What began in surprising fashion ended pretty much as expected. After taking an early 10-6 lead, the Broncos scored 35 unanswered points to cruise to a 41-17 victory in Oakland.
The Raiders won the toss and elected to give Peyton Manning and the Broncos the first crack at things. And on the second play of the game, that decision worked in their favor. In his first start of the season since returning from the PUP list a few weeks ago, DJ Hayden picked off Peyton Manning. It gave the Raiders the ball at the Denver 49-yard line to begin their first series.
The Raiders drove the ball 23 yards but after a series of short passes ended in short gains and a loss, they could get no further and settled for a field goal to take a 3-0 lead early.
The Broncos would answer with a long drive of their own for what was looking like an easy touchdown but the Raider defense stiffened at the goal line and held them to a field goal of their own to tie it up at 3-3. To be fair, they were helped by a Broncos false start and Peyton Manning missing a wide open Ronnie Hillman for a would-be touchdown. But the result was the same.
After the Raiders couldn't mount a drive of their own, the Broncos got the ball back and began moving right back toward the Black Hole. They would get a big gain on a pass interference penalty from Tarell Brown to set up in first down at the Oakland 15-yard line.
After a penalty and a couple good stops by the Raiders, the Broncos remained at the 15-yard-line on third down as the second quarter began. The Raiders would make their second red zone stop and hold Denver to a field goal to go up 6-3.
Once againthe Broncos were looking to add to their lead in the second quarter but Justin Tuck got in the backfield on a screen attempt, leapt in the air and tipped the ball to himself for the interception. The Raiders got the ball at the 12-yard line and on third down, Derek Carr hit Brice Butler on a post pattern in the back of the endzone for the touchdown and a 10-6 Raiders lead.
Again, the Broncos were driving but again Manning was having passes batted down. Pat Sims and Justin Ellis batted down passes at the line then DJ Hayden stayed with Emmanuel Sanders on third down for a pass defended to force the punt.
With the Raiders clinging to a 4-point lead, the Broncos got the ball late in the second quarter. On the second play of the drive, Manning threw a short pass in the flat to running back CJ Anderson who broke several tackle attempts and took off for a 51-yard touchdown.
Now with a 13-10 deficit and just over two minutes remaining, the Raiders would get one more chance to repsond.
The Broncos, on the other hand, would respond and quickly drive for a touchdown of their own on a 51-yard catch and run by CJ Anderson for the score and a 20-10 lead heading into halftime.
The second half would begin in bizarre fashion. Derek Carr was swarmed on a pass attempt and completed a shovel pass... to Khalif Barnes... an ineligible receiver... who fumbled. The Broncos declined the penalty and took the ball in scoring position. A few plays later they punched it in on a 10-yard pass from Peyton Manning to Julius Thomas to extend the lead to 27-10. This one was getting away quickly.
From there the Raiders offense looked worse and worse while the Broncos continued to score. The Broncos would score again on their next drive on another Manning connection with Julius Thomas, this time from 34 yards out.
Derek Carr answered the Broncos touchdown on the next drive with a perfect pass... to Broncos safety, T.J. Ward for an interception. Tony Sparano was flagged for throwing the challenge flag when he wasn't allowed to do so and the Broncos took over at the Oakland 34-yard line.
In a couple plays, the Broncos were in the red zone looking to put the nail in the coffin before the fourth quarter began. They would drive into the redzone in three plays and finish it off with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Emmanuel Sanders.
And with a minute left in the third quarter, that was the last time we would see Peyton Manning. After another ugly three and out by the Raiders, Brock Osweiler would enter the game for the Broncos looking to ride out the game and leave Oakland with a decisive victory over the hapless Raiders.
Manning wasn't the only one to exit, the fans were also making their mass exodus. They'd seen enough of this one, as had the rest of us. And there was still a whole quarter left to play.
That quarter was a mind-numbing 'let's get this over with' display by both teams. The Raiders added one of their signature garbage time touchdowns at the end when Derek Carr hit Mychal Rivera from 18 yards out with :48 seconds left for ourfinal score of 41-17.
|Denver Broncos (7-2-0)|
|Oakland Raiders (0-9-0)|
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