15:00: It’s first-and-goal for the Broncos from the four-yard line, but the Raiders have elected to challenge the previous play. They say Darrell Jackson was down by contact before he got up and sprinted to the four.
The ruling is overturned — an Oakland defender placed a hand on Jackson’s back just as his knee was touching the ground, so it’s still a first down for the offense, but it’s back 36 yards. First-and-10 on the Oakland 40-yard line. It’s a 28-yard reception for Jackson.
Just a quick note: the Raiders had one first down in the first quarter. The Broncos had eight.
15:00: OK, the game is back on and Cutler tries to get a pass to Eddie Royal near the right sideline but it’s intercepted. Chris Johnson returns the ball all the way toward the end zone, and starts strutting at the 10-yard line, holding the ball out. Royal chases him down and almost slaps the ball out of his hand but he falls into the endzone for a touchdown.
There’s a flag on the play, however. Holding on Johnson before the pass was thrown — first down for the Broncos at the Oakland 35-yard line.
14:37: Tatum Bell takes the first-down carry four yards, setting up a second-and-6. Peyton Hillis takes the next handoff and drives forward for two more yards.
It’s third-and-4 for the offense at the Oakland 29-yard line. They break the huddle and Cutler walks up to the line. Stokley goes in motion left to right and Cutler hands off to Hillis — he’s tackled at the line of scrimmage. No gain on the play, and Matt Prater runs onto the field to attempt a field goal. It’s a 47-yard attempt, and it’s no good.
12:44: The Raiders take over at their own 37-yard line. On first down, Ronald Curry takes a reverse to the right sideline, but he’s forced out of bounds by Mario Haggan after only one yard. On second down, Ashley Lelie gets the first down on a 15-yard reception.
11:32: Oakland tries its luck with a little “Wildcat” formation on first down. Darren McFadden takes his first carry of the game for 11 yards and another first down. On the following play, McFadden takes another handoff, this one for three yards, to set up second-and-7.
10:00: Oakland has a first-and-goal after JaMarcus Russell finds Zach Miller for a 30-yard gain to the three-yard line. He’s brought down by Roderick Rogers. On the next play, Justin Fargas gains two yards before being brought down by Haggan at the one-yard line.
Marcus Thomas is down after the play.
UPDATE: He’s up and walking under his own power — flanked by two trainers — to the sideline.
It’s now second-and-goal for the Raiders at the one-yard line. Fargas takes a hand off but Paymah takes him out, diving at his legs and totally flipping Fargas in the air for a one-yard loss — he landed on his head, but got up and took the third-down handoff. He’s met by three defenders and stopped short of the goal line.
But the ref blows the whistle — “Prior to the snap, timeout, Denver.” The play doesn’t count.
8:48: So the Raiders will get another shot on third-and-goal from the two-yard line. Ebenezer Ekuban is fired up and getting the crowd involved. Fargas takes another handoff up the right side, leaps over a defender and is met by Jamie Winborn, Wesley Woodyard and a host of other defenders at the line of scrimmage.
The crowd is on its feet and the defense is fired up — Woodyard is hyping up the crowd as Oakland is faced with a fourth down after starting out first-and-goal from the three-yard line.
The Raiders offense is still on the field for fourth-and-2, but JaMarcus Russell backs away from the line and calls a timeout.
The offense is back out on the field after the timeout, but a false start penalty backs them up five yards and brings out Sebastian Janikowski for a 26-yard field goal. It’s good.
The Raiders lead the Broncos midway through the second quarter, 3-0.
8:01: After Royal fields the kickoff in the back of the end zone and takes a knee, the offense is back on the field at the 20-yard line. Cutler drops back on the play and tries to find a streaking Brandon Marshall down the right sideline, but it’s broken up by Oakland’s Chris Johnson.
On second down, Hillis takes a handoff for three yards, setting up third-and-7. Cutler drops back, sees pressure and steps up in the pocket before finding Brandon Stokley for the first down — a 13-yard pickup.
Hillis takes the carry on first down, finding space up the right side and almost stepping out of a tackle into wide open space, but he’s brought down after eight yards.
6:17: The Broncos have a second-and-2 from their own 44-yard line when play resumes — Nnamdi Asomugha jogs off the field with trainers after being nicked up on the play.
Hillis takes the handoff and looks like he’s stopped behind the line, but he pushes his way forward and reaches out the ball on the way down for a one-yard gain — setting up third-and-1.
Royal goes in motion left to right before Hillis takes the third-down handoff to the left side — Clady lays a big block to clear him some space — and he picks up 13 yards before being forced out of bounds.
5:19: The Broncos have a first down at the Oakland 42-yard line. Cutler takes the snap and gives to Tatum Bell — he’s brought down after a quick gain of two.
On the next play, Cutler gets the ball to Bell out of the backfield, but he’s met immediately after the catch by Oakland’s Chris Johnson, who has been active today. Bell holds onto the ball and Johnson is slow to get up after the collision.
On third-and-7, Cutler finds Stokley for yet another first down.
3:14: Cutler takes the snap in the shotgun with Hillis to his right, lofting a pass to Tony Scheffler that is broken up by Michael Huff on a nice play at the goal line. It looked for a moment like that was a Denver touchdown.
On second-and-10, Cutler drops back and throws a pass to Marshall’s back shoulder on the left sideline, but he can’t find the handle, bringing up third-and-10 at the 26.
3:08: Cutler takes the snap again in shotgun with four receivers out wide. He lofts a pass under heavy pressure to Royal near the sideline — Royal makes the catch but he was out of bounds — the throw was just a little wide due to the pressure.
Prater is back on the field for a 44-yard attempt. Brett Kern has the hold and it’s up and good.
The game is now tied, 3-3. That was a 13-play drive for the Broncos.
2:58: It’s a short kickoff by Prater — the Oakland returner fields it at the 19-yard line and returns it 15 yards to the Oakland 33. First-and-10, Raiders.
Russell drops back on first down, but there’s a flag on the play. False start on Darren McFadden. That brings up first-and-15.
2:54: Fargas picks up 12 yards on first down, and the Broncos call a timeout just before the snap on second-and-3. It’s their second of the half.
When play resumes, McFadden takes the direct snap and fakes a handoff to Fargas. He rushes up the middle but is stopped by Marquand Manuel short of the line to gain.
2:00: On the other side of the two minute warning, the Raiders have a third-and-1 from their own 42-yard line.
A quick tribute to John Lynch was just shown on Thunder Vision. “John Lynch, we salute you” is on the screen.
Now the crowd is fired up as the defense is set to defend a third-and-1. Michael Bush takes the carry up the middle and is met by Winborn — there’s a flag on the play, illegal motion on the Raiders. The penalty is declined, however, as Winborn stopped Bush before the first down.
It’s fourth-and-1, and Shane Lechler is back out to punt for Oakland. Royal is back deep to return. The crowd is chanting, “Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!” as the rookie lets the punt fly over his head. It bounces at the one-yard line, seemingly straight up in the air, but bounces into the endzone for the touchback before the Oakland coverage team can get there.
1:46: The Denver offense will start from its own 20-yard line. Cutler is in the shotgun and tries to loft a pass to a streaking Marshall, but he’s covered well and the pass falls incomplete.
On second-and-10, Cutler finds a diving Eddie Royal near the sideline, but the ball pops out of his hands as he hits the ground. That brings up third-and-10 for the offense. Before the play, Denver calls its final timeout of the first half.
1:33: After the timeout, Cutler and the offense are set up on third-and-10. Cutler is in the shotgun, but he takes off on a quarterback draw. He’s about a yard short of the first down, picking up nine yards on the scramble. Oakland calls a timeout, and Kern is out to punt it away. Johnnie Lee Higgins is back for the Raiders.
Higgins fields the punt and takes it 89 yards for a touchdown. There’s a flag after the score, however — unsportsmanlike conduct, which will be assessed on the kickoff. Janikowski’s extra point is good, and the Raiders lead the Broncos, 10-3.
0:59: Royal fields the kickoff at the goal line, sprints and hits a crease before trying to find the sideline — he’s brought down after 26 yards. First-and-10 for the Broncos at their own 26-yard line.
0:54: Royal makes a catch on first down near the sideline, but there’s an illegal contact penalty on the Raiders — five yards and an automatic first down.
First-and-10 at the 31, Cutler drops back and lofts it a little far for Royal, who was covered well running down the sideline.
On second down, Cutler finds Marshall for a 20-yard gain — he almost turns around and finds open space, but he’s brought down by his feet. Cutler spikes the ball on the next play to stop the clock, but there’s two fouls on the Raiders on the spike. The first penalty, 12 men on the field, is declined. The second, offsides, is accepted.
0:22: After avoiding what looked like a certain sack, Cutler directs the receivers before lofting a pass in Marshall’s direction. The pass falls incomplete, but there’s a flag for roughing the passer.
The ball is now at the Oakland 29-yard line, first-and-10 Denver. Cutler is in the shotgun and takes off on a designed scramble — the Broncos are out of timeouts, however, and he waits until there’s three seconds on the clock before he spikes the ball, setting up a Prater field goal attempt.
0:03: On third-and-6 from the Oakland 25-yard line, Prater will attempt a 38-yard field goal. He misses wide left, and the half comes to a close.
At the end of the first half, the Oakland Raiders are leading the Broncos, 10-3.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com