Oakland, CA – One mistake proved costly in the fourth. After Charles Woodson intercepted Peyton Manning’s pass, Derek Carr threw a pick six and that was the turning point of the game. The Raiders had a good chance to claim victory over a team that’s been a challenge in years past. The Denver Broncos defeated Oakland 16-10 but it wasn’t easy.
The Raiders running game took flight when left tackle Khalif Barnes was added as a line backer to block running backs. Oakland’s offense had promise against a stout Broncos defense. With little success in getting into the end zone, the team relied on their kicker Sebastian Janikowski who set a Raiders record by playing his 241st game.
“It just didn’t click, I don’t know sometimes it happens,” said Janikowski.
Janikowski missed two field goals, the second costing the team the lead. His first 38-yard field goal was blocked by Sylvester Williams in the first quarter. The second, a 40-yard field goal after Woodson’s second interception went wide left costing Oakland a opportunity to take the lead 10-9 in the fourth.
The Raiders offense got the momentum back when Woodson leaped over his own teammate and picked off Manning again. Despite Janikowski’s missed field goal, Carr connected with Michael Crabtree for a 21-yards pass. A Denver penalty moved the chains and Oakland was back in great position to score. But a pick 6 by Chris Harris Jr. gave the Broncos a 16-7 lead.
“They brought pressure and we were hot so I was throwing my hot and we just didn’t execute,” Carr said.
This is certainly not the same team who began the season 0-10 last year. The effort is there and once it comes together, the Raiders will be a better team. After Denver scored on Brandon McManus 25-yard field goal in the second. Carr’s found a wide open Clive Walford for a 33-yard pass that setup Marcel Reece’s 3-yard touchdown making it a 7-3 game.
Late in the second Manning found Bennie Fowler for a 41-yard pass moving the Broncos into Oakland territory. The Raiders made stops when needed and forced Manning to unravel under pressure with less than 25 seconds in the half. Manning’s pass in the end zone intended for Owens Daniels was intercepted by Woodson to end the half.
It took 18 years but Woodson finally did it! Last Wednesday Woodson turned 39 years old. After practice he addressed the media by his locker and said, “It would be nice to pick off Manning, I’ve never done that before.” Woodson recorded his third interception in the last three games.
“Unbelievable what he’s doing,” said Oakland’s head coach Jack Del Rio. “Just to be playing alone at 39 years old is incredible. But to be such a productive player and making big plays in the game… I’m really proud of the effort that we’re getting from guys.”
“Took him 18 years (laughs). He’s a great player, probably offsets the two touchdowns I threw on him last year. Call it a wash,” Manning said jokingly.