The game Sunday between the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos at Invesco Field had some interesting twists to it. Twist #1 being the physicality of the game itself. Twist #2 was that the Broncos’ run defense fell apart at the seams. The third – and most unusual – was that the Raiders used three quarterbacks in the game, with the unlikely hero being JaMarcus Russell. He would come into the game in the fourth quarter to throw a game-winning, 10-yard touchdown pass to Chaz Schilens with 35 seconds left, allowing Oakland to pull off the upset, edging Denver 20-19.
The first quarter was all Denver as they commenced the scoring on a pair of Matt Prater field goals (23 and 43 yards, respectively), but Oakland would rebound as two minutes into the second quarter, Michael Bush scored on a 23-yard run, which put Oakland up 7-6; a pair of Sebastian Janikowski field goals would give Oakland a 6-point lead at halftime.
With the Broncos ahead 16-13 in the closing minutes, Brandon Stokley hauled in a pass from Kyle Orton and raced 63 yards before being horse-collared by Routt at the Oakland 4. The penalty saved the game-clinching touchdown and gave the Broncos the ball at the 2. Once again, the Broncos couldn’t punch it in from close. They settled for Matt Prater’s fourth field goal that made it 19-13 and left the Raiders within a touchdown with less than six minutes left.
After Prater made it 19-13, the Raiders went three-and-out and punted with four minutes left. But the Broncos also went three-and-out and punted it back to Oakland with 3:29 left. Then, the Raiders came up with a series of big plays.
Louis Murphy drew a 32-yard pass interference flag on cornerback Andre’ Goodman on second-and-25 and tight end Tony Stewart caught an 11-yard pass from Russell on fourth-and-10 from the 43 just before the 2-minute warning. After a false start moved them back to the 10-yard line with 39 seconds left, Schilens ran a crossing route, caught Russell’s pass at the 2 and broke a tackle from rookie Alphonso Smith for the winning score.
Charlie Frye, J.P. Losman and Russell combined to go 14-of-29 for 102 yards with a touchdown by Russell and an interception by Frye; Orton went 19-of-34 for 278 yards with a TD. Bush led the Raiders rushing attack with 133 yards and a TD on only 18 carries while Darren McFadden added 74 yards on 12 carries; Knowshon Moreno led the Broncos with 42 yards on 19 carries.
Schilens led the Raiders receivers with 5 receptions for 37 yards and a score; Brandon Marshall led the Broncos with 7 receptions for 73 yards and a TD while Brandon Stokley caught 2 for 67 yards; Tony Scheffler caught a pair for 48 yards. Oakland (5-9) plays again next Sunday when they travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns while Denver (8-6) travels to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the Philadelphia Eagles – also next Sunday.