Week 1 of the NFL season always provides plenty of surprises, often of the negative sort. A number of teams turned in surprisingly poor performances to open 2011, or at least performances that were poorer than expected.
The Browns showed that their defense has no idea how to handle a quick snap, even from the lowly Bengals, and the Colts showed that Peyton Manning may have indeed been a one-man show. But the Denver Broncos managed to embarrass themselves on national television against the perpetual league punchline, the Oakland Raiders.
To be fair, I'm not sure Denver's performance on Monday Night Football was quite as awful as many of their detractors seem to think, but it was still pretty embarrassing. When your quarterback is so bad that fans are willing to pay for a billboard that argues to have him ousted, your problems may be, literally and figuratively, a mile high.
Producing a report card for the Broncos' Week 1 performance, I feel a little like an elementary school teacher calling a student's parents to tell them their kid is failing third grade. And indeed, maybe someone needs to call Kyle Orton's parents. Or John Fox's. Or perhaps the entire team's.
Following are grades for each position for the Denver Broncos' opening tilt against the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night. Read 'em and weep.