The Oakland Raiders hosted the AFC West leading Denver Broncos looking to forget about the last-second loss to the Chicago Bears last week.
Despite an outstanding performance from the Raiders defense, the team would fall lose another game that was within reach all game before mistakes became too costly to overcome.
Derek Carr looked to get the Raiders on the scoreboard early with a well-scripted 13-play drive that eventually stalled in the Broncos red zone. Veteran kicker Sebastian Janikowski came out for the 38-yard field goal for the early lead but instead saw his low kick blocked at the line by Malik Jackson.
Veteran Peyton Manning wouldn’t waste any time to answer, quickly finding wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders for a 45-yard gain after he burned DJ Hayden. The Raiders defense would hold though, forcing the Broncos to settle for a field goal for the early 3-0 lead.
Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave countered with a nice drive of his own. Carr got it started with a nice pass to rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper. He then found his other rookie, tight end Clive Walford who was wide open for a 33-yard gain. The Raiders would punch it in for the touchdown on a play-action pass to fullback Marcel Reece for the 7-3 lead.
It looked as if Manning would get another score to end the first half, but the Raiders would come up with another huge interception. 39-year-old Charles Woodson said before the game that he wanted to get his long-awaited interception on Manning, and he got his wish as he made the interception in the end zone to end the half. Woodson had not yet intercepted him in both of their 18 years in the NFL.
The Raiders offense was unable to carry any rhythm over to the second half. On the very first play from the line of scrimmage, star linebacker Von Miller stole the ball out of Carr’s hands on a strip-sack, giving Manning the ball back on the 16-yard line. The Raiders defense would once again holding, forcing another field goal to retain their 7-6 lead. They would get another one to take the 9-7 lead.
Woodson waited 18 NFL years to get his first interception against Manning, but he wasn’t done yet. The future hall of famer made a spectacular leaping catch to record his second of the game and giving the Raiders offense the ball back.
Carr would move the offense down the field to get back into field goal range, but Janikowksi missed the 41-yard field goal wide left.
The game still wasn’t over though as Carr had a chance to lead the offense back down the field looking for either a field goal or touchdown for the win. Within field goal range, Carr lookedd for Cooper over the middle but he never saw the ball and cornerback Chris Harris Jr. intercepted the ball and took it back 74 yards for the Broncos only interception.
The Raiders would make one last push, kicking a field goal with two minutes left to bring them within 6 at 16-10 with under two minutes remaining. But Janikowski’s onside kick was nowhere near being recovered and Manning was able to run the clock out to keep the Broncos undefeated and sending the Raiders to 2-3 heading into the bye.