Raiders bust up the Broncos

The offense finally got into the end zone, Johnnie Lee Higgins returned a punt for a touchdown for the second straight week and the Raiders avenged their season-opening loss to Denver by delivering a serious blow to the Broncos' division title hopes with a 31-10 win on Sunday.

WHAT WENTRIGHT

· Oakland's offense had gone more than three games without scoring a touchdown but came up with three against the Broncos, two coming on lengthy drives in the second half when the Raiders took control of the game. Two of the scores came from rookie running back Darren McFadden, who didn't have a huge day rushing (38yards on 10carries) but managed to contribute in a big way nevertheless.

· Quarterback JaMarcus Russell managed the gameplan nicely and made key completions with the minimal pass attempts he had. Russell came up biggest on the 51-yard completion to Ashley Lelie that set up one touchdown. The deep ball has been noticeably missing from the Raiders arsenal so that was a good sign. Russell and Lelie also hooked up on a short touchdown throw for the second time this season.

· Johnnie Lee Higgins made the game's most pivotal play when he returned a punt 89yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Higgins, who scored on a 91-yard punt return a week ago in Miami, evaded a pair of defenders and did a nice job staying in bounds before streaking down the sidelines for the touchdown which gave Oakland a 10-3 lead.

· Cornerback Chris Johnson continues to shine as Oakland's starting left cornerback and had his best all-around game against the Broncos. Johnson broke up numerous pass plays, helped keep Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall quiet for most of the game and also had an interception return for touchdown that was erased by penalty.

· Denver quarterback Jay Cutler had a huge day in the season-opener but was nowhere near as successful in the rematch. Cutler was 16 of 37 for 204 yards, one interception and no touchdowns.



WHAT WENT WRONG

· Penalties was the only real stumbling block, though usual suspect Kwame Harris at left tackle wasn't the issue. Instead the problems were more wide-ranging -- 10 for 90 yards in all -- though that includes what appeared to be a pair of phantom personal foul calls against linebacker Thomas Howard for hits on Cutler.



BY THE NUMBERS

208: Plays in between offensive touchdowns by the Raiders, a stretch of 15 quarters.

149.1: Quarterback rating for JaMarcus Russell, who completed 10 of 11 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown.

107: Rushing yards for Justin Fargas, his first 100-yard game of the season.

0: Sacks allowed by the Raiders offensive line.



INJURIES

· Backup safety Michael Huff was unable to finish the game due to a stinger. That was the only Oakland player interim head coach Tom Cable listed as injured after the game.



THEY SAID IT

· "It's just a lot of things kind of opened up today, kind of woke up, if you will, or came together a little bit today. It's just the start, hopefully, for us. And, hopefully, we can take this and go forward."

-- Raiders interim head coach Tom Cable on the win over the Broncos


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