The Oakland Raiders played host to arguably the best team in the AFC on Sunday with Peyton Manning and company coming to town. The Denver Broncos lived up to the hype early and often in the regular season finale against Raiders with Manning quickly getting Denver on the board with a touchdown pass to Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno in the first two possessions for Denver.
With all eyes on Terrelle Pryor in a game that was considered an evaluation of the team and coaching staff, the third-year quarterback struggled as he simply couldn’t get much of anything going offensively. Granted, Pryor didn’t benefit from an early fumble due to a bad snap by center Stefen Wisniewski, but continued to make matters worse with poor decision making throughout the rest of the contest.
In only a half of football, Manning completely took over by torching the Raiders’ defense with four touchdown passes and 266 passing yards. Manning only failed to complete three out of the 28 passes thrown in the first half. The future Hall of Famer was surgical dicing up Oakland’s secondary and made his way into the NFL record books in the process.
As a result of Manning’s incredible first half, the one-time Super Bowl champion now owns the record for passing yards and touchdowns thrown in a single season. Although Manning broke Tom Brady’s record for touchdown passes in last week’s game, the veteran quarterback added to his total for the regular with four more finishing with 55.
With a touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas as the first half came to an end, Manning passed Drew Brees’ mark of 5,476 by one yard (5,477) and then called it a day with Brock Osweiler taking over in the second half. Although Osweiler was nowhere near as efficient as Manning, the Broncos backup got the job done and held the lead against a defense that was basically nonexistent in the season finale.
Along with countless empty possessions with Pryor under center, the one opportunity the Raiders had to put points on the board was ruined by the ninth missed field goal of the season for Sebastian Janikowski. Not only did Janikowski fail to come through, but so did Pryor and Darren McFadden.
Both players were to be evaluated to with the season coming to close and neither veteran showed up. McFadden had another pitiful showing with six yards on seven carries. Pryor didn’t fair much better until late in the fourth with 207 passing yards completing 21 passes on 38 attempts and throwing a touchdown to Rod Streater and Nick Kasa. The mobile quarterback also rushed for 49 yards on nine carries.
Needless to say, it was a fitting end to another disappointing season for the Raiders as the Broncos cruised to victory with Manning only putting in two quarters of work. The Raiders lost the season finale, 34-14, and fell to 4-12.