Defense does it again as Broncos beat Raiders, 16-10, improve to 5-0

Denver Broncos

The Broncos’ Von Miller celebrates in the third quarter with teammates T.J. Ward, Malik Jackson Darian Stewart against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015 in Oakland, Calif. (Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND, Calif. — For the fifth game this season, the stout defense bailed out the sputtering offense — and it’s why the Broncos are 5-0.
Chris Harris Jr. returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and Brandon McManus made three field goals as the Broncos beat the rival Oakland Raiders, 16-10, in an AFC West dogfight Sunday at O.co Stadium. Peyton Manning was intercepted twice by Charles Woodson, including one in the Raiders end zone near the end of the first half, giving him seven interceptions this season with only six touchdown passes. But once again, it was the defense that came through as the Broncos improved to 5-0 for the seventh time in franchise history. Of the previous six times the Broncos have started at least 5-0 — 2013 (6-0), 2009 (6-0), 1998 (13-0), 1997 (6-0), 1986 (6-0) and 1977 (6-0) — they reached the playoffs all but one time, missing in 2009 in coach Josh McDaniels’ first season. They also reached the Super Bowl in five of those seasons. It was also the Broncos’ 14th consecutive road win against AFC West teams, extending their NFL record. Manning has never lost a road division team in his three-plus seasons with the Broncos. The Broncos have beat the Raiders eight consecutive games. The Broncos struggled in the first half, getting only a 25-yard McManus field goal with 14:19 left in the second quarter. The Raiders responded with an eight-play, 80-yard drive with Derek Carr finding Marcel Reece on a 3-yard touchdown pass to make it 7-3 with 9:37 to play in the first half. The Broncos got the ball back at their 9-yard line with 3:24 to play in the half, and Manning drove them into Oakland territory, including a 41-yard pass play to Bennie Fowler. But with 18 seconds left on third down, Manning was intercepted by Charles Woodson in the end zone, keeping the Raiders ahead at halftime.
On the Raiders’ first play of the second half, Von Miller sacked and stripped the ball from Carr, giving the Broncos the ball at the Oakland 17. The offense drove to the 2 but couldn’t get into the end zone, settling for a 20-yard field goal by McManus to cut the deficit to 7-6 with 11:25 left in the third quarter. After getting a three-and-out, Manning drove the Broncos 43 yards in six plays, getting a 52-yard field goal by McManus to go up 9-7 with 6:29 left in the third quarter. The Broncos offense was moving but with less than three minutes left in the third quarter, Manning was intercepted by Manning for the second time. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Malik Jackson gave the Raiders 15 yards and Oakland set up for a 40-yard field goal attempt on the first play of the fourth quarter, but Sebastian Janikowski pushed it wide left to keep the Broncos in the lead. The Raiders were driving into field goal range late when Harris picked off Carr and returned it 74 yards for a touchdown with 6:53 to play to give the Broncos a 16-7 lead. The Broncos committed a 48-yard pass interference penalty after the two-minute warning and Janikowski made a 50-yard field goal with 1:40 to play to make it 16-10. But the Broncos got the onside kick, then ran out the clock. The Broncos are on the road again next week, traveling to Cleveland to play the Browns, who upset the Baltimore Ravens, 33-30 in overtime, on Sunday. Relive the game in the recap below, including sideline coverage and analysis from our team along with all the social media reactions.  

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