Raiders end two more streaks with win in Denver

This Raider team has been known for ending streaks of futility lately. Last season they ended their consecutive losing seasons as well as their 13 consecutive losses at the hands of the Chargers. With a 23-20 win in Denver on Monday, two more unwanted streaks fell.

The first was their season opening loss streak. The Raiders had lost eight in a row dating back to — you guessed it — 2003. That seems to be where most of the Raiders’ ugly streaks began. The last time they won their season opener, they won their first four games and went on to the Super Bowl.

The other streak was their consecutive losses on Monday Night Football, of which they had lost seven straight. Any guesses when that streak started? This is for a team that used to be lights out on Monday Night. This franchise was 29-6-1 over the first 20 years of MNF — the best in the NFL. They are 7-19 since that time. The Raiders didn’t have a Monday Night contest last season or the streak would either be at nine losses or would have ended already.

Instead, the Raiders have built up a bit of a streak of their own. They have now won four straight games in Denver as well as four straight overall against this bitter division foe. The last time the Broncos met up with the Raiders on opening night was ironically on a Monday night in Oakland in 2008. With this win, the Raiders sought to avenge that embarrassing 41-14 loss.

This game was far less embarrassing for either team on the scoreboard. In the “a win is a win” department, not much else matters. It is Hue Jackson’s first regular season game as head coach and he comes out a winner. But while he is no doubt ecstatic to have his first win so soon, he can’t be too happy about the mistakes that were made. If you watched the game, there was plenty of embarrassment to go around for both teams.

Both teams had serious issues with penalties as well as fumbling. The Broncos had more fumbles (4) and more turnovers (3) than the Raiders (1) while the Raiders took the prize for the most penalties. The Raiders had 15 penalties for 131 yards to the Broncos 10 for 91 yards.

The first fumble came on the Raiders’ first offensive play of the game. Jacoby Ford took a short pass from Jason Campbell and fumbled it. The Broncos would get the ball on the Raiders 15 yard line and convert on a field goal. Despite a stout defensive stand on two consecutive Bronco possessions, the Raiders found themselves down 3-0 just five minutes into the game.

From there the Raiders rattled off 16 unanswered points. The first seven points came on a short pass to Marcel Reece for a touchdown after a long sustained drive. The other nine points were on Sebastian Janikowski field goals.

The third of those field goals came in historic fashion. The Broncos had driven the ball into Raider territory and were looking to score before heading into the locker room for half time. Then Raiders safety Matt Giordano intercepted the ball to give the Raiders 24 seconds to make a push of their own. After a Denver facemask penalty and a 16 yard completion to Reece, the Raiders were at the Broncos 46 yard line with just a couple seconds left on the clock. So they brought out their Polish cannon and he lined up for a 63 yard field goal attempt. It started left and then straightened out to clear the cross bar.

That field goal is tied for the longest in NFL history. Only two other kickers have ever hit from that far away — Matt Dempsey and Jason Elam. Elam was the last to do it and his kick also happened in the thin air at Mile High. Now as if the Denver fans weren’t peeved enough at losing to the Raiders for the fourth straight time in their house, they will have to see Janikowski’s name alongside their beloved Jason Elam in the record books.

From the game perspective, the kick put the Raiders up by 13 points heading into half time. It was equally demoralizing knowing that the Broncos’ three points were a consolation prize after they were unable to capitalize off a turnover.

The Raiders’ defense smothered the Broncos through most of this game. In the first half, the Broncos looked completely hapless. But in the second half, Denver made it interesting.

Their first touchdown came in the third quarter when Eric Decker returned a Shane Lechler punt 90 yards. Suddenly the Broncos, who were unable to do anything on offense, were within a touchdown of taking the lead. They would kick a field goal in the third quarter as well and the Raiders went into the fourth quarter up by just three points.

The Broncos were driving and looking to tie the game or take the lead when Kyle Orton dropped back to pass and let the ball simply slip out of his fingers. Lamarr Houston was charging Orton at the time and dove on the ball to give the Raiders possession.

On the very next play, Darren McFadden took the handoff and shot up the middle 47 yards to the one yard line. Campbell would take it in with a quarterback sneak on the next play and the Raiders were back up by ten 23-13.

But the Broncos were able to score another touchdown with just under four minutes left in the game to give them another chance to pull out the win or at very least take it to overtime.

But in the end, it simply took the Broncos too long to score that final touchdown. They had the ball for nearly ten minutes and by the time the Raiders got the ball back, all they needed to do was convert a couple of first downs to seal it. The Raiders put Michael Bush in the game and ground out two more first downs to come away with the win.

Box Score

Oakland Raiders

 

 

Passing

CP/AT

YDS

TD

INT

J. Campbell

13/22

105

1

0

Rushing

ATT

YDS

TD

LG

D. McFadden

22

150

0

47

M. Bush

9

30

0

12

M. Reece

1

11

0

11

J. Campbell

6

2

1

7

J. Ford

1

-3

0

-3

Receiving

REC

YDS

TD

LG

D. Heyward-Bey

4

44

0

17

M. Reece

3

23

1

16

J. Ford

3

22

0

12

B. Myers

2

10

0

7

D. McFadden

1

6

0

6

Fumbles

FUM

LOST

REC

YDS

J. Campbell

1

0

0

0

J. Ford

1

1

0

0

T. Branch

0

0

1

0

M. Giordano

0

0

0

0

Q. Groves

0

0

0

0

L. Houston

0

0

1

0

C. Johnson

0

0

0

0

D. McFadden

0

0

1

0

Kicking

FG

LG

XP

PTS

S. Janikowski

3/3

63

2/2

11

Punting

NO

AVG

I20

LG

S. Lechler

6

33.5

1

77

Kickoff Returns

NO

AVG

TD

LG

Punt Returns

NO

AVG

TD

LG

Defense

T-A

SCK

INT

FF

T. Branch

5-1

0.0

0

0

Q. Groves

5-0

0.0

0

1

C. Johnson

5-0

0.0

0

1

M. Giordano

3-0

0.0

1

1

R. Seymour

3-0

2.0

0

0

K. Wimbley

3-0

0.0

0

0

J. Boyd

2-0

0.0

0

0

M. Huff

2-1

0.0

0

0

T. Kelly

2-0

1.0

0

0

M. Shaughnessy

2-0

1.0

0

0

J. Henderson

1-0

0.0

0

0

L. Houston

1-1

0.0

0

0

S. Routt

1-0

0.0

0

0

D. Van Dyke

1-0

0.0

0

0

R. McClain

0-1

0.0

0

0

Denver Broncos

Passing

CP/AT

YDS

TD

INT

K. Orton

24/46

304

1

1

Rushing

ATT

YDS

TD

LG

K. Moreno

8

22

0

9

K. Orton

1

13

0

13

W. McGahee

4

3

0

3

Receiving

REC

YDS

TD

LG

B. Lloyd

6

89

0

20

E. Decker

3

53

0

23

K. Moreno

2

35

0

24

E. Royal

2

33

0

18

D. Fells

3

32

0

16

W. McGahee

5

32

0

12

S. Larsen

1

15

0

15

L. Ball

1

9

1

9T

M. Willis

1

6

0

6

About Levi Damien, Senior Writer

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