Oakland, CA – After a shaky start Peyton Manning and the Broncos took control of the game and kept the Raiders winless as they recorded their ninth loss. Its by far the worst start in franchise history. Rookie Derek Carr struggled with the offense while the defense got taxed by staying on the field too long. Oakland suffered their worst loss of the season when they lost 41-17 to Denver.
Despite being picked off twice, Manning completed 31 of 44 passes and finished with five touchdowns for 340 yards. Another successful day for Manning and his offense as the Raiders defense struggled immensely. The only success for Oakland, happened in the first half before the Broncos offense dominated the entire game.
“We started the game pretty well, forced a couple of turnovers,” said Raiders’s head coach Tony Sparano. “DJ [Hayden] made a big play there early in the game. It’s what we wanted to do, get a little bit of pressure and move Peyton [Manning].”
Oakland’s defense got off to a great start forcing Manning to throw an interception on opening drive. Hayden forced the pick and the Raiders took an early 3-0 lead with a 41-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski. The Broncos tied the game on the next drive with a 20-yard field goal by Brandon McManus and extended their lead 6-3 with McManus’ second field goal to start the second quarter.
“I thought we played together the first half,” DE Justin Tuck said. “The first 25 minutes of the half we kept them off rhythm. Obviously, he adjusted, and that’s why he’s, if not the best quarterback to ever play this game, definitely one of the best. He adjusted and we weren’t able to adjust well enough to keep up.”
Denver challenged Oakland’s defense in the first despite the Raiders making them kick two back-to-back field goals. Tuck forced Manning’s second turnover in the first half. He leaped up like an NBA player blocking a shot, tipping Manning’s short pass intended for Julius Thomas on Denver’s 19-yard line. Tuck intercepted the ball giving Oakland a chance to get back in the ball game.
Carr found Brice Butler in the end zone for the 5-yard touchdown giving the Raiders a 10-6 lead in the second. But the game changed for the worst when Carr got picked off by Bradley Roby. Manning’s 51-yard touchdown pass to C.J Anderson was the turning point and meltdown for the Oakland. Anderson broke through tackles and found clear openings throughout the defense completely untouched.
“Just a truly incredible effort on his part to take a potential catch for a loss and turn it into a 50-something-yard touchdown,” said Manning. That really gave us a spark. It easily could’ve been maybe a catch for minus-2 yards. Next thing I know he breaks a tackle and I don’t know how many guys he made miss.”
“There seems to be a play every game that happens to us and then kind of snowballs from there,” S Charles Woodson said. “There were a couple of missed tackles, mine included, which I felt like, ‘Man, I’m part of the play that really turned that game around.’ That’s one I’ll be thinking about all night.”
A 32-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Emmanuel Sanders with seconds left before the end of the first half was a demolishing blow to the Raiders defense. Too much time on the field showed fatigue, lack of effort and missed plays. Hayden was beat down the right sideline by Sanders while Denver extended their lead 20-10 with 28 seconds left in second quarter.
Overwhelmed, Carr tossed a shotgun pass to Khalif Barnes who was caught off guard and fumbled the ball early in the third quarter. That setup Thomas for a 10-yard touchdown. Manning hit both Thomas and Saunders again for touchdowns erasing the embarrassing loss they faced last week against the New England Patriots. As for Oakland they suffered their worst loss of the season.
“All week we had a bad taste in our mouths because that Patriots game was definitely embarrassing,” said Sanders. “It was something that we don’t want to go through again, obviously, in the rest of the season.”
“You’ve got to give it to them, they rushed really well, they defended really well, and they covered really well,” Carr said. “We got out played today.”