Leading 10-3 late in the second quarter, the Broncos found themselves facing a fourth-and-1 at the Oakland 36-yard line.
Having already converted a fourth-down play earlier in the game, the Broncos were left with trotting the offense back out on the field or bringing in kicker Matt Prater to attempt a 54-yard field goal.
Denver went with option C.
Punter Britton Colquitt took the snap as normal before tossing the ball to Prater, who dropped back as a quarterback.
The kicker rolled out and lofted a high pass down the sideline toward guard Zane Beadles, who was tripped up as the ball fell incomplete. The turnover on downs gave Oakland the ball, and the Raiders used the field position to drive down for a field goal just before halftime.
“It was a little disappointing,” Head Coach John Fox said. “I didn’t see exactly what happened. We got the look that we were looking for and obviously it wasn’t very well executed. It was really supposed to be designed more of as a run than a pass.”
Prater acknowledged that his initial read was to run for the first down, but he saw a Raiders safety headed his way, and he didn’t feel that he could outrun him.
After the 37-6 win — the largest margin of victory for the Broncos against the Raiders in 50 years — it was a little easier to joke about the unsuccessful fake field goal.
“I just kind of told them to maybe give ‘Manning-to-Stokley’ a chance, maybe before ‘Prater-to-Beadles,’” quarterback Peyton Manning joked. “It’s one of the all-time great combinations, right? ‘(Jim) Kelly-(Andre) Reed,’ ‘(Joe) Montana-(Jerry) Rice,’ ‘Prater-Beadles,’ you know?”
Prater was quick to point out that he’s undefeated as an “all-time quarterback” in a flag football league back home, so he was disappointed with his throw. Especially with the way Beadles was burning his way downfield.
“He was flying down the field — I thought it was (tight end Jacob) Tamme,” Prater laughed. “I tried to give him a 50-50 ball. Might have overthrown him a little bit. Had a little extra adrenaline – I’m not used to having the ball in my hands. It was fun, I’m glad we did it, just wish we would have executed it better.”
Whether Prater gets a chance to make up for his throw is up to his head coach.
“We probably won’t see that one again for a while,” Fox said.