Shanahan, who lost to the team he formerly coached for the first time in five meetings, saw things from a more analytical perspective. Poring over the stat sheet, he noted Denver's edge in virtually every offensive category. Then he pointed out the Broncos' undoing: two missed field goals, 10 penalties and the Raiders' average gain of 7.6 yards per run. "It sort of makes you sick," he said.
A few minutes later in the Oakland locker room, George joked with Davis about his own statistical shortcomings. For all he endured in his first seven seasons, George has been remarkably loose as a Raider. After his five-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rickey Dudley in the second quarter, George jumped into the stands behind the north end zone to celebrate with the fans.
In the aftermath of Oakland's victory, George was mindful not to go over the top with his excitement. "We need to forget about this game and look at the big picture," he said. "We're 3-4, and that's hard to accept. But there are reasons we're in this hole, and it's going to take more than this to pull ourselves out."