The Oakland Raiders taking on the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High went as expected. Peyton Manning and company were able to hold their own against the rebuilding Raiders by lighting up the scoreboard for 37 points. Terrelle Pryor and company were able to bounce back late scoring two touchdowns in the second half, but this team was clearly outmatched all night long.
As usual, Manning played at an elite level throwing for 374 yards and three touchdowns. The one-time Super Bowl continues to show no signs of slowing down at 37 years-old and seems to have this Broncos offense firing on all cylinders moving forward.
Manning guided the Broncos to five scoring drives in the first half giving Denver a 20-point lead heading into halftime at 27-7. The Raiders were able to get on the board in the first half with Pryor connecting with Denarius Moore on an incredible 73-yard strike, but the offense as a whole was awful in the half with penalties proving to be costly leaving the Raiders with only seven points and little hope for a drastic turnaround.
In the second half, the Raiders began to show signs of life with running back Darren McFadden hitting fellow backfield companion, Marcel Reece, in the end zone on a 16-yard pass during a trick play that took the Broncos defense completely by surprise. Although McFadden ultimately scored a total of two touchdowns, the veteran back struggled all night long and ended up with a pitiful stat line carrying the ball 12 times for a total of nine yards.
As for Pryor, the new face of the franchise had a decent performance outside of being sacked three times. Pryor finished with a career-high in passing yards with 281 and a passer rating of 112.4. The Ohio State product also ran the ball four times for 36 yards and threw his second touchdown pass of the season to Moore.
There’s no question Pryor continues to show improvement as a pocket passer while also being a force on the ground, but the team around him simply isn’t talented enough to compete with elite teams like the Broncos. Ultimately, Oakland fell to their bitter rivals, 37-21.
It continues to be a working progress for Pryor while the Raiders’ coaching staff figures out how to right the ship on both sides of the football.
Unfortunately for Oakland, Pryor left the game late in the fourth quarter due to a concussion sustained as the result of a vicious hit. It’s far too early to tell if Pryor will be ready for Week 4 against the Washington Redskins, but Matt Flynn was able to take his first snaps for the Raiders and will likely be ready to fill the void if Pryor is unable to get back on the field.