Oakland Raiders: Why Fans Shouldn't Be Too Excited After Beating Broncos Monday

Gary BurzellCorrespondent IIISeptember 13, 2011

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 12:  Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders rushes for 47 yards to set up a fourth quarter touchdown against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 12, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 23-20.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

First the good news, the Oakland Raiders defeated the Denver Broncos 23-20 on the road.

A win is a win, and a win on the road against a divisional rival is always something to celebrate.

Darren McFadden had another stellar game against the Broncos with 150 yards in 22 carries. McFadden has now recorded three consecutive 100-yard rushing performances against the Broncos.

Sebastian Janikowski kicked an NFL record-tying 63-yard field goal at the end of the first half, and nailed all his field goal and point after attempts.

Darrius Heyward-Bey had four receptions for 44-yards, but a couple of those catches were hard-fought catches that resulted in a first down when the Raiders really needed one.

The Raiders pass defense was way better than it was during the preseason, and the defense also did a great job at stopping the run and rushing the quarterback.

The Raiders defense got interceptions and fumble recoveries at key points in the game, and the Raiders special team defense also blocked a punt.

This all sounds really good so far for the Raiders doesn't it?

However the Raiders also had 15 penalties for 131 yards on Monday night. Really good football teams don't do that.

Jason Campbell completed 13 of 22 passes for only 105 yards. If the Raiders are going to have any chance of winning the AFC West, Campbell will have to put up better numbers than that.

Really good teams will be able to slow down Darren McFadden enough to where the Raiders will have to find other offensive weapons, if they plan on winning more than six to eight games this season.

Now don't get me wrong, I am really glad the Raiders won Monday night. For the days leading up to Monday night's game I was a little concerned that the Raiders would go into Denver and lay an egg. They didn't, instead they came up with a win against a division rival. But I am also a little concerned by some of what I saw.

The Raiders missed on two of four red zone opportunities, including failing to score a touchdown in the second quarter after getting a first down on the Denver six-yard-line.

The Raiders were only 5-for-14 on third down opportunities for a 35 percent success rate, while Denver was 6-for-13 for a 46 percent success rate. A 35 percent success rate on converting third down situations is not going to get the Raiders to the playoffs.

While Darren McFadden had a great night, if the Raiders are going to compete for the AFC West title, they will have to have a more balanced attack.

One can only hope that not having the normal off-season team workouts has put this team a little behind in their preparation for the season. Hopefully the offense will be more productive in the coming weeks—it will have to be if the Raiders expect to beat teams like the Jets, Patriots and Packers.

I have believe that you can't put too much into a team's preseason record. Instead I knew that we would have to wait until Monday night to see what kind of team the Raiders will be.

Well they won on Monday, and for Raiders fans that is a good thing. However, can they get better in the areas where they didn't do well? In order to be a team that contends for the AFC West title they will have to improve on many things.

Can they do it? Well I guess we will just have to wait until Sunday against the Buffalo Bills to find out a little more on just how good this Raiders team will be.

Note: All stats from Monday evenings game are from nfl.com.