Royal didn't put up huge numbers at Virginia Tech, but now leads the NFL in receiving. The rookie second-round pick had nine catches for 146 yards against Oakland and did most of his damage against former Pro Bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall.
"You dream about it and you hope you can come out and play this well, but the main thing is we won," Royal said.
The Broncos were confident in Royal, who performed well through training camp and the preseason. He won a starting job before the first preseason game.
They needed him in the season opener, with suspended receiver Brandon Marshall out. Marshall will return in Week 2, so Royal won't have as many targets going forward as he did in the opener, but his contribution was the main reason Denver started the season 1-0.
"We played one-on-one football with them, we didn't out-scheme them," quarterback Jay Cutler said. "Eddie Royal beat DeAngelo Hall time after time after time. That's what happened."
--Defensive end Jarvis Moss, the team's first-round pick last year, was among the inactives in the season opener. Although Moss didn't have a great preseason, the move was made for strategic reasons. Moss is undersized at end and the Broncos figured the Raiders would run often.
"They're a run-oriented team and obviously Jarvis has been our pass-rush specialist," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said.
--Linebacker D.J. Williams, who could have become a free agent after this season, signed a five-year extension with the team worth about $32 million with about $13 million guaranteed. Williams was moved back to his natural weak-side linebacker position before the season after three seasons playing out of position, which might have helped his comfort level in signing a long-term deal.
"It has grown to be like home," said Williams' agent, Tony Fleming. "He likes the team and the organization and wanted to be there."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was a great feeling. Especially here in this stadium, like this, against our rivals, in a big game on Monday night. It's everything that you hope for." -- Rookie second-round pick wide receiver Eddie Royal on his first career touchdown.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--OT Erik Pears, a starter most of the last two seasons with Denver, was inactive in the season opener. Undrafted rookie tackle Tyler Polumbus was active ahead of him.
--WR Darrell Jackson only caught one pass but made it count. He had a 48-yard touchdown early in the third quarter that put the game away. With Brandon Marshall returning from suspension, Jackson's role will probably shrink starting this week.
--LB Boss Bailey was active but didn't start against Oakland. The team wanted to give him one more week to heal his high ankle sprain.
--LB Jamie Winborn started in Boss Bailey's place at strong-side linebacker and played well. He had five solo tackles and is a good backup at either outside linebacker position.
--LB Nate Webster was solid in his first game as Denver's starting middle linebacker. Webster had seven solo tackles and four assists, each of which led the team.
--WR Brandon Marshall was placed on the active roster Tuesday after completing his one-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
--OG Dylan Gandy was waived by the Broncos to clear a roster spot for WR Brandon Marshall.
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