It was a bleak scene tonight at the O.Co Coliseum, as the Raiders lost 26-13 to the Broncos, their sixth straight overall.
Peyton Manning dissected the Raiders’ defense, completing 26/36 passes for 310 yards and a touchdown, while Knowshon Moreno rushed for 119 yards on 32 carries and a touchdown.
The game began on an ominous note for the Raiders as the Broncos led 10-0 after the first quarter. A holding penalty helped Manning drive them down the field on their opening possession to take a 7-0 lead. Oakland’s only accomplishment in the quarter was a 58-yard pass from Palmer to Rod Streeter, but any momentum was quickly erased when Palmer threw an interception to Champ Bailey on the very next pass.
Things started to look even dimmer in the second quarter, when a field goal put the Broncos up 13-0. On their next possession, Manning had the Broncos deep in Raiders’ territory, poised to score a touchdown and pad their lead even further.
Things suddenly changed when Manning’s pass to the end zone was under-thrown and intercepted by Phillip Adams. The Raiders then put together one of their most impressive drives of the season. Palmer got several receivers involved in the 14-play, 79-yard drive that was finished off with a beautiful play-call that opened up the left side for Darren McFadden to waltz in for the touchdown. The Raiders trailed 13-7 at the half.
But it would all go downhill from there for the Silver and Black, as the second half was gruesome to watch. Up 16-7, the Broncos pressured, sacked, and stripped Palmer at his own one-yard line. Moreno promptly pounded it in from two yards out to put Denver up by 16.
That was the turning point of the game, as it seemed like the Raiders just quit at that point. The only bright spot of the second half came mid-way through the fourth when Palmer connected with Darrius Heyward-Bey, who eluded a tackle and took it to the house for a 56-yard touchdown.
The Raiders are now 3-10, and Jerry McDonald of the San Jose Mercury News summed things up best in the opening sentence of his game recap:
If a national television audience was at all curious about what is wrong with the Raiders, it was all on display Thursday night.