OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Peyton Manning threw for 142 yards and a touchdown to tight end Joel Dreessen, and the Denver Broncos took a 13-0 lead over the Oakland Raiders early in the second quarter Thursday night.
Manning completed 11 of 15 passes and ripped apart the Raiders from the start. Matt Prater also kicked field goals of 43 and 34 yards.
Carson Palmer completed 2 of 5 passes for 62 yards for Oakland. He also threw an interception to Champ Bailey at the goal line.
Denver converted three straight third downs on its opening drive to take command.
The first came when officials whistled Philip Wheeler for defensive holding after an incomplete pass. Manning hit Eric Decker for 16-yard completion on the next, and Knowshon Moreno took a short pass on a blitz for a 26-yard gain on another.
That set up a seamless 6-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Dreessen that put the Broncos ahead 7-0 only 4:30 into the game.
The Raiders were playing the game with heavy hearts. Head coach Dennis Allen, the defensive coordinator in Denver last season, had been in Texas all week because the death of his father, Grady.
Running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson also returned for the Raiders after missing the previous four games with sprained right ankles. Neither had played since getting hurt Nov. 4 against Tampa Bay.
Not that they helped.
McFadden dropped the first pass from Palmer, the Raiders went three-and-out on their first possession and the spotty Oakland Coliseum crowd showered the home team with boos walking to the sideline.
Decker caught a 19-yard pass to give the Broncos a fourth straight third-down conversion. After Lamarr Houston sacked Manning for an 11-yard loss later in the drive, Denver settled for a 43-yard field goal by Matt Prater for a 10-0 lead.
Palmer quickly completed a 58-yard pass to Rod Streater at the Broncos 22. A play later, Bailey sliced in front of Palmer's pass intended for Brandon Myers at the goal line for an interception that led to Prater's second field goal.
What a change in this AFC West rivalry.
Just a year ago, Denver and Oakland went to the end of the season in the race for the division title. The Broncos edging the Raiders for first place on the final day by winning a three-team tiebreaker with San Diego.
Now Denver (9-3) is riding a seven-game winning streak and has already wrapped up the division, while the Raiders (3-9) have lost five straight and Allen is fighting to make it to a second season.
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP
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