The Denver Broncos (3-0) defeated the Oakland Raiders (1-2) by the final score of 37 -21 at Mile High Stadium in Denver on Monday night. Throughout the game the Oakland Raiders defense got a heavy dose of Peyton Manning’s no-huddle offense, and in the end it proved too much for the defense.
Peyton Manning once again had a great game and was pretty much unstoppable, especially in the first half. He led his offense to 17 straight points to start the game and put the Raiders in a deep hole early.
The Raiders defense struggled to stop him and part of that was an inability to get pressure, although they were able to get to him a couple times. In fact, the defense forced their first two turnover of the season on a sack and forced fumble caused by Lamarr Houston. They also forced a Montee Ball fumble with just over two minutes left in the game, although at that point the game was pretty much over.
Other than that, however, Manning could do no wrong. He ended the game completing 32 of his 37 passes and throwing for 374 yards and three touchdowns and was able to spread the ball around as usual.
The other side of the ball for the Raiders was a bit of a roller coaster. They were held to just two first downs in the first half and did not really string together a good drive until the second half.
Their first score of the game came on a touchdown pass from Terrelle Pryor to Denarius Moore. Moore caught the pass on a hook route, broke a tackle, then took it to the house for a 73-yard score. He finished the game with six catches for 124 yards and a touchdown.
That score made the game 17-7 and could have created a nice spark for the team, but it was quickly answered by the Broncos. They took the ball on a four play, 80 yard drive that was capped off by a touchdown pass to tight-end Julius Thomas. At that point it was already 24-7, and the Broncos were able to add another field goal to make it 27-7 by the time it hit halftime.
Overall, Terrelle Pryor did look pretty decent and went 19/28 for 281 yards and a touchdown. When he was given ample time in the pocket he was able to find his receivers and make the defense pay. Unfortunately, with the Raiders in a big hole early, they were unable to establish much of a running game and finished with 49 total yards rushing.
Pryor led the team once again with 36 yards on the ground while running back Darren McFadden only had nine yards on 12 carries. He was rendered completely ineffective against the Broncos defense aside from a couple nice plays. One of those plays was a 16 yard touchdown pass on a halfback pass to Marcel Reece late in the third quarter and the other was a touchdown run from the goal-line during garbage time.
Matt Flynn also made an appearance late for the Raiders after Pryor took quite a bit hit that during a play in the fourth quarter that ended with him fumbling the football. Pryor ended up heading to the locker room, which then allowed Flynn to step in with just over two minutes left in the game. He threw two passes and completed one of them for 19 yards too Reece. Pryor’s injury did not look all that serious, although there has been nothing official from the Raiders at this point.
Next up for the Raiders are the winless Washington Redskins back at home in Oakland. The Raiders face an underachieving team who at this point is desperate for a win to stay relevant in the NFC East, so expect another great game next week. Keep checking back here for analysis, injury updates, and storylines for their upcoming game.