COIN TOSS: The captains are at midfield for the coin toss. The Raiders call tails — and it’s tails. Oakland will receive to start the game. Originally the ref said Denver won the toss, drawing complaints from Oakland before he apologized and changed the call. Pretty funny moment at midfield.
Q1 15:00: Matt Prater is ready for the kickoff as the Thundervision screen is showing Brian Dawkins on the sideline getting fans hyped. Prater’s kickoff is fielded 9 yards deep in the end zone before Jacoby Ford takes a knee for a touchback. The starters on defense include Kevin Vickerson, Jamal Williams and Justin Bannan on the line, Jason Hunter, D.J. Williams, Joe Mays and Mario Haggan at linebacker and Champ Bailey, Perrish Cox, Nate Jones and Renaldo Hill in the secondary.
Q1 14:50: Jason Campbell connects with Louis Murphy for a quick 9-yard gain on the first offensive play of the game. On second down, Darren McFadden takes a pitch but is stopped by D.J. Williams behind the line of scrimmage to bring up third-and-1. The defense is trying to get the crowd on its feet as Oakland jogs back up to the line of scrimmage. Campbell takes the snap and hands off to fullback Marcel Reece, who falls forward for the first down at the 31-yard line.
Q1 12:44: After a 5-yard pass to Zach Miller, Campbell’s pass intended for Murphy is incomplete and nearly picked off by Champ Bailey. On third-and-5, Oakland calls its first timeout of the half.
Q1 12:33: False start on the Raiders, but Oakland ran the play anyway and it was nearly picked off by Syd’Quan Thompson. Not that the play counted. Now third-and-10, Campbell lines up in the shotgun before taking off down the middle of the field on a scramble when no one came open downfield. The quarterback picks up the first down after being run out of bounds by Nate Jones at the 46-yard line. It’s a gain of 15.
Q1 12:03: On the ensuing first down, Reece takes another handoff and is taken down by Mays after a gain of 5. Second-and-5 brings a fake handoff and eventual end-around to Jacoby Ford, who finds the sideline for a 6-yard gain and a first down in Denver territory.
Q1 10:44: Jason Campbell drops back and looks right before scanning back left and firing to a completely wide open Zach Miller. The tight end runs 43 yards for a touchdown, and Sebastian Janikowski’s extra point is up and in to give the Raiders an early lead.
RAIDERS 7, BRONCOS 0
Q1 10:43: After Janikowski’s kickoff sails out of the back of the end zone for a touchback, the Broncos offense takes over at its own 20-yard line. The starters are on the field, led by Kyle Orton at quarterback. Ryan Clady, Russ Hochstein, J.D. Walton, Chris Kuper and Zane Beadles are on the offensive line. Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal and Brandon Lloyd are at receiver, Daniel Graham is at tight end and Knowshon Moreno is in the backfield.
Q1 10:36: Orton’s first throw of the day is intended for Gaffney, but picked off by Chris Johnson. The Oakland cornerback sprints the remaining 30 yards after his pick for a touchdown. Just like that, after Janikowski’s extra point splits the uprights, the Raiders have a 14-0 lead.
RAIDERS 14, BRONCOS 0
Q1 10:35: Janikowski’s kickoff again goes for a touchback. Demaryius Thomas was back deep to receive, and took a knee 8 yards deep. The offense is back on the field at the 20, and Tim Tebow is in at quarterback. He runs to his right before pitching to Thomas on a reverse — the rookie is stopped for no gain, and the Raiders are trying to say he fumbled, but the refs say he was down. Oakland Head Coach Tom Cable has thrown a red challenge flag, however, saying Thomas lost the ball and the Raiders recovered.
Q1 10:02: After the review, the refs rule that Thomas fumbled and the Raiders will take over at the 21-yard line in Broncos territory. On first down, Campbell hands to the fullback, Reece, yet again, and Mays takes him down after another 5-yard gain. On second-and-5, Campbell fakes a handoff before throwing to McFadden out of the backfield. The running back sprints to the 4-yard line, where the Raiders have a first-and-goal.
Q1 9:02: Oakland calls its second timeout of the half prior to the snap.
Q1 8:58: On first-and-goal, McFadden takes a handoff 4 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. Janikowski’s extra point is up and in, and Oakland leads by 21.
RAIDERS 21, BRONCOS 0
Q1 8:57: Thomas is back deep to field the kickoff and it’s another touchback. On first down, Orton floats a pass out to Spencer Larsen, and the fullback is all by himself, sprinting down the sideline for a 29-yard gain. On first-and-10 at the Broncos 49-yard line, Orton hands off to Moreno, who picks up 6 yards into Oakland territory. Second down brings a fake handoff before Orton throws the ball at the feet of Gaffney with an Oakland defender barrelling into the backfield. Before the snap on third-and-4, J.D. Walton sits down on the grass and takes off his shoe — it’s unclear what the problem is. But he runs to the sideline and Stanley Daniels runs in to replace him. Hochstein is now in at center and Daniels is at left guard.
Q1 7:52: Now Orton is in the shotgun on third down. He takes the snap and quickly finds Moreno, but he’s tackled short of the first down. Walton runs back onto the field and replaces Daniels. Hochstein moves back to left guard. On fourth-and-1, the Broncos elect to go for it. Orton drops back to pass and the ball falls incomplete after bouncing away from the intended receiver, Royal. Oakland takes over near midfield.
Q1 7:12: False start on the Raiders to make it first-and-15 at the 38-yard line. Campbell pitches to McFadden, who finds plenty of room to his left and bursts down the sideline to the Denver 22-yard line. It’s a 40-yard rush. On first-and-10, it’s Michael Bush who takes the handoff, and he picks up 9 yards. On second-and-1, Bush takes it again, picking up the first down inside the 10-yard line.
Q1 5:41: It’s first-and-goal for the Raiders at the 9-yard line. Campbell hands off to Bush, who is brought down after a gain of about a yard. On second down, Campbell fires a pass out of bounds as no one came open in the end zone. That makes it third-and-goal, and Campbell scrambles to his right for what looks like a touchdown — but there’s a flag on the play for illegal motion on the Raiders, a 5-yard penalty that negates the score. It’s third-and-goal at the 13-yard line. Campbell is in the shotgun. He drops back and fires to Murphy in the end zone, but Perrish Cox is there to break up the pass at its highest point. Janikowski jogs in for a 31-yard field goal attempt, and it’s good, extending Oakland’s lead.
RAIDERS 24, BRONCOS 0
Q1 4:20: Janikowski’s kickoff goes out of the back of the end zone for another touchback. Orton and the offense are back in at their own 20-yard line. Orton throws an incompletion under pressure. Richard Seymour acts like it was a fumble, sprinting to pick up the ball and trucks over a referee in the process. On second-and-10, Tebow is in the shotgun and runs to his right before pitching to Moreno, who is stopped for no gain. On third-and-10, Orton is sacked and the crowd at INVESCO Field at Mile High is unhappy. The 6-yard sack has Britton Colquitt punting from his own goal line. He kicks it down to about the 28-yard line, where Nick Miller fields it. He avoids the first tackle and gets to the 43-yard line.
Q1 2:20: Campbell has plenty of time and finds Murphy downfield for a 20-yard gain on a play-action pass. On the following play, McFadden makes a man miss and picks up 5 yards. On second down, Campbell throws a pass that is tipped and falls incomplete. Kevin Vickerson is jogging off the field with a bit of a limp after the play. On third-and-5 at the Denver 38-yard line, Campbell is in the shotgun. He fires to an open Jacoby Ford in front of Champ Bailey for the first down.
Q1 1:11: Darren McFadden takes a handoff for a 3-yard run off the right side of the line, and then runs for 12 more yards to the Denver 9-yard line to close out the first quarter.
Q2 14:49: On the first play of the second quarter, McFadden finds the corner and runs in for a touchdown, but a holding penalty nullifies the score and moves the ball back to the 19-yard line. The next play is an incomplete pass, then second-and-19 brings a pass intended for Miller, but Nate Jones is there for a big hit to force an incompletion. On third-and-19, however, McFadden catches a pass out of the backfield and bullies his way into the end zone after all. Janikowski’s extra point is up and in, and Oakland is piling it on at the moment.
RAIDERS 31, BRONCOS 0
Q2 14:43: Thomas muffs Janikowski’s kickoff, recovering it before getting tackled at the 10-yard line. Moreno takes a handoff on first down and picks up a yard. On second down, Orton is in the shotgun. He throws a pass that falls incomplete, and there’s a flag in the backfield — it’s an illegal shift against the Broncos. The penalty is declined by the Raiders, so it’s third-and-9 at the 11-yard line. Orton drops back into the shotgun. He throws quickly to Thomas, but the rookie is short of the first down for another three-and-out, and the INVESCO Field crowd voices its dissatisfaction. Colquitt is in to punt, and kicks it down to about the 29-yard line. Joe May takes down the returner at about the 31.
Q2 13:04: The 54-yard punt and 2-yard return does in fact set up the Raiders at their own 31-yard line. On first-and-10, Oakland is penalized for a false start. Now first-and-15, Bush takes a carry for a yard before being halted by Jamal Williams. Second-and-14 brings an end-around to Jacoby Ford, who finds the sideline and sprints 23 yards to midfield.
Q2 12:00: On the ensuing first down, Campbell completes to a wide open Bush out of the backfield, and the running back picks up 13 yards for another first down. Denver call its first timeout of the half.
Q2 11:50: On first-and-10 at the 37, McFadden takes a pitch back, but he’s smothered by Nate Jones and Justin Bannan for a loss of a yard. On second-and-11, Campbell looks like he’s going for a fake handoff but the back isn’t anywhere near him and instead he just does a stutter step before firing toward his tight end, Miller. The tight end can’t haul it in, however, and Nate Jones nearly picks it off but it falls to the turf incomplete. On third down, D.J. Williams comes tearing into the backfield to sack Campbell for a 12-yard loss. Shane Lechler is in for his first punt of the afternoon. It hits at the 10-yard line and takes a Denver bounce, so the Broncos will take over at their own 14-yard line.
Q2 10:29: Orton hands off to Moreno out of the shotgun and he picks up 2 yards on first down. On second down, Orton is again in the shotgun. He drops back and avoids pressure, scrambling for a first down before fumbling as he hit the ground. The ball is picked up by Oakland and the Raiders have it.
Q2 9:46: On the 14-yard line, McFadden takes a handoff forward for a 5-yard gain. Oakland trots back up to the line and McFadden takes another handoff — this time the running back fumbles, but the ball falls right into the hands of Campbell so the Raiders retain possession. In the end, it didn’t matter, because defensive holding was called on the Broncos — a 5-yard penalty and automatic first down at the 4-yard line.
Q2 8:48: On first-and-goal, McFadden is brought down after a gain of a yard. Second down brings another run from McFadden, this time he picks up his third touchdown of the afternoon. Janikowski’s extra point is up and in.
RAIDERS 38, BRONCOS 0
Q2 7:58: On first down, Moreno takes a handoff and picks up 5 yards. Second down brings a pass from Orton to Royal, which bounces away incomplete with Stanford Routt in tight coverage. On third-and-5 at the 25-yard line, Orton fires deep downfield for Lloyd, but the pass is over his head for a three-and-out. There’s a scrum between the offensive and defensive linemen after the play. Colquitt is back in to punt with Nick Miller deep to receive for the Raiders. Colquitt’s punt is low and fielded at about the 35-yard line. Again it’s Joe Mays with the special teams stop at the 38-yard line.
Q2 7:09: Bush takes a pitch forward for a 5-yard gain on first down for the Raiders. Bush takes another handoff on second down and picks up 3 yards to make it third-and-2 at the 48-yard line. Jason Hunter gets into the backfield for a sack on third down and a flag for offensive holding is declined to bring in Shane Lechler for his second punt of the afternoon. Syd’Quan Thompson muffs the punt at about the 20, but recovers it to race to about the 30-yard line before fumbling again. The Broncos recover the ball, however — David Bruton came away with it — and the Broncos have a first-and-10 at their own 32-yard line.
Q2 5:00: Orton quickly connects with Gaffney, who fumbles out of bounds — the refs rule the pass was actually incomplete, bringing up second-and-10. Orton is in the shotgun. He drops back and finds Gaffney in front of two Raiders defenders for a first down. He gestures to the crowd as he gets fired up after the play, drawing cheers. On the ensuing first down, Orton and Moreno can’t connect, bringing up second-and-10. The quarterback is in the shotgun again, throwing downfield for Royal, but it falls incomplete. On third down, Orton completes to Royal, who makes his defender miss and picks up a first down inside the 30-yard line. Orton takes off downfield on the ensuing play, sliding for a first down at the 14-yard line.
Q2 3:02: Moreno takes a handoff on first down, picking up 2 yards. On second-and-8, Eric Decker is in at receiver. Orton is in the shotgun. He quickly finds Gaffney inside the 10-yard line — a gain of 5 to bring up third-and-3 at the 7-yard line. That brings the first half to the two-minute warning.
Q2 2:00: During the commercial break, the crowd is cheering for the four engineers who helped rescue the Chilean miners. They’re standing in the end zone. On the other end of the break, Denver is faced with a third-and-3 at the 7-yard line. Orton drops back into the shotgun with an empty backfield. He quickly fires to Moreno, who picks up the team’s first points of the day, running the remaining few yards into the end zone. Matt Prater’s extra point is good.
RAIDERS 38, BRONCOS 7
Q2 1:56: Prater’s kickoff is fielded 9 yards deep in the end zone for a touchback. On first down, McFadden takes a handoff for a 6-yard gain. Denver calls its second timeout of the half to stop the clock. On second-and-4, McFadden is gang tackled, but not before he picks up the first down as the clock continues to run. Bush takes a handoff on the ensuing first down, picking up a yard. Second-and-9 brings a handoff by the fullback, Reece, who is brought down by Nate Jones to bring the first half to a close. The teams head back to the locker room as the crowd voices its displeasure.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com