Final Score: Oakland 23, Denver 20
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Jason Campbell accounted for two touchdowns and
Sebastian Janikowski matched an NFL record by kicking a 63-yard field goal,
helping the Raiders hold off the Broncos, 23-20, in their season-opener.
Campbell completed 13-of-22 passes for 105 yards, while Darren McFadden added
150 yards on 22 carries. Janikowski added makes of 37 and 21 yards for Oakland
(1-0), which is coming off an 8-8 season.
That was the Raiders' first .500 season since 2002, when they went 11-5 and
won the AFC title. But it wasn't enough to save Tom Cable's job, as former
offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was promoted to head coach.
"I think our guys tonight just kept on really being what we talked about we're
going to be. We're building a believer," Jackson said. "I truly believe that.
We have to keep building this thing and it's going to come the way we want it
Eric Decker had a punt return for a touchdown for Denver, while Kyle Orton
passed for 304 yards and a touchdown. But Orton had an interception and one of
two lost fumbles as the Broncos (0-1) stumbled to the loss in the debut of
their new head coach, John Fox.
Fox, the former Carolina Panthers' head coach, was hired by Denver after its
substandard 2010. The Broncos fired Josh McDaniels in December and went 4-12.
"There's no consolation for close, but I think we're still optimistic," Fox
said. "We're just 0-1, like half the teams in our football league."
The Raiders recorded their first season-opening win since 2002 after holding
off the Broncos in the fourth quarter. They've also won eight in a row vs. the
Leading by 10, Oakland punted near the middle of the fourth to give Denver the
ball at its own 20-yard line. The Broncos went backward briefly thanks to a
holding penalty, but Orton converted a third down with a 10-yard pass to
He used a series of 15-yard completions to help get Denver down the field, and
with just under four minutes left, the Broncos faced a third down at the
Raiders' nine. But Orton found Lance Ball for the touchdown, bringing Denver
But the Broncos couldn't stop Oakland, and they used their final two timeouts
before the two-minute warning. The Raiders faced only one third down on the
clock-draining drive, and that was on the final play of the game.
The Broncos got on the board after a turnover. Jacoby Ford fumbled deep in
Oakland territory, setting Denver up at the 15-yard line. The Broncos couldn't
gain a first down, but Matt Prater came out to kick a 28-yard field goal.
Oakland's Darryl Blackstock tipped a punt later in the quarter, giving his
team the ball at Denver's 42. The Raiders moved deeper into Broncos territory,
and Campbell converted a third down with a seven-yard scramble, giving Oakland
a 1st-and-goal at the three.
On the next play, he used a play-fake to get Marcel Reece free on the right
side of the field, then hit the running back with an on-target pass for the
Denver's next play from scrimmage resulted in a turnover.
Knowshon Moreno lost control of the ball just before hitting the ground, and
though he was initially called down by contact, an Oakland challenge got the
However, the Raiders couldn't take advantage of the field position -- they
took over at the Broncos' 23 -- and settled for a 37-yarder by Janikowski.
After Prater missed a 56-yard try with a little more than four minutes left in
the half, Oakland was again in good position, at its own 46. But after moving
to the Denver three, the Raiders had to settle for Janikowski's 21-yarder with
1:27 left in the half.
Orton's interception in the final minute came back to haunt the Broncos. Matt
Giordano picked off the pass at the Oakland 24, and the Raiders moved across
midfield to the 45.
After calling timeout with five seconds to play, Janikowski came out and
kicked the 63-yarder through the left side of the uprights -- with a few feet
in distance to spare -- giving Oakland a 16-3 lead at the break.
"I just thank the O-line," Janikowski said. "They put it down, and I just went
out there and swung as hard as I could."
Decker got the Broncos back in the game early in the third quarter. He fielded
the punt at the 10 and squeezed through a cluster of players before racing up
the right sideline for a touchdown.
Prater's 30-yarder with 1:55 left in the quarter pulled Denver within 16-13,
but an Orton turnover allowed Oakland to expand the lead again.
The quarterback was sacked and fumbled the ball away to the Raiders, who then
started a drive at their own 35 and moved downfield in two quick plays.
Campbell found Darrius Heyward-Bey for a 17-yard gain before McFadden ran for
47. Campbell plunged in from the one on the next play.
The TD made it a 23-13 game with 12:33 to go.
Tom Dempsey hit a 63-yarder for New Orleans in 1970, and Denver's Jason Elam
matched the mark in 1998 at Mile High Stadium...Decker, in his second year in
the league, recorded his first career return TD...Orton completed 24-of-46
passes...Campbell completed 13-of-22...Moreno had a team-high 22 rushing
09/13 03:08:47 ET
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