The Denver Broncos won their eighth straight, Thursday night in Oakland, 26-13. Fueled by another surgical type performance by Peyton Manning and strong running from Knowshon Moreno, the Broncos moved to 10-3 on the season, and now have 10 days to prepare for their next game against the 9-3 Ravens, in Baltimore.
The Broncos went ahead on the first drive of the game, 7-0 on a TD pass from Manning to Joel Dreessen. Denver settled for two more Matt Prater field goals to go ahead 13-0 and were moving again late in the second half, when Manning was intercepted by Raider defensive back Phillip Adams. Palmer guided then guided the Raiders to their longest scoring drive of the season of 80 yards, and cut the lead to 13-7 at the half. The Raiders honored their HOF members at half time, and there were also the usual spectacle of wildly costume laden Raider fans in the black-hole. There wouldn’t be much more for them to cheer about in the second half.
First, Denver extended their lead to 16-7 on another field goal by Prater. Then pinned deep in their own territory, Raider QB Carson Palmer was stripped of the ball by Bronco linebacker Von Miller, and the fumble was recovered by one of last weeks’ heroes, Mitch Unrein at the two yard line. Moreno scored two plays later, to put Denver up 23-7. Denver added one more field goal later in the third quarter, and the Raiders rounded out the scoring when Carson Palmer connected with WR Darrius Heyward-Bey for a 56 yard scoring pass
Once again, Broncos QB Peyton Manning reminded us why the Broncos spent the offseason chasing the highly coveted QB. The milestones for Manning keep piling up. In the middle of throwing for 310 yards, one TD and one INT on Thursday, Manning became only the 2nd QB in the NFL to have 5,000 pass completions. He also became 2nd all-time with his 7th season of 30 plus TD passes and became the 1st QB ever to have 70 games of 300 plus passing yards. One more, and the most impressive, it is Mannings 12th season with 10 or more wins; no other NFL QB has ever reached that mark.
The Broncos continue to play well on both sides of the ball, and seemingly everyone contributes. Knowshon Moreno has been solid taking over for an injured Willis McGahee and tonight he carried the ball a career high 32 times for 119 yards, and had four receptions totaling 48 yards. At the half way point of the season, people were starting to wonder if the Broncos could run the table, and with only three games left, now they have a great shot at it. That’s important as they battle for a higher playoff seed, and a first round bye. Next up is a very physical match in Baltimore, followed by two home games against Cleveland and Kansas City.