There should be no more questions about Peyton Manning. Last week he struggled a bit in the first half against the Houston Texans, but Manning was able to make it close with a furious comeback in the second half, only to fall short with the Denver Broncos losing 31-25.
Today he left no doubt as he guided his Broncos to a 37-6 win over the Oakland Raiders in Denver.
To be fair, the Raiders have a depleted secondary, although Manning still looked crisp and in mid-season form. There should be no buts when talking about his performance today.
Manning finished the day with 338 yards and three touchdowns. No. 18 started his three touchdown game with a 22-yard strike to Joel Dreessen putting the Broncos up 7-0.
The Dreessen touchdown would prove to be all Denver would need to put away the Raiders and improve their record to 2-2.
The Broncos took a 10-6 lead into the locker room at halftime with the Raiders feeling pretty good about the game. Things could have been a lot worse for Oakland, but a few things went their way to keep them in the game.
A Demaryius Thomas fumble on the Raiders' 31-yard line may have kept the Broncos from taking a 17-3 lead in the first half. The Broncos also attempted a fake field goal on the Raiders 36 which would have been a 53-yard try by Matt Prater. Prater tried to throw the ball downfield to Zane Beadles, but it fail incomplete turning the ball over to the Raiders at their own 36.
With the ball on the Broncos own 29-yard line Manning hit Thomas on a screen and he was off to the races with only Raiders' safety Tyvon Branch left to outrun. As he neared the Oakland 30-yard line he tried to switch the ball to the sideline side and lost the ball as it rolled to the Raiders 4-yard line and Raiders' defensive lineman Lamarr Houston pounced on the ball.
The Raiders failed to capitalize on the turnover going three and out.
The Raiders only had two offensive drives that meant anything, with both resulting in field goals. The Raiders first possession was a 58-yard drive that stalled out on the Broncos' 20-yard line. Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 37-yard field goal to make it 7-3.
The second Raiders' scoring drive came towards the end of the half with a nine play 60-yard drive that came up short at the Denver 6-yard line. Janikowski got his second field goal of the day with a 24-yarder making it 10-6, leaving the Broncos with just over 20 seconds to play in the half. Manning took a knee to close out the second quarter.
The second half was all Broncos as they scored on their first five possessions.
The Raiders limp into the bye week with a 1-3 record. Things do not get any easier for the silver and black after the bye. The Raiders will visit Atlanta to take on the 4-0 Falcons.
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