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The Broncos weren't the only team on the field Monday making costly mental errors. They combined with the Raiders to have 19 combined penalties through the first three quarters, but the Broncos' errors seem to have had a much bigger impact on the final outcome than their Bay-Area rivals. Denver ended the game with 10 penalties for 91 yards, the result of a chippy day on the field.
What hurt most, though, was the Broncos turnovers.
The Broncos were almost certain to pin the Raiders deep in their own territory late in the first quarter, but a blocked punt by Darryl Blackstock put the Raiders at the opposing 36-yard line, and the Broncos defense was unable to stop them from scoring.
What was more horrifying was Kyle Orton's fumble, or better put, drop of the football, as the Broncos were threatening to score in the fourth quarter. The Broncos were only trailing by three points at the time and were well-positioned at Oakland's 24. After a quick play action, tight end Daniel Fells, one of Orton's favorite target during the game's first half, was streaking, wide-open, to the end zone when the ball inexplicably slipped out of Orton's hands and was recovered by the Raider's Lamar Houston, a Colorado Springs' native
"I just feel sick about the ball slipping out of my hands like that," Orton said. "It's just one of those deals that's sickening to have happen to you. It never really happened to me before."
If the Broncos want to avoid that same sickening feeling again in Week 2 against Cincinnati, they'll need marked improvement in all categories.