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3 things we learned about the Raiders

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Another week, another defensive hero for the undefeated Denver Broncos.

This time cornerback Chris Harris Jr. returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown with 6:53 left to play, leading the Broncos to a 16-10 victory against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at the O.co Coliseum.

“Everybody’s itching to make that play,” Harris said. “It just happened to be my day. I made it today. Next week it will be somebody else. You never know who it’s going to be, but we’ve got a team full of play-makers on defense. If we got to win on D, we feel we can do it.”

The Broncos’ offense continued to struggle and didn’t score a single touchdown, but Harris finally got Denver into the end zone.

On third-and-5 from the Broncos’ 31, Denver had an all-out blitz, and Raiders quarterback Derek Carr tried to hit wide receiver Seth Roberts over the middle on a slant but threw behind him. Harris knifed in for the interception and raced untouched into the end zone, extending Denver’s 9-7 lead to 16-7.

“The great thing about our back end, when they get their hands on the ball they make plays, catching it, those kinds of things,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said. “Chris did it all week. He had about three or four picks in practice throughout the course of the week and then he makes a play like that.”

Sebastian Janikowski drilled a 50-yard field goal — on first-and-10 from the Broncos 32 — with 1:40 left, cutting Denver’s lead to six points. The Raiders attempted an onside kick, but Denver recovered.

Denver (5-0) beat the Raiders (2-3) for the eighth straight time. The Broncos won their 14th straight AFC West road game, an ongoing NFL record for divisional road victories.

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 266 yards with two interceptions and defeated the Raiders for the 10th straight time, tying his career high for victories against an opponent. He’s also defeated Kansas City 10 straight times. Denver wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders caught nine passes for 111 yards.

“It’s a good win anytime when you win on the road in the division,” Manning said. “Obviously, when you break it down offensively, defensively — we didn’t do what we needed to do offensively. Got to do a better job.”

Raiders free safety Charles Woodson had his 63rd and 64th career interceptions — his first two against Manning. He picked off a Manning pass late in the first half in the end zone and another one late in the third quarter at the Raiders’ 37. He moved into a tie for sixth on the NFL’s all-time interception list with Ed Reed.

Woodson, Manning and Indianapolis Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck are the last active players from the 1998 NFL draft.

“I really don’t even want to talk about the interceptions just because of the fact that we did lose the game,” Woodson said. “I knew it was a big deal all week about that aspect of it but it’s never about that. Those things are the shiny things, the shiny toys that you like, but it’s about wins and losses. Our mission is to win our division and the only way we can do that is to beat the team that’s won it the last few years. Today we dropped the ball on that.”

The Broncos’ defense held the Raiders to 288 yards and one touchdown. They picked off two passes, forced a fumble and sacked Carr four times, giving them 22 sacks for the season.

“Just how the first five games have been,” Harris said. “Been able to win on defense. Offense, they’re going to get started clicking.”

What we learned about the Raiders

1. FS Charles Woodson is 39 going on 29. He had the 63rd and 64th interceptions of his career Sunday and his first two picks against Denver QB Peyton Manning. Woodson, who turned 39 on Wednesday, has four interceptions in his past three games. Woodson, Manning and Indianapolis backup QB Matt Hasselbeck are the only active players from the NFL’s 1998 draft class.

2. The Raiders need to get their running game back on track to take some pressure off QB Derek Carr. Oakland rushed for only 65 yards on 25 carries Sunday in a 16-10 loss to Denver. Running back Latavius Murray carried 13 times for 39 yards, averaging 3.0 yards per carry. He’s battling a sore shoulder, and the Raiders’ bye week has arrived at a good time for Murray.

3. The Raiders lost for the eighth straight time to Denver on Sunday, falling 16-10, but they’re no longer the pushover they were throughout most of this losing streak. Last year the Broncos beat the Raiders 41-17 in Oakland and 47-14 in Denver. Two years ago, they the Raiders 37-21 in Denver and 34-14 in Oakland. “I feel great about my team,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said. “I feel disappointed for the men in that locker room that we don’t get to enjoy the fruits of a victory. There’s no consolation in this league for playing hard and playing well enough to keep it close and have opportunities. I’m disappointed for all the men in that room and how hard they’ve worked, but we will continue to attack these games and look for better results.”

Etc.:

–FS Charles Woodson had his 63rd and 64th career interceptions — his first two against Manning. He picked off a Manning pass late in the first half in the end zone and another one late in the third quarter at the Raiders’ 37. He moved into a tie for sixth on the NFL’s all-time interception list with Ed Reed. Woodson, Manning and Indianapolis Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck are the last active players from the 1998 NFL draft.

–K Sebastian Janikowski appeared in his franchise record 241st game, passing Hall of Fame wide receiver Tim Brown, but had rough day in a 16-10 loss to Denver. Janikowski had his 38-yard attempt in the first quarter blocked and missed a 40-yard attempt early in the fourth quarter before hitting from 50 yards with 1:40 left to play. “He’s had many great games and today wasn’t one,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said.

–FB Marcel Reece caught a 3-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter Sunday against Denver, giving him 12 career TD catches. He moved into sole possession for third place on the Raiders’ all-time list for touchdown catches by a fullback or running back. Clem Daniels holds the record with 24, and Marcus Allen has 18. Reece caught a team-high seven passes for 49 yards Sunday, giving him 1,905 career receiving yards, third most in franchise history for fullbacks or running backs.


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