Found September 26, 2012 on
After opening against three stout defenses, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos seem to have a more favorable matchup in Week 4.
The Broncos' defense, however, might be short-handed, and that could lead to problems against an Oakland Raiders offense that appears to be finding its stride.
The Broncos try to avoid losing their third in a row Sunday in an AFC West showdown with a Raiders team seeking its fifth straight victory in Denver.
The Manning era in Denver got off to a promising start with a 31-19 win over Pittsburgh, but the Broncos have developed a disturbing trend in the last two games - fall behind by 20, rally within six and lose.
Manning didn't throw an interception in last Sunday's 31-25 loss to Houston - a positive sign after tossing three, first-quarter picks in a 27-21 loss to Atlanta in Week 2 - but he did have a career-high 26 incompletions.
He also completed 26 passes for 330 yards with two touchdowns, but 120 of those yards and both scores came in the final 17 minutes after the Broncos (1-2) had trailed by 20. Manning was also sacked three more times, bringing his season total to eight, which puts him on pace for a career-high 43.
"We have to study this tape and study what it is we're doing wrong," Manning said. "Study anything that we are doing well and try to build off that."
Little has come easy for the future Hall of Famer in the last two weeks, but there's reason to believe things could improve.
Denver's first three opponents all rank in the top eight in the NFL in pass defense, while Oakland (1-2) is in the bottom 10, allowing 264.7 yards per game. The Raiders, who are allowing an average of 29.3 points, are also one of three teams without an interception and are tied for 28th in the league with three sacks.
Oakland tried to address the pass-rush issue by signing 11-year veteran defensive end Andre Carter on Wednesday, but it's uncertain what kind of impact he'll have.
"We're 1-2 and we've got a big division game coming up against Oakland," said Manning, who has won his last three games versus the Raiders. "Division games count double, so we've got to learn from this last game and improve from it."
While the Broncos are still trying to master the comeback, the Raiders rallied from four deficits in last Sunday's 34-31 win over the Steelers. Oakland scored the game's final 13 points in the last 12:13 and took its first lead on Sebastian Janikowski's 43-yard field goal with no time remaining.
"We've got it in us to be a mentally tough team and compete and fight and keep going until the very end," said first-year Raiders coach Dennis Allen, who was Denver's defensive coordinator last season. "That's what you have to do to win consistently in this league and that's what our guys did."
The Raiders played most of the fourth quarter without wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who suffered a concussion and strained neck on a scary hit from Pittsburgh safety Ryan Mundy. Heyward-Bey spent the night in the hospital and went home Monday, but there is no word on when he'll be cleared to play.
Even without Heyward-Bey, Oakland's offense was able to march the ball down the field with the game on the line.
Carson Palmer completed 24 of 34 passes for 209 yards with a season-high three touchdowns to lead the Raiders to more points than they scored in their first two weeks combined (27).
Darren McFadden finished with 113 rushing yards after totaling 54 in his first two games. He's averaging 144.7 yards in his last three contests against the Broncos.
Denver might be without linebacker Joe Mays after he received a one-game suspension and $50,000 fine for a hit that dislodged Texans quarterback Matt Schaub's helmet and took off a piece of his ear.
Mays is appealing, and if he loses, the Broncos will go with Keith Brooking in the middle. Two rookies who haven't played any defensive snaps, Danny Trevathan and Steven Johnson, would be in the rotation.
This is the first meeting between these division rivals since the Broncos won 38-24 on Nov. 6 in Palmer's first start with Oakland.
The Raiders haven't won five in a row in Denver since an eight-game run from 1965-72.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
When the Broncos opened up the Peyton Manning era in the season opener vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 9th, Manning didn't turn the ball over a single time, and it was hard to find anything to criticize about Manning's debut with the 'Orange Crush', as he slowly dissected Pittsburgh's defense, going 19/26 for 253 yards and two touchdowns.
(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By ARNIE STAPLETON AP Pro Football Writer Never before in Peyton Manning's 15-year NFL career had so many passes missed their mark.
Half of his 52 throws ended up somewhere other than in the hands of the man he was throwing to during Denver's 31-25 loss to Houston last weekend.
And that doesn't count the one toss that...
After the Oakland Raiders victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, they will try to make it two in a row against AFC West rival Denver Broncos. That means preparing for soon to be Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.
“He’s Peyton Manning; he’s a Hall of Fame quarterback,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “There’s no way that we’re going to in any...
Denver Broncos News
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are talking about the Oakland Raiders now. No more home losses please. [DenverBroncos.com]
Apparently, Carson Palmer carries for Raiders fans as high of expectations as Manning does for Broncos fans. Talk about setting the bar low! [Denver Post]
Some believe Joe Mays plays the game the way it was meant to be played, but I...
A lot of things look familiar when you watch Peyton Manning in the rarified air of Denver. He still jogs out of the tunnel as slowly as ever. His helmet still barely fits on his enormous melon. The press conference âgee shucks-ingâ sounds about the same. But there is a huge difference this year, and that is Peyton Manningâs win record, which is below .500.
HOUSTON (31) d DENVER (25)
The Headline: Texans hold on as Manning’s comeback falls just short
For the first three quarters it was all Houston as the Texans passing game lit up the Broncos defense while the Texans shut down Peyton Manning, limiting his offensive output to three field goals (complemented by a safety from the defense). Everything was clicking for the...
Entering the 2012 season, the Texans were regarded by many as just a playoff team.Now, they are considered by most as a Super Bowl contender.After starting the season 3-0, which includes the dismantling of the Dolphins and Jaguars, and a win versus Peyton Manning and the Broncos, the Texans have a full head of steam rolling into Week 4 of the season.Going into the year, the Texans...
It took the Houston Texans nine seasons to finally make the playoffs, so it’s safe to say winning is new to them. Furthermore, the Texans surprisingly fly under the radar a bit and are constantly overlooked during discussions of the NFL’s top teams. And while the whole winning this is new for the franchise, it’s unlikely to last much longer as the Texans continue winning...
Matt Schaub might not be made of glass after all.Schaub and the Houston Texans defeated Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos Sunday by a score of 31-25 in Denver.Early in the 3rd quarter, Schaub was leveled on consecutive plays by the Broncos Von Miller and Joe Mays. Both plays drew roughing the passer penalties, which ultimately led to Matt Schaub losing a piece of his ear. Schaub...
The Broncos vs. Texans game ended up in a score that was not surprising to anyone, but the score does not really tell the story of this game. Once again, Peyton Manning had to play a game of catch-up, scoring 14 points in the 4th quarter and being in it until the end even when the halftime score reflected the Texans were in control of this game, up 21-11 at halftime. Ultimately...
There is something wrong with this picture: Patriots, Saints, Packers and Peyton Manning all at the bottom of their divisions. And things won't get better for either New Orleans or Green Bay, who meet Sunday at Lambeau Field.
But the weirdest line in the standings has to belong to New England.
Not since 2003 have the Patriots been below .500. That year, they lost their opener...
Last week: 29 (+8)
The Bengals, my original pick to go from out of the playoffs to 5 wins or fewer, are still in the running. I had them doing do because I thought they were the worst of the 12 playoff teams last season (other than Denver, who added Peyton Manning). Andy Dalton can move the ball well against crappy defenses like Cleveland and Washington, but he’s still...
Start Em’ QB – Peyton Manning DEN, Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF, Philip Rivers SD
I really like Peyton Manning’s matchup against the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders defense thus far has been shredded by opposing quarterbacks. Manning should continue this trend. Last season against New England, Fiztpatrick garnered over 676 yards passing yards and threw for 6 touchdown in 2 games. Fitzpatrick...
Step with me into the Way-Back Machine:There were many notable debuts when the Philadelphia Eagles hosted the New York Giants in Week 1 of the 2004 season: Terrell Owens played his first game in Eagles green (catching 3 TD passes) and Kurt Warner made his first appearance in blue, under new Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.Oh, and a much-ballyhooed rookie named Eli Manning stepped...
With a 31-25 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday, the Texans moved to 3-0 for the first time in their brief history. After taking a 20-point lead going into the 4th quarter, the Texans allowed 14 points, but managed to hang on to leave Denver with a six-point win. This game was also the first time the Texans have beaten Peyton Manning in his home stadium.