(KCBS/AP) – The Bay Area’s football teams may not be faring well in the NFL these days, but overall, the football season has been a good one, former Oakland Raiders coach John Madden said on his KCBS Radio show Monday.
“I’m kind of impressed with the early football,” he said. “Because I thought with the new rules and guys not playing much in preseason, I thought we’d get off to a real slow start and not catch up until about halfway through the season.”
“But to be honest, football overall is pretty good,” Madden said.
Local teams excluded, perhaps.
The Denver Broncos throttled running back Marshawn Lynch and sent quarterback Derek Carr to the sideline with a back injury, then sealed their 16-10 win over Oakland on Sunday on safety Justin Simmons’ interception of backup quarterback EJ Manuel at the Denver 8 in the closing minutes.
The Raiders couldn’t do much against Denver’s fortified front seven that also stuffed Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Eliott and LeSean McCoy. They managed just 24 yards on 15 carries for a 1.6-yard rushing average.
Carr left the game in the third quarter with a back injury after he was sacked by Shelby Harris and was hit by Adam Gotsis as he twisted awkwardly. Coach Jack Del Rio said Carr suffered from back spasms.
Carr (10 of 18 for 143 yards) was replaced by Manuel, who drove the Raiders 73 yards for Tavecchio’s 38-yard field goal. Manuel finished 11 of 17 for 106 yards.
Up next, the Raiders return home to host the Baltimore Ravens.
Meanwhile, Carson Palmer threw 19 yards to Larry Fitzgerald with 32 seconds left in overtime for the game’s only touchdown and the Arizona Cardinals escaped with an 18-15 victory over the winless San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
The scoring had been limited to nine field goals on an ugly afternoon in the desert before Palmer directed a seven-play, 75-yard drive with 1:52 to play.
Fitzgerald, who had three catches for 13 yards before the winning grab, rose to catch the ball under tight coverage by Rashard Robinson.
Robbie Gould kicked his fifth field goal, a 23-yarder with 2:24 left in overtime to put the 49ers ahead 15-12.
Phil Dawson kicked four field goals for the Cardinals (2-2), whose two victories both have come in overtime.
The 49ers (0-4), losing to the Cardinals for the fifth time in a row, won the coin toss to start the overtime. They used up 7:36 of the extra session, which was shortened from 15 to 10 minutes this season.
Palmer went 5 of 7 on the winning drive. Under duress all day behind an injury-riddled offensive line, he completed 33 of 51 for 357 yards and was intercepted in the end zone on a tipped pass on the game’s opening series. Palmer was sacked seven times, four in the fourth quarter and once in overtime, by a 49ers team that had three sacks total in the first three games.
Gould, who hasn’t missed a field goal since 2015 (20 for 20), connected from 49, 39, 47, 48 and 23 yards. Dawson, replaced by Gould as 49ers kicker this season, was 4 for 4, making field goals of 29, 43, 50 and 32 yards.
San Francisco failed to score a touchdown for the third time this season and has lost its first four games for the first time since 2010.
Up next, the 49ers are at Indianapolis next Sunday.