Following back-to-back losses, the Denver Broncos entered their contest with the Oakland Raiders knowing they needed a win to get their season back on the right track and that is exactly what they did in a huge way. Peyton Manning passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns while completing 30 of his 38 attempts in the Broncos’ 37-6 blowout over the Raiders.
Manning and the entire Denver offense looked much more fluid in moving the ball and doing what they wanted to against the Oakland defense than they did in the previous two weeks. If they can continue to improve week after week, then there is no telling exactly how good this unit unit could be. Willis McGahee rushed for 112 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown while Manning hooked up with eight different players on receptions, including Demaryius Thomas (five receptions for 103 yards) and Eric Decker (seven receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown).
The Broncos defense also looked much improved as they held the Raiders to just 237 yards of total offense on 53 plays. Carson Palmer (19-34 for 202 yards) never seemed comfortable in the pocket throughout the game and Darren McFadden (13 carries for 34 yards) couldn’t get into any type of rhythm carrying the ball as the Oakland offense put together a lackluster effort. The Raiders converted on just one of 12 third down attempts and couldn’t find a way to score (or stop the Broncos from scoring) after the intermission.
Denver also dominated the football, winning the time of possession battle 37:25 to just 22:35 for Oakland as the Broncos scored 27 unanswered points in the second half. Next up for the 2-2 Broncos is a huge litmus test versus the 2-2 New England Patriots on the road at Gillette Stadium while the 1-3 Raiders get to lick their wounds from this awful loss during their bye week. Another Peyton Manning/Tom Brady battle is on the way and hopefully it’s as classic as many of them were when Manning played for the Indianapolis Colts.