DENVER, Colo. - The Denver Broncos defense had no problem stopping the Raiders rushing game, unfortunately it was Rich Gannon's passing game that led to yet another prime-time embarrassment.
Gannon connected on 34 of 38 passes, including a record setting 21 consecutive, to lead Oakland to a 34-10 romp over a listless and confused Broncos team on Monday Night Football's 500th anniversary.
All totaled now the Broncos have been outscored 68-33 during their two Monday night appearances this season.
"They came into our backyard and kind of kicked us all over the field," head coach Mike Shanahan said.
That puts it mildly.
Oakland struck early and struck often, as Sebastian Janikowski connected from 47-yards out to give the Raiders a 3-0 lead.
That Raiders increased that lead minutes later when veteran Rod Woodson picked off a Brian Griese pass and returned it 98-yards untouched into the end zone, giving Oakland a 10-0 advantage.
"The play he made was huge, absolutely huge, to get us jump-started," said Raiders coach Bill Callahan.
For Denver, it was pretty much downhill after that.
A dislocated elbow for Shannon Sharpe and a twisted left knee for Trevor Pryce only exemplified the Broncos frustrations.
For Oakland, it couldn't have been better.
Jerry Rice, who holds almost every receiving record known to man, became the first player in NFL history to catch 200 touchdowns in a career, pulling down a six-yard toss from Gannon midway through the second quarter. Add on a two-point conversion and another Janikowski field goal, and Oakland walked away with with a 21-7 first half lead.
"It was Monday night, it was a big game, everyone was hyped up. I'm very proud of how our team came out tonight," said Rice.
Denver did manage two scores, a Clinton Portis one-yard touchdown plunge in the second quarter and a fourth quarter Jason Elam field goal, yet it almost seemed meaningless considering the way Oakland was playing.
"All you've got to say is, Rich Gannon, said linebacker John Mobley. "Nothing else needs to be said. He single-handedly dismantled our entire defense."
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Raiders in a romp 34-10
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