Manning leads Broncos past Raiders 26-13
Going on the road in a short week is a tough task for any NFL
Now the Denver Broncos get the reward for beating the division
rival Oakland Raiders – three extra days of rest before their most
important game remaining in the regular season.
Peyton Manning threw for 310 yards and had his 30th touchdown
pass of the season on the game’s opening drive to help the Broncos
roll to their eighth straight victory, 26-13 over the Raiders on
”These Thursday night games are tough, especially late in the
year,” Manning said. ”I know I’m tired.”
Knowshon Moreno ran for 119 yards and a score on a career-high
32 carries, and Matt Prater kicked four field goals to help the
Broncos (10-3) move a half-game ahead of New England and Baltimore
for the second-best record in the AFC.
Denver now gets the extra rest before visiting the Ravens next
week in a game that will help decide who gets a first-round playoff
”It means a lot,” cornerback Champ Bailey said. ”We’re
probably going to need it. The more preparation you could have for
a team like that, the better.”
Carson Palmer threw one interception that thwarted a possible
scoring chance for the Raiders (3-10) and lost a fumble that set up
a touchdown for the Broncos as Oakland lost its sixth straight
game. It is the team’s longest skid since also losing six in a row
The Raiders played the game with heavy hearts as coach Dennis
Allen’s father, Grady, died earlier in the week from cardiac
arrest. Allen was away from the team for two days but returned
Wednesday and coached the game.
”I took my father off life support (voice cracking), and that’s
not easy to do,” Allen said. ”So was it hard? Yeah, it was hard.
But I know my father would want me to be here with this football
team, and I wanted to be here with this football team. So I’m sure
you guys can imagine it wasn’t an easy situation.”
The Raiders’ players talked during the week about rallying
around their first-year coach, but came out flat against a fierce
division rival and were swept in the season series by the Broncos
for the first time since 2006.
The game was mildly competitive for only a brief time as the
Raiders got on the board late in the first half on a touchdown pass
from Palmer to Darren McFadden and then started with the ball in
the third quarter trailing 13-7.
McFadden, returning from a four-game absence for a sprained
right ankle, broke off a 36-yard run on the first play from
scrimmage, but the Raiders’ drive stalled in Denver territory after
that and the Broncos took the game over. McFadden later left the
game after re-injuring the ankle.
Manning, who joined Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks in NFL
history with 5,000 career completions, converted a third-and-11
with a perfectly placed 22-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas. Manning
followed that with a 29-yard completion to Eric Decker, but the
drive stalled after a pass-interference call on Matt Giordano gave
the Broncos a first down at the 1. Matt Prater’s 20-yard field goal
made it 16-7.
Mike Goodson then made the ill-advised decision to return a kick
from 8 yards deep in the end zone, forcing Oakland to start a drive
at their 8. Von Miller then beat Khalif Barnes for a sack on third
down, stripping the ball from Palmer. Mitch Unrein recovered at the
2 and Moreno scored two plays later to make it 23-7.
Moreno is filling in for the injured Willis McGahee and is
giving the Broncos the running game they will need to be successful
in the postseason.
”You always have to have your mind ready to carry it as many
times as they need,” Moreno said. ”That’s what we needed. It felt
good. It felt good for this offense, you know all the hard work
that we do put in.”
Prater added another field goal later in the third quarter and
Manning went on to his record 12th season with 10 wins as a
The only remaining drama was whether quarterback project
Terrelle Pryor would get his first action of the season for
Oakland. He didn’t, giving the frustrated Raiders fans yet another
reason to be upset even though Palmer added a 56-yard TD pass to
Darrius Heyward-Bey and finished with 273 yards passing.
”To rack up this many losses in a row in the fashion that we’ve
done is just extremely frustrating,” Palmer said.
After the game police said a man fell from the upper deck at the
stadium shortly before kickoff and was in serious condition at a
hospital. Initial reports called the fall an accident, but police
said it remained under investigation. The team had no comment.
NOTES: Raiders CB Michael Huff left in the first half with a
wrist injury. … Manning needed 221 games to reach 5,000
completions, 18 fewer than Favre. … Miller has sacks in six
straight games. … Oakland rookie WR Rod Streater had four catches
for a career-high 100 yards.
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