Pretty it wasn't, but the beleaguered Denver Broncos found several different ways to win this game, 38-24 in the once-feared Oakland Black Hole.
On a day when all of the AFC West (Worst?) home teams lost, the Denver Broncos found themselves only one game back in the Division standings.
And a lot of credit has to go to a lot of people in and out of uniform for Denver.
For a player who is only two weeks removed from hand surgery on his right hand and carrying enough metal in it to have set off the detectors at Oakland airport, he had a decent game.
For a guy who was considered past his sell-by date, he did OK.
McGahee ran for 168 yards on 20 carries and two long TDs of 60 and 24 yards, and had zero fumbles.
He absolutely embarrassed an Oakland run defense that was stacked eight and nine deep daring the Broncos to throw the ball. Well, that game plan was not looking too good by the end of this mismatch.
McGahee just ran over, through and around those black-shirted guys all game long.
And after his last TD, did it look like Mr. McGahee was asking the Black Hole gang if he could join their little club?
Elvis is back in the house, folks! After missing all last year with a pectoral muscle tear and hobbled by arm injuries early this year, Doom finally recorded his first sack. Actually, one-and-a-half, sharing one with rookie LB Von MIller, who now has six-and-a-half for the first half of the season.
Overall, the Denver D wasn't pretty, but they were effective enough to slow down the vaunted Oakland rushing attack, holding them to an even 100 yards, well below their season average of 159 yards. Granted, they were without Darren McFadden, but his backup, Michael Bush, has torn Denver up in the past.
Willis, my guess is your hand isn't the only thing that might be sore on the plane ride home, but it is a good kind of pain, right?
Decker has been the most consistent receiver this season, especially now that Brandon Lloyd has been traded away. He has showed the ability to run good routes, get open and not only make the catches, but run out of tackles in gaining yards after the catch.
He had three catches today for 47 yards and a 27-yard TD on a nifty pass from Tebow in the first quarter to give Denver an early lead.
Decker now has six receiving TDs this season, leading the team in that statistic.
For those of us, and yes, I know you are out there, because I am one of those, that have said that Champ has lost a step.
Well, maybe he has, but today, he stepped up and took down not one, but two interceptions from the generous arm of Raider QB Carson Palmer. He also added two tackles and some great cover defense.
And rookie CB Chris Harris added another one to give Mr. Palmer his second three-interception game in two weeks.
Champ looked like he was 24 today, not just wearing that jersey number.
Eddie, my man, where have you been?
This was the game that showed some of the old Eddie. You know, the one who runs back punts for TDs.
He did that today when the Broncos needed a score and some momentum. His 85-yard return was the 17th unanswered point by the Broncos and seemed to take the wind out of the Raiders.
And to remind us that he also a pretty decent WR, he also had a 27-yard receiving TD.
What a great time to show up again, Mr. Royal!
This group has been bashed and smashed and written off as not worthy of being on an NFL playing field.
Well, today, they not only showed up, but they played one of the better games I have seen in several years. Not only did they block for a season-high 298 rushing yards, they protected QB Tim Tebow as well.
With 13 sacks in the past two weeks, it was a major concern to keep Tebow upright long enough to throw the ball and survive the game.
And did they come through in that regard. Along with quicker decisions on Tebow's part, the line only allowed two sacks. Granted, he was hit quite a few times, but still, they gave up five fewer sacks than last week.
Head coach John Fox and his staff have caught a lot of flack the past two weeks for not designing a game plan that matched Tebow's skill set. They tried last week, but with disastrous results.
But Fox and McCoy redeemed themselves this week by allowing Tebow to play in the spread, as well as figuring out how to scheme the zone blocking for McGahee like the old days of Mike Shanahan and Terrell Davis.
The only real OH OH was when Fox broke a cardinal rule of coaching: Never take points off the board. He did that when he accepted a roughing the kicker penalty and took away a Prater field goal. But it didn't cost us the game this time.
Mr. Jeckyll, meet Mr. Hyde.
What a turnaround from one week to another.
Today the Tim Tebow that many fans expected showed up and showed some nifty playing. He had an efficient passing day, going 10-for-21 and 124 yards and two TDs. Not great stats, with just under a 50 percent completion average, but he also had zero interceptions and zero fumbles.
And then there was that additional 117 yards rushing on 12 carries. This was one area that the Raiders felt they could contain Tebow's feet and make him throw the ball. OUCH!
And this was the first time since the dark ages of Bronco football when the late QB Norris Weese had a 100 yards rushing as well as an RB, Otis Armstrong, I believe.
I think one of the things that made this happen today, in addition to the game plan changes and the offensive line, was that Tebow looked like he was having fun again.
And when he has fun, all us Bronco fans can have fun.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that the Raiders had a whopping 15 penalties for a jaw-dropping 130 yards.Even though they are the most penalized team in the NFL, they went over the top on this one.
The Broncos also were also not playing smart, as they had 11 for 95 yards.
So maybe the referees were about as sore as the players after throwing more flags than Tebow threw passes.