The biggest game of the season for both the Raiders and the Broncos kicked off with Denver having the ball first. They had a quick 3 and out deep in their own territory so the Raiders got to start their first drive close to midfield. They managed to got to the Broncos 5 yard line but disappointingly they couldn't into the endzone. However, they did get the 24 yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski to take the lead 3-0.
Denver's offense failed to get a first down on their 2nd drive too, although this time it wasn't Denver QB Trevor Siemian's fault. He had two on point passes dropped that would have gotten first downs. Once again the Raiders got excellent field position thanks to the 3 and out by Denver. However, again they failed to be able to get the touchdown after getting into the redzone. This time it was because of a Von Miller sack on 3rd down to force a 29 yard field goal which made the score 6-0.
Oakland's solid defensive play continued as they forced the Broncos off the field without a first down for the 3rd drive in a row to start this game. This time they would not be denied either, they drove right through the vaunted Denver defense for their much deserved first touchdown of the game. It came on a diving Latavius Murray run over the pile at the goal line with him extending the ball dangerously but effectively to get into the end zone. The touchdown made the score 13-0 Oakland.
Would you believe it if I told you the Broncos again couldn't get a first down on their next drive too? I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it, but sure enough the Raiders made it 4 three and outs in a row by the Denver offense. Unfortunately, for the first time the Raiders had a drive that they didn't score on so they had their first Marquette King punt of the day.
The Broncos finally got their first 1st down of the game on a 3rd down play on their next drive, it took a hell of a catch by Demaryius Thomas. That woke up the Denver offense though, because they got another first down after that and then scored on a 36 yard touchdown pass the very next play to make the score 13-7. The touchdown was a beautiful throw to Jordan Norwood who rolled his way into the endzone after catching the ball at the one.
The Raiders offense appeared like they were ready for retaliation but their drive faltered in Denver territory. It shouldn't have though, the refs completely disregarded a very obvious pass interference penalty that would have gotten them a first down on their last set of downs. After that they ended up settling for a 48 yard field goal attempt which Sebastian Janikowski missed.
The Broncos failed to get a first down after taking over at their own 38 from the missed field goal. Once the Raiders got the ball back they faced a 3rd and 1 but Latavius Murray broke free for a 42 yard gain down to the Denver 24. They quickly were in 3rd down again, but this time they got the PI call on Denver when they held Amari Cooper in the end zone. A couple of plays later after another PI call on Denver it was Latavius Murray again with the 1 yard touchdown to make the score 20-7.
Denver started their next drive at their own 20 with 1:19 left in the half and quickly made their way to midfield. It looked like the Raiders came up with the stop with just 22 seconds left in the half but a defensive holding penalty on T.J. Carrie kept their drive alive. The very next play was a deep ball to Emmanuel Sanders that would have had the Broncos down at the 1 but it just barely was incomplete when the ball skidded on the ground.
The Broncos did get into field goal range with a short completion on their next play though, and their kicker Brandon McManus kicked the 55 yard field goal through with ease. It looked like it would have been good from 10 yards further both times he kicked it, the first didn't count because of a timeout. The kick made the score 20-10 at halftime, and the Raiders get the ball first to start the 2nd half.