Final Score: Broncos 37, Raiders 21

In a result that surprised nobody (well, maybe Darren McFadden), the Broncos defeated the visiting Raiders 37-21 (Gamebook, ANS Box Score) on MNF, powered by three Peyton Manning touchdown passes.

The Broncos are now 3-0 and tied with the Chiefs atop the AFCW, and have scored a whopping 126 points to get there.

Denver started off by forcing Oakland into an easy three-and-out, and Trindon Holliday set them up at the minus-45.

A holding penalty put them back at 1st-and-20, but as they've already done several times this season, the Broncos coolly and calmly converted.

In eight plays, Denver moved 60 yards, 55 of them on the right arm of Peyton Manning, who finished the drive with a textbook play-action throw to Eric Decker, who scored his first touchdown of the season.

After a trio of three-and-outs (one by Denver and two more by Oakland), the Broncos were this time unable to overcome a holding penalty, and settled for a 53-yarder from Matt Prater to go ahead by 10.

On their next possession, Manning & Co. started to hit their groove, driving 80 yards in 10 plays, and scoring on a 12-yard touchdown by Wes Welker, his fourth in three games as a Bronco.

Moments later, Oakland would temporarily make it something of a game with a 73-yard catch-and-run by Denarius Moore that brought them to within 17-7.

Almost as quickly, the Broncos struck back with a four-play, 80-yard drive, including a 61-yard catch-and-run by Eric Decker and 13-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Julius Thomas.

That strike marked Peyton's 12th touchdown pass in 10 quarters, breaking Tom Brady's record for touchdown passes through a season's first three games.

Denver would next take over at its own 39-yard line, but petered out at the Oakland 23-yard line, and Prater nailed a 41-yarder to put the Broncos up 27-7 heading into halftime.

Their second-half-opening drive also stalled, and Prater was perfect from 40 (two fortysomething-yard kicks!) to stretch Denver's lead to 30-7.

The Broncos were in business on their next possession, but new left tackle Chris Clark got turnstiled by Lamarr Houston, who leveled Manning and forced a fumble, which was recovered by former friend Jason Hunter.

Oakland capitalized with a six-play, 70-yard drive, as Darren McFadden reprised his Arkansas days with a 16-yard touchdown pass to fullback Marcel Reese. That made the score 30-14 Denver.

Incredibly - especially considering how lethal he was throwing while with the Razorbacks - it was only the second pass attempt of McFadden's NFL career, and his first completion.

It was another short-lived highlight for the Raiders, though, as the Broncos stormed right back with a quick 80-yard drive to stretch back out to a 37-14 advantage. Ronnie Hillman accounted for the last 33 yards on three carries, including a one-yard plunge for his second career touchdown.

Pryor would then lead the Raiders on an impressive 78-yard drive, but Oakland handed the ball over on downs at the one-yard line.

A second fumble by rookie running back Montee Ball in as many weeks gave the Raiders the ball at the Denver 20-yard line and ended the Broncos' hopes of breaking the NFL record for most points through three games.

Four snaps later, McFadden scored on a more conventional play, this time a one-yard run to close out the scoring.

Next up for Denver is a visit from Chip Kelly's Eagles (1-2) on Sunday at 4:25pm ET.

Key Numbers

  • Denver had 31 first downs and 534 yards to Oakland's 13 first downs and 342 yards
  • After losing two fumbles and failing to force any takeaways, the Broncos are now +1 for the season relative to turnovers
  • Denver outrushed Oakland 162-49
  • Manning now has 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions through three games
  • The Thomas/Decker/Welker trio combined for 25 catches, 311 yards, and two touchdowns
  • Robert Ayers had two sacks, giving him three in as many games
  • Peyton is on pace to throw 64 touchdown passes and for 6,096 yards

Links

Injuries

  • Duke Ihenacho aggravated the ankle injury he suffered against the Giants, but Legwold says he seemed okay after the game
  • Terrelle Pryor was concussed on the late-fourth-quarter hit delivered by Wesley Woodyard

Updated 9:37am ET

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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