The Raiders pulled out all the stops to avoid the true strength of the Broncos' defense.
It didn't work. On Sunday, they faced nine third-and-long situations and converted three times.
According to statistics compiled by Mile High Report, that 33 percent conversion is the worst the Broncos have allowed all season. On the season, they're allowing a first down on 30% of third-and-longs.
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It's obvious why the Broncos are so successful in this scenario. Teams have to deal with Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, and others when they try to pick up five or more yards through the air.
Oakland converted on 3rd-and-7 and two 3rd-and-9's. The rest of their plays resulted in an incompletion, sack, or tackle short of the sticks.
That success must be earned. The team has allowed only 135 rushing yards on 60 first-down carries (2.3 yards per carry). That, in turn, sets the searing pass rush up to do real damage.