Originally published on Silver & Black Report on Sept. 23, 2013
The Oakland Raiders went into Denver Broncos with hope of containing future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, but did not succeed.
Manning came into the game the hottest quarterback in the NFL and added to his incredible stats throwing for another 374 yards and three touchdowns on 32/37 throwing. Manning now has 12 touchdowns through the first three games, setting a new record for a quarterback.
The Broncos offense clicked from the beginning as Manning orchestrated a touchdown-scoring drive on his first possession, finding wide receiver Eric Decker in the end zone after a fake handoff to Knowshon Moreno to give the Broncos the lead.
Meanwhile, while Manning and his offense were clicking, Terrelle Pryor and the Raiders offense were struggling to find a rhythm of their own. In fact, the Raiders did not earn their first first down until their fourth drive of the night. The Raiders had earned just 18 total yards on their first three drives.
The Raiders first score of the night came when they were already down 17-0. On 3rd and three, Pryor found wide receiver Denarius Moore who then broke a tackle to break free and scamper 73-yards for the touchdown to make the score 17-7.
But the Raiders defense just couldn't stop Manning and the Broncos offense.
Manning quickly struck back throwing another touchdown pass just three plays later, finding his new tight end Julius Thomas for a 13-yard touchdown reception, beating linebacker Kevin Burnett who took a bad angle. The score was set up by a 61-yard reception by Eric Decker, who was able to evade Raiders corner Mike Jenkins and safety Brandian Ross for a big catch and run.
Despite getting off to a slow start, Pryor finished with respectable numbers, especially for as little as he had to work with. Pryor finished 19/28 for 281 yards and one touchdown, while not turning the ball over for the second-straight game. Pryor was often in a rush to get rid of the ball or scramble because of poor play from the offensive line.
Though Pryor was often forced to scramble, Pryor looked poised in the pocket and did a nice job of moving around in the pocket and didn't look to run too quickly. A prime example of this was on the 73-yard touchdown pass to Moore as Pryor had running room for the first down but instead chose to step up and put a ball right on the money to Moore for the bigger gain, which turned into the touchdown.
The Raiders were however able to record their first takeaway of the season when defensive end Lamarr Houston sacked and stripped Manning from behind, allowing Jason Hunter to recover the ball.
Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson then reached into his bag of tricks as Pryor pitched the ball back to Darren McFadden who then threw a perfect ball to fullback Marcel Reece in the end zone for a touchdown, making the score 30-14.
After another touchdown by the Broncos to make the score 37-21, there was a scary moment as Pryor kept the ball but was hit hard in the head and remained on the ground injured momentarily. Pryor would eventually get up and finish the final two plays of the drive, having his fourth and goal throw to Moore fall through his hands to turn the ball over on downs.
Pryor would not return to the field for the next drive after heading into the locker room after the big hit, and backup quarterback Matt Flynn replaced him. With a short field following a fumble recovered by Jenkins, Flynn was able to hit Reece down the middle of the field to give the Raiders first and goal. There, Olson appeared to go back to the halfback pass but this time McFadden tucked the ball and ran it in for the touchdown as it appeared the Broncos were prepared for it this time around.
The touchdown brought the score to the final of 37-21 as Manning and the Broncos would run the remainder of the clock out to put the Raiders record at 1-2 for the season.
The Raiders were unable to get much of a rushing attack as McFadden finished with just nine yards on 12 carries, while Pryor added 36 yards on four carries. Moore led the team in receiving with six receptions for 124 yards and one touchdown.
The Raiders return home to host the 0-3 Washington Redskins.