OAKLAND - Maybe, it was the spirit of Veteran’s Day.
Maybe this country’s politically plate is full enough with the Presidential election Tuesday.
Or maybe it was just time.
Whatever the reason, Denver Broncos’ linebacker Brandon Marshall decided to end his protest against what he perceives as social injustice in this country by standing during the playing of the National Anthem before the game here Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.
"I felt like I got my point across,'' Marshall said. "The goal was never for me to kneel forever, my whole career. I was kind of back-and-forth about it. My stance on things haven't changed. I still feel the same way. But at the same time I felt like what I did as far as kneeling: It was just a symbol for what I feel or what the issue is. I never saw that as the end-all, be-all.
"Some people might be mad: 'Oh, I'm standing up now, I'm a sellout,' or whatever. But I'm still doing work. I'm still in the community. I still feel the same way. I just feel like me kneeling the whole time is not necessarily the answer. I did it to bring awareness. And I did that.''
Marshall stood next to Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak during the rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Kubiak had talked to Marshall about wanting to show him support by standing with him.
Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe was carted off the field with a shoulder injury in the second half and did not return. It appears Wolfe will be out for a while -- which would be catastrophic to an already banged up defense.
That great Super Bowl-winning defense got its edge primarily from three players last year: Malik Jackson, Aqib Talib and Wolfe. All three will likely be gone next week against New Orleans. Jackson is long gone to Jacksonville. Talib is expected to sit out one more game with his back injury. And now Wolfe.
Denver D porous against run
No defense can be deemed great if it can’t stop run.
The Denver defense has at times been called great. It was called great last season because it was the difference in the Broncos winning Super Bowl 50. That defense is long gone because this one is not stopping the run.
"It's a concern,'' said Broncos' head coach Gary Kubiak.
The Broncos entered their game here Sunday night ranked a disappointing 24th in defending the run by allowing 117.4 yards per game.
They then surrendered 218 yards rushing to Latavius Murray and the Raiders. Murray finished with 114 yards and three touchdowns, all from the 1-yard line. Backup Jalen Richard added 62 yards on just 8 carries.
"That's definitely not the mark of a great defense,'' said Marshall, who returned from a hamstring injury to get two tackles at his inside linebacker position. "We can't just get ran all over. Yeah, they only had (184) yards passing but to have 200 yards rushing, that's awful.''
To further show how bad the Broncos' run defense was here Sunday, their four top tacklers were all defensive backs -- Bradley Roby (9), T.J. Ward (8), Darian Stewart (8) and Chris Harris Jr. (6). The inside linebackers, meanwhile, employed a three-man rotation into one or two spots. Todd Davis played 59 defensive plays, or 67 percent of the snaps. Corey Nelson took 50 snaps or 57 percent. Marshall was in on 46 plays, or 52 percent.
Hoping to get a little more oomph from its kickoff returns, the Broncos replaced slot receiver Jordan Norwood with running back Kapri Bibbs as the deep man. Bibbs was aggressive but only averaged 19.9 yards a return in the first half.
Demaryius Thomas had his fifth drop of the season Sunday, but he also had five catches that gave him 503 in his career. Thomas is the second-fastest Bronco receiver to cross the 500-catch milestone as he got there in 94 games. The great Lionel Taylor, an original Bronco and the first in AFL-NFL history to have a 100-catch season in 1961, needed just 80 games.
Among the Broncos’ inactives were receiver Cody Latimer, a healthy scratch for a third consecutive game, and defensive tackle Darius Kilgo for the first time this season. Kilgo had to make room from cornerback Taurean
Nixon or tight end A.J. Derby, who dressed for the first time this season. …
Golden State Warrior star Draymond Green attended the game and was on the Raiders’ sideline pregame. …
Broncos’ left outside linebacker Von Miller smoked Raiders right tackle Austin Howard in the first quarter for a sack. Miller now leads the NFL with 9.5 sacks in nine games this year. Buffalo’s Lorenzo Alexander has 9.0 sacks and plays his ninth game Monday night against Seattle. …
Raiders’ left defensive end Khalil Mack was held sackless until late in the third quarter when he beat right tackle Donald Stephenson.
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