Nov 9, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) runs with the ball after making a catch against the Oakland Raiders in the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Since Peyton Manning has come to the Denver Broncos, they have been absolutely dominant against the Oakland Raiders. In fact, it’s fair to wonder if Manning will even ever finish a game against the Raiders for his duration as a member of the team.
Manning was pulled in the fourth quarter of the 41-17 blowout, that was exactly as bad as it looks and sounds. The Broncos actually looked really bad in the first half, even trailing 10-6 at one point. Then, Manning went on an absolute tear. A huge play by C.J. Anderson on third down turned another ugly looking play into a touchdown out of thin air, and the Broncos were in business.
Anderson’s touchdown came on the heels of a Bradley Roby interception, one that set the Broncos up to score before the half. If not for a phenomenal effort by Anderson, they would have continued a really terrible first half of football. Those two plays — the interception by Roby and the touchdown catch-and-run by Anderson — were keys to five straight drives culminating in Manning touchdown passes, leading to the Broncos’ victory.
Prior to Anderson’s touchdown, the Broncos struggled to get anything going offensively, and when they did, they had trouble converting in the red zone, something that was really unlike them. Manning had thrown a pair of interceptions that led to the 10 Raiders points that I had mentioned before. One pick came on a really bad throw by Manning that looked like a bird shot in mid-air. Another came on a lazy pass that was tipped in the backfield by Justin Tuck and also picked off by Tuck on a heck of a play.
It seemed there was something brewing with Manning, who looked like a man possessed after that. He could not miss, he could not do wrong. The Broncos became unstoppable after Anderson’s touchdown — a diving touchdown grab by Emmanuel Sanders here, Julius Thomas making things look ‘easy’ there.
Demaryius Thomas had his sixth straight 100-yard game, a team record, and Anderson finished the game with 163 total yards offensively.
Perhaps most impressively, the Raiders finished this game with just nine first downs, and another one coming on a penalty by the Broncos. They had zero first downs on the ground, and the Broncos absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage defensively.
The ball was literally bouncing the Broncos’ way all game after the Raiders proved their scrappy nature in the early goings, even getting out to a lead at one point, but this game was all about Manning and the Broncos who crushed the Raiders and ensured them another losing record with their ninth loss this season.
And that’s a sweet, sweet victory.