Peyton Manning is 25-2 when he posts a rating of 130.0 or higher. He was at exactly 130.0 Sunday. (Andrew Mason)

With an overhauled offense for QB Peyton Manning and a new defensive coordinator in Jack Del Rio, the Broncos were, as many players repeated, a "work in progress," and their 1-2 start reflected that. They might have gone 2-1 or even 3-0 with a more benevolent opening three games, but the Steelers, Falcons and Texans offered them little chance to ease into the schedule, and small timing snafus led to big mistakes. Sunday against the Raiders, the team came together and notched its biggest margin of victory since December 2009 -- although Oakland appears to be by far the weakest of the Broncos' opponents to date and also for the next two weeks, which will temper their enthusiasm.

Offense: A

This is why the Broncos signed Manning -- but it worked because he had plenty of help from his teammates. His pass-catchers cut their drops -- from six against the Texans to just one. Willis McGahee averaged 5.9 yards per carry, and the three running backs (McGahee, Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball) combined for 222 yards from scrimmage on 44 touches -- an average of 5.05 yards per touch -- and two touchdowns. Denver kept the Raiders off balance throughout, and the result was a game without a punt. Only Demaryius Thomas' fumble that cost the Broncos a potential touchdown separated the Broncos from an "A-plus" rating. It was an unforced error that came when he tried to switch the ball from one hand to another. In one of the previous games, that would have been devastating. Against the hamstrung Raiders, it was a hiccup. Center J.D. Walton's season-ending injury was a blow, but 10-year veteran Dan Koppen stepped in without missing a beat.

Previous game's grade: C-minus

Defense: A

The game plan to stop R aiders RB Darren McFadden worked perfectly; the Broncos were aggressive but didn't overpursue. LB Keith Brooking filled in for the suspended Joe Mays and was perfect for the Broncos' strategy; he didn't get caught out of position and didn't miss any tackles. Denver only had four clear missed stops; three were on one play when shifty RB Mike Goodson doubled back across the field. But that didn't cost the Broncos anything as he came up one yard short of the line, leading to a punt. The only disappointment was a lack of takeaways; safety Mike Adams dropped a potential interception.

Previous game's grade: C

Special teams: B-

S David Bruton showed why the Broncos kept him on the 53-man roster by deflecting one of Shane Lechler's punts, setting the offense at the Oakland 18-yard-line for a touchdown that increased the lead to 24-6. PR Jim Leonhard averaged just 8.4 yards per return but might have bolstered that pace had he not been the victim of a face-mask penalty. The performance was sullied by a fake field-goal attempt that fell apart when Orlando Franklin missed his block, although Matt Prater did a good job keeping the play alive and releasing a desperation throw when he had no chance to run for the first down on fourth-and-1.

Previous game's grade: C-minus

Coaching: A-

Opening the game in the no-huddle was a masterstroke -- and a perfectly logical decision, given the offense's success in hurry-up play in its two previous home games. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio adapted well to linebacking injuries and confused the Raiders with a variety of alignments, including a "Psycho" package where no one lined up in a down position. The only negative was the fake field-goal call; Fox acknowledged Monday that simply leaving the offense on the field to go for it on fourth and 1 would have been the better play.

Previous game's grade: B-

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