OAKLAND - The Raiders had great chance to prove they weren't the same old Raiders and they blew it.
And they know it.
That was the general feeling following Sunday's 38-24 loss to the Denver Broncos at O.co Coliseum, their second consecutive defeat.
The Broncos came in 2-5 with a quarterback - Tim Tebow - who has been wildly inconsistent with his play mostly bad in two starts this season.
But amid chants of "Tebow Sucks"' the second-year quarterback ran for 117 yards and passed for 124 yard with two touchdowns. Tebow completed just 10-of-21 passes but unlike his counterpart, Carson Palmer, Tebow did not commit a turnover. Palmer threw three interceptions.
Had the Raiders not been outscored 31-7 in the second half, they very well would be heading into Thursday's game at San Diego looking to move to 6-3 and two-games ahead of the Chargers in the standings.
Instead the Raiders are 4-4, in a three-way tie with the Chargers and Kansas City.
And as bad as the Broncos have looked, they are only a game out at 3-5.
Eight games into the season, being in first place couldn't feel so bad.
"We had an opportunity to really make a jump in this division, I had an opportunity to beat a football team that I think we matched up well against," said Raiders coach Hue Jackson. "A football team that we were ahead of at halftime (17-7), we didn't finish it. And it comes down to finishing game and we didn't finish it. It comes down to finishing games and we didn't finish the game and we laid it out there enough and they made enough plays, enough big plays at the end and they won the game."
Palmer was 19-of-35 for 332 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Michael Bush ran for 96 yards in 19 carries in place of Darren McFadden.
Willis McGahee led the Broncos with 163 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Eddie Royal had a touchdown catch and an 85-yard punt return for a score that gave Denver the lead in the fourth quarter.
Jacoby Ford had five catches for 105 yards and a touchdown to lead the Raiders.
The Raiders finished with 15 penalties for 130 yards.
Jackson said the reason leading wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey didn't play much was because the team was going to different groups of receivers.
I understand there is no "No. 1" receiver but it is a bit odd that Heyward-Bey played so little. He was targeted only once and didn't have a catch.
Also, Kevin Boss' limited time was attributed to wanting to use three-receiver, two running back sets against Denver.
Reading the option
Why do I like Tommy Kelly media time? He breaks things down without the clichÃ©s.
Here's Kelly on what the Broncos did on offense"
"They been running same thing since they put (Tebow) in. They running that college (expletive), that zone, read it, QB gonna hold it ..."
Good thing the Raiders don't play the University of Oregon. That college offense ran for 298 yards on the Raiders.
C Samson Satele (knee, quadriceps) S Mike Mitchell (ankle) and cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring) were the only players listed with injuries by Jackson.
Stefan Wisniewski finished the game at center for Satele. Joe Barksdale replaced Wisniewski at left guard.