Is there any way we can buy the rights to “California Love” from Tupac (featuring Dr. Dre)? Change it to “Colorado Love” and let the 10-3 Denver Broncos introduce everyone to the wild, wild west. A team that’s untouchable in the AFC West.
The Broncos beat up on the 3-10 Oakland Raiders 26-13 in front of a national audience, and won their eighth straight game to go 5-0 in the AFC West this season.
Just like the week 4 meeting, the Raiders hung around in the first half.
The Broncos got on the scoreboard first with Peyton Manning finding Joel Dreessen in the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown to cap off the 68-yard drive. That reception gave Dreessen his fifth touchdown of the year which is the most by a Bronocs’ tight end in five years.
Not only that, but Manning had a ho-hum 6-yard pass to tight end Jacob Tamme in the first half that marked career completion No. 5,000. Only Brett Favre has more completions (6,300), but Manning reached the 5,000 mark 18 games faster than Favre.
Matt Prater used the first half to snap out of his slump. He kicked a 43-yard and a 34-yard field goal to give the Broncos the 13-7 lead at halftime.
Manning threw his 10th interception of the season when a ball intended for Matt Willis was picked off by Phillip Adams in the second quarter. That pick allowed the Raiders to take nearly 7 minutes off the board as they capped the drive with a 6-yard Darren McFadden touchdown run.
The toying stopped after halftime. The Broncos put up 13 points in the third quarter alone, highlighted by a Knowshon Moreno 1-yard touchdown run which was set up by Von Miller sacking and forcing Carson Palmer to fumble and Mitch Unrein recovering the ball.
Two more field goals from Prater in the second half gave him the perfect night from the turf after missing at least one field goal in his last four games.
Even though the scoring was over for the Broncos by the fourth quarter, the Broncos kept the ball moving and held the Raiders except for a 56-yard touchdown pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey. A failed two-point conversion put the score at 26-13 and secured the Broncos their first season sweep over the Raiders since 2006.
Manning ended the night going 26-for-36 for 310 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Moreno stepped up again in Willis McGahee’s absence and ran for 119 yards on 32 carries and a score. Eric Decker and Thomas combined for 16 catches for 171 yards. With all of the threats on offense, the Broncos held onto the ball for 37 minutes, 19 seconds, always a good think in the Black Hole.
Champ Bailey had his 54th career interception when he picked Palmer off in the first quarter to set up one of the Broncos’ field goals. Bailey’s now tied with Tyrone Braxton for the 4th most interceptions (34) in Broncos’ history.
D.J. Williams filled in for an injured Wesley Woodyard and was the 2nd leading tackler of the night with 5 tackles.
Once again, it was a full team effort bringing the Broncos to victory. Another Raiders’ season can be laid to rest, and the Broncos can continue on their orange-bricked road to the playoffs.
To alter the words of the late Tupac Shakur, “Yeah, that’s right. West coast, west coast. Uh, Colorado Love, Colorado Love.”