The Denver Broncos made their annual trip to the "Black Hole" and acquitted themselves rather well compared to what some prognosticators were expecting.
In fact, the dominance of the Denver rushing attack in the team's impressive victory might have made fans think they were seeing the Broncos of old.
Few things are more cherished in Bronco Nation than a victory over the Raiders, especially when it comes through such a thorough domination on the ground.
Don't look now, but as we examine a few things we learned about the Denver Broncos, think about the fact that this team is one game out of first place in the AFC West.
For those fans wondering where Eddie Royal has been for most of the season, we now know that he was hovering around the 10-yard line awaiting a punt all along.
The former Virginia Tech Hokie has special teams burned into his psyche from his time with Frank Beamer and it chose a perfect time to come out in Oakland.
The coaching staff should kick itself for not having made that switch earlier. Quan Cosby is a nice player with decent speed, but Eddie Royal showed the moves that made him special as a young player.
If anybody should be sharing the duties with Royal, it should be Eric Decker, who also burned the Raiders this season on a similar play.
This game was littered with plays where Bronco receivers were wide open in the defensive secondary and misfires from Tebow caused them not to be big plays. The important part of that equation is that Mike McCoy was able to dial up passes that Tebow should be able to make.
At different points in the game, Tebow straightened up and delivered on some of those passes. That should tell Broncos fans that there are plays that can work for Tebow and this offense in the vertical passing game.
The main question is whether or not these plays can be universal in every game. The Broncos were helped by the Raiders' atrocious rush defense, which made the Denver rushing attack look special today.
Still, McCoy has shown that he has some plays in the book that even Tim Tebow can complete.
All day long, it appeared that the Raiders were going to bust a long touchdown run, but the Denver Broncos defense refused to break.
Until the final drive, the Broncos were determined to continue delivering a big hit—even if it came after the Raiders had made a big gain.
In terms of the final score, the defense was just solid enough to ensure that the offensive explosion would stand up, but in terms of sending a message, it was heartening to see the defense play with muscle and pride.
Their ability to force timely turnovers and capitalize on Palmer's inexperience with the passing game allowed Denver the time on offense to get the running game figured out.
The Denver vs. Oakland game looked more like the SEC Championship, with Tim Tebow doing just enough with his arm to win while using his legs and those of others to outgun the opposition.
Today, it was the offensive attributes that Tebow displayed at Florida to earn his Heisman that were the difference, compared to Oakland relying on Palmer's Heisman-winning arm.
Nobody could watch the game and say that Tebow had the better arm in this fight, but it was that reliance on Palmer's arm that led to the two costly interceptions for the Raiders.
Tebow protected the ball and, by doing so, allowed the Denver running game to come alive and dominate.