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Dec 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) is sacked by Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Raiders defeated Broncos 15-12. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos fell to 10-3 on the season as they lost to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Sports Authority Field by a final score of 15-12.

The Denver Broncos held a 12 point lead going into half-time, but wasted it as the Raiders offense mounted a second half rally to overcome their deficit. The futility of the Broncos offense played a part in their defeat, but the defense’s inability to curb the effectiveness of the Oakland offense also played a major role in Denver’s demise on Sunday.

Sloppy play and mental errors on both sides of the ball by the Denver Broncos allowed the Raiders to secure their first win over Denver since 2011, while also signaling major concerns as the team approaches the 2015 postseason. The loss hurts, but does not significantly diminish the Broncos standing in the playoff race.

Of course, the Denver Broncos have a litany of injuries they are dealing with; but that should not become an excuse for a team that was playing at home against a rival with a worse record. The Broncos have overcome their injuries in the past three weeks against better opponents on paper. Perhaps the injuries are catching up with Denver — or perhaps flaws in the makeup of this team are just now manifesting themselves.

Whatever issues are evidencing themselves at the moment, the Denver Broncos must not dwell on their most recent defeat for long, as they have two important contests within the next two weeks against the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here are four observations from Sunday’s loss to Oakland:

Next: Where Is the Offense?