On the Raiders’ first possession, the Denver defense forced Oakland to go three-and-out. On second down, the Broncos front line sniffed out a designed screen play and forced quarterback Carson Palmer to spike the ball.
On third down, Palmer completed a pass to wideout Darrius Heyward-Bey, but cornerback Tony Carter was right there for the tackle, forcing a punt.
Carter then recovered a fumble on the ensuing play, when return man Trindon Holliday fumbled the punt.
Starting from their own 25, the Broncos converted on their third third down of the game as quarterback
Peyton Manning hit wide receiver Eric Decker for 19 yards – their second connection that moved the chains on third down and gained double-digit yardage.
Running back Knowshon Moreno carried it the next three plays as Denver moved into Raiders territory.
From the 34, Manning found tight end Jacob Tamme for an 18-yard gain to set the Broncos up inside the red zone.
From there, however, the drive would stall. An incomplete pass, a short run and a sack brought out Matt Prater and the field goal team.
Prater’s 43-yard field goal attempt was good, and the Broncos jumped out to a 10-0 lead with 5:09 remaining in the first quarter.