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Broncos 37, Raiders 6

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Peyton Manning finished his opening possession with the first of his three touchdown passes, helping the previously slow-starting Denver Broncos get off to a quick start that carried them past the Oakland Raiders 37-6 Sunday.

The Broncos defense pitched in by keeping the Raiders out of the end zone and shutting down Raiders running back Darren McFadden, who was limited to 34 yards rushing on 13 attempts after posting 508 yards rushing and three touchdowns in Oakland's four previous games in Denver, all wins.

McFadden's struggles were typified by a third-and-2 play midway through the third quarter when he took a pitch and was stuffed for a 2-yard loss by linebackers Wesley Woodyard and Von Miller.

Manning completed 30 of 38 passes for 338 yards, including scoring passes of 22 yards to Joel Dreessen, 17 yards to Eric Decker and 14 yards to Lance Ball. It was the 65th time in his career he has surpassed 300 yards passing in a game, most in NFL history.

The touchdown pass to Dreessen came at the end of Denver's opening drive and marked the first time the Broncos had reached the end zone during the first quarter this season.

Willis McGahee ran for 112 yards and a touchdown for his 32nd career 100-yard rushing game, most among active players.

Carson Palmer, who was sacked three times and under pressure constantly from the Broncos' defensive front, finished 19 of 34 for 202 yards passing.

Sebastian Janikowski accounted for the Raiders' scoring on field goals of 38 and 24 yards.

Matt Prater kicked three field goals for the Broncos, including a 53 yarder late in the fourth quarter.

Up 10-6 at halftime, the Broncos pulled away decisively with a 21-point third quarter. After the Raiders went three-and-out on their first possession of the third, Manning hit Ronnie Hillman with a short pass that the rookie running back turned into a 29-yard gain to the Oakland 25. Three plays later, Manning found Decker along the left sideline and he went in for the touchdown.

After another three-and-out, Shane Lechler's punt was deflected by David Bruton, traveling just 2 yards to the Raiders' 18. McGahee took over from there, running four straight times, the last a 2-yarder for the score that gave the Broncos a 24-6 lead with 7:30 left in the third.

Stopped without a first down again on their ensuing series, the Raiders' Lechler got off a 68-yard punt. But Omar Bolden returned it 16 yards and Manning opened a drive with a short pass to Demaryius Thomas, who had fumbled after an earlier reception, and turned it into a 25-yard advance. McGahee followed with a 24-yard burst up the middle, setting up Manning's third scoring pass of the day, a 14-yarder to Ball.

Notes: Thomas finished with five catches for 103 yards. ... Keith Brooking started at middle linebacker for Denver in place of Joe Mays, who served a one-game suspension for his illegal hit the week before on Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. ... The Raiders' Michael Huff moved from safety to cornerback for the second consecutive week, starting Sunday in place of injured Shawntae Spencer (foot) after shifting the previous week in place of Ron Bartell, who's on temporary injured reserve. ... Matt Giordano filled in for Huff at safety. ... The Raiders were without their leading receiver, Darius Heyward-Bey, who was among the team's inactive players after suffering a concussion and neck strain on a helmet-to-helmet hit a week ago.
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