|Phillip Adams' interception in the end zone was one of the Raiders' few bright spots in their loss to Denver. (US Presswire)|
Four days after being officially eliminated from playoff contention with a loss to Cleveland, the Raiders lost their sixth straight game Thursday night, falling 26-13 at home to the Denver Broncos.
The Raiders' skid is their longest since a six-game losing streak in 2007 under Lane Kiffin. One year earlier, the Raiders lost their final nine games under Art Shell -- the second-longest skid in team history. With three games left to play, rookie coach Dennis Allen will try to avoid matching that infamous streak.
After a short week, the Raiders have extra time to recover and prepare for their Dec. 16 home finale against Kansas City, which just happens to be the last team they beat before their losing streak began.
For the second straight game, the Raiders scored just 13 points. They've averaged just 15.4 points over their past five games. Against Denver, they made only 14 first downs and controlled the ball for just 22:14. QB Carson Palmer had decent numbers, completing 19 of 30 passes for 273 yards and two TDs with a passer rating of 101.1. But he also had two killer turnovers, an interception deep in Broncos' territory that killed a great scoring chance in the first quarter and a fumble deep in Raiders' territory that set up a Denver touchdown in the third. RB Darren McFadden returned to the lineup after missing four games with a high ankle sprain. He rushed for 52 yards on 11 carries and scored on a six-yard screen pass, but 36 of his rushing yards came on one play. On his other 10 carries, he averaged 1.6 yards. What's worse, he reinjured his right ankle late in the game. Rookie WR Rod Streater continued to be a bright spot, catching four passes for a career-high 100 yards. Previous game's grade: C-
The Raiders gave up only 26 points to Peyton Manning and the Broncos, and seven of those came on a two-yard drive after a turnover. They sacked Manning three times -- one each by Mike Mitchell, Lamarr Houston and Desmond Bryant -- and cornerback Phillip Adams intercepted a pass in the end zone. The Raiders played great red zone defense, forcing Denver to settle for four field goals, and kept the score close for much of the night. Now the bad news. The Broncos had the ball for just over 37 minutes, ran 78 plays and rolled up 30 first downs and 428 yards of total offense. Denver converted 7 of 14 third downs, and RB Knowshon Moreno rushed for 119 yards, most of those coming as the Broncos protected their lead and ran time off the clock. Previous game's grade: C-
Special teams: C
The Raiders' only glaring error on special teams came in the third quarter when return man Mike Goodson, who missed the previous four games with a high ankle sprain, came out of the end zone from eight yards deep and was tackled at the 8. Three plays later, Broncos linebacker sacked Palmer, forcing a fumble that Denver recovered at the 2. That set up Moreno's 1-yard touchdown run that put the Broncos ahead 23-7. Punter Shane Lechler looked more like his old self again, netting 43.4 yards on five punts and pinning down the Broncos three times inside the 20. Previous game's grade: C
Just three days after the death of his father, Grady, Raiders coach Dennis Allen was on the sideline, leading his team. The Raiders played hard for Allen, and they stayed in the game until late in the third quarter against a Broncos team that improved to 10-3 and won for their eighth straight game. Allen and his assistants deserve credit for staying strong during a difficult time. Allen did make a questionable decision when he deferred after winning the coin toss, giving Denver and Manning the ball to open the game. Manning marched the Broncos 68 yards for a touchdown. The Raiders' third-quarter problems resurfaced Thursday night when they were outscored 13-0. They've now been outscored 139-51 in the third quarter this season. The halftime adjustments are obviously not working. the Raiders' old penalty problems re-emerged, too, with 11 flags for 94 yards. Previous game's grade: C-
Follow Raiders reporter Eric Gilmore on Twitter @CBSRaiders.