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  • 04 Jun
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- With leading rusher C.J. Anderson sidelined by a knee injury, the Denver Broncos struggled to get off the ground in their AFC West showdown against the Oakland Raiders.Rookie Devontae Booker was bottled up from the start and Denver ended up abandoning the run in a 30-20 loss to the Raiders on Sunday night that dropped the defending Super Bowl champions out of first place.Booker was held to 22 yards on 10 carries and Denver (6-3) ran for just 33 yards on 12 attempts against what had been one of the leagues worst run defenses the first half of the season. It was the least productive game for the Broncos on the ground since they were held to 28 yards on 10 carries in a loss to St. Louis on Nov. 16, 2014.Weve got to find a way to run the football somehow, some way, to help our football team, coach Gary Kubiak said. Obviously the last two weeks its been pretty much non-existent.Denvers running game took a big hit two weeks ago when Anderson was placed on injured reserve because he needed surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.Anderson was coming off his best performance of the season, having run for 107 yards on 16 carries in a win against Houston. He was averaging 4.0 yards a carry and had run for four TDs at the time of his injury that forced Booker into a more prominent role.In two games as the lead back, Booker has run for just 76 yards on 29 carries.The running game was more of a luxury in recent years for Denver when Peyton Manning was controlling the game at quarterback. But during Mannings struggles last season and with rookie Trevor Siemian at the controls this year, the Broncos need to rely more heavily on the run game if they want to have success offensively.They came out throwing against the Raiders and went three and out on their first four possessions. Siemian threw eight passes out of the 12 plays, with Booker running four times for 10 yards.Denver struggled to stay on the field, converting just 3 of 11 third downs and possessing the ball for only 18:32.Part of that is on me, Siemian said. Some of those third downs, you cant run the ball if youre not on the field. Converting those third downs and staying on the field and getting into a rhythm -- its not just the quarterbacks and receivers but the offensive line, everybody. Its something well work on and well get it fixed.Siemian managed to hit a few big plays in the passing game later on, connecting on a deep 36-yard TD pass to Jordan Norwood in the second quarter and a 69-yard TD on a short pass behind the line to Kapri Bibbs in the fourth quarter.But with little threat of the run, Oaklands pass rushers were able to tee off on Siemian, and Khalil Mack had two sacks, including a forced fumble that he recovered. Siemian also threw a late interception that sealed the win for Oakland.---For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Cheap Ecco Shoes China .ca looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable. Cheap New Balance Shoes China . -- Jaye Marie Green shot a 4-under 68 on Thursday to increase her lead to five strokes after the second round of the LPGA Tours qualifying tournament. http://www.cheapshoeschinaonline.com/cheap-under-armour-shoes-china-183a.html . In the lead up - which seemed to begin the moment Mike Geiger blew the whistle in Houston last Thursday night - the Impact rumour mill went into overdrive. The speculation went into meltdown mode, of the golden nugget variety. Cheap Shoes China . The winner Saturday will remain in the elite 10-team field next year. "We talked about wanting to be disciplined and stick with our game plan and good things will come," Draisaitl said, who had two goals for the victors. Clearance Shoes China . During the athletes parade, the 23-strong Ukrainian team was represented by a lone flagbearer in an apparent protest at the presence of Russian troops in Ukraines Crimean peninsula. When the 2016 tennis season unfurled Down Under, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic were the unchallenged champions of their elite orbits.By the end of the year, the No. 1 players had been unseated in shocking fashion by two exceptionally late bloomers, Angelique Kerber and Andy Murray.Williams was the WTAs top-ranked player for 186 consecutive weeks, equaling Steffi Grafs Open era record. Djokovic occupied the ATP World Tour throne for 122 consecutive weeks. Collectively, thats nearly six straight years of dominance.The year-end obituaries of the fallen No. 2-ranked players, however, sounded a bit shrill.As 2017 rapidly approaches, we can report that Williams -- now a doddering 35 -- and the 29-year-old Djokovic are still breathing. In fact, it wouldnt be a stretch to imagine them winning multiple Slams and reclaiming their No. 1 rankings.Amid all the hype and talk of change, its easy to forget that Djokovic won the first two majors of the season and made the final of the fourth; Williams lost to Kerber in the final of the Australian Open and beat her in the Wimbledon final.In retrospect, its now clear Serena spoiled us with a late-career surge that has no historic parallel. After turning 30, following the 2011 US Open, she won nine of the next 20 Grand Slam singles titles -- dominating womens tennis over a five-year span in spectacular fashion.She and Djokovic still have their supporters.Its Jan. 30, the Monday after the Australian Open ends, said Brad Gilbert, who coached Andy Murray, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick. And you tell me that [Serena/Djokovic] double happened. No, I wouldnt be surprised -- at all.Djoker has won six of those titles. Serenas like a stock -- how do you predict it? The fact shes played as little as she has -- shes 35, and shes probably the betting favorite. Sort of like Tom Brady and the Patriots. Dont focus on the age; look at the history.Both Djokovic and Williams struggled with injuries, which led to diminished confidence -- their signature weapon in recent years.Heading into this years US Open, Williams was still a favorite, and with a title, would have strung together another excellent year. Instead she got beaten by ascendant Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals.I wasnt able to move the way I wanted to move, Williams told the media afterward. When youre injured, youre thinking of other things when you should be just playing and thinking of your shots. My mind was just a little bit everywhere.So was her season. There were surprisingly early losses in the Rio Olympics in singles and, with sister Venus, doubles. Serena finished with two titles (Wimbledon and Rome) and played only 44 matches, her lowest totals in five years.dddddddddddd And, for the second consecutive year, she shut her season down after the US Open.Her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, was moved to call it a very bad season.Williams, who was dogged by shoulder and knee issues, literally limped away from the year.Djokovic nursed a nagging arm injury and, after winning the French Open to complete his career Grand Slam, tailed off drastically. After losing to Murray in the final of the ATP year-end event, Djokovic looked and sounded weary.Right now, he said to the media, the goal is just to rest a little bit. Its been a long season, a very nice year, a lot to reflect on, a lot to take in. Its time to leave the racket aside for a little bit, just recover.There will be no recovery for six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker, the coach who was the most notable collateral damage after Djokovics second-half swoon. After three years with Djokovic, Becker was terminated at the end of the season.Because theyre getting a bit older, both Djokovic and Williams will be playing in 2017 with an enormous sense of urgency. Its suddenly a shrinking universe, with all kinds of younger players -- Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, Nick Kyrgios, Simona Halep, Pliskova and Madison Keys -- all looking for their first Slam win.Nearing 30, Djokovic has crossed that line of demarcation for male tennis players. Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal, who have won a total of 45 majors, collected only two among them after their 29th birthdays.Djokovic, with 12 Grand Slam singles titles, needs two to equal Sampras and Nadal and five to catch Federer. Williams is tied with Graf with 22 major titles, two behind all-time leader Margaret Smith Court.What must Serena and Djokovic do to successfully hit the reset button?Pam Shriver, and ESPN analyst who won 21 Grand Slam doubles titles, said they need to make an immediate impression.I think they have to play well in Australia -- maybe not win it but go deep in the draw, she said. For their own confidence and also sending a message to rest of the field. I think its going to be easier for Djokovic than Serena. I dont have lot of confidence in this mid-30s-take-four-months-off thing. I hope she can prove me wrong. Until then, I am skeptical.I think theyll both win majors; one of them will win more than one. The current No. 1s, Kerber and Murray, are in it to win it for the year. On the mens side, I think it will be the most unpredictable year since 2003 going back to Federers first Slam. ' ' '