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article imageNFL: Raiders win 1st game thanks to Janikowski big leg

By Austin Tyler     Sep 13, 2011 in Sports
Denver - The Oakland Raiders have made a bunch of moves at quarterback, head coach and running back, but the only player that has yet to leave is place kicker Sebastian Janikowski. He proved why Al Davis loved him so much in last night’s victory.
The Denver Broncos hosted the Oakland Raiders for the second game on Monday Night Football. The Broncos have been dealing with quarterback issues while the Raiders have just been trying to stay stable. The only piece that the Raiders can consider stable is Al Davis and kicker Janikowski who made three field-goals to lead the Raiders to a 23-20 victory.
Denver took over with starting quarterback Kyle Orton (24/46, 304 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int) who was questionable for the game. In the end I guess a hurt Orton is better than any other option they have on their roster to give them a chance at winning from the quarterback position.
The offense did not move on the first drive as the Broncos went six plays and only moved 34-yards before having to punt the ball away. The Raiders did not keep it long as Jacoby Ford (3 receptions, 22 yards) was hit by Broncos rookie Von Miller and coughed up the ball. Rahim Moore recovered the ball for the Broncos and gave them good field position.
Even with the good field position the Broncos still could not move the ball as they went three and out before kicking a field-goal. Matt Prater came on for the Broncos and 28-yard field-goal that gave them a quick 3-0 lead.
The Raiders got the ball, but they could not do much as they were forced to punt the ball away after six plays and 20-yards. The Broncos got the ball back and struggled also as they went four plays for 18-yards before having to punt the ball right back to the Raiders.
On the Raiders next drive they decided to use the running game with mostly Darren McFadden (22 carries, 150 yards) doing most of the work. He even broke a run for 20-yards during the drive as the Raiders marched 52-yards in eight plays. Jason Campbell (13/22, 105 yards, 1 TD) hit Marcel Reece (3 receptions, 23 yards, 1 TD) on a three-yard touchdown pass that gave the Raiders a 7-3 lead.
Denver got the ball on the kickoff, but gave it right back with Knowshon Moreno (8 carries, 22 yards) fumbled on the first play of the drive. The play was challenged as the Broncos tried to say he was down, but the both overturned it and called it a fumble. Linebacker Quentin Groves caused the fumble and Tyvon Branch recovered it for the Raiders.
The Raiders took over, but could not take advantage of the turnover so they had to settle for a field-goal. Janikowski came on and made a 37-yard field-goal that made it a 10-3 lead for Oakland. Denver took over, but could not move the ball as they went six plays for 18-yards and punted the ball back to the Raiders.
Both defenses where playing very well as neither team could really get the ball going. The Raiders went three and out, and then the Broncos ended up punting again after moving the 23-yards.
Campbell got the Raiders defense going, but could not get them in the endzone. Campbell and McFadden shared the work load on this drive as they moved 44-yards. Janikowski came on and kicked another field-goal for the Raiders to make it a 13-3 game. This time Janikowski made a 21-yarder to put the Raider ahead with 4:12 left in the half.
The Broncos moved a little but could not keep going as Orton threw an interception. Matt Giordano intercepted the ball for the Raiders and then pushed out of bounds. The replay officials reviewed the play and it was upheld giving the ball to the Raiders with just .24 second left.
Campbell hit Reece with a 16-yard pass before he was pushed out of bounds. Then with little time on the clock Janikowski came out to attempt a 63-yard field-goal. Janikowski lined up and Shane Lechler held it and Janikowski boomed it 63-yards to give the Raiders a 16-3 lead going into halftime as time expired. That kick tied a NFL record for the longest kick in NFL history. The last one came from former Denver kicker Jason Elam in 1998, and both his and Janikowski’s happened in Denver.
The Raiders took over in the second, but had trouble moving the ball and punted it away. Lechler punted the ball away and Eric Decker returned the punt 90-yards for a touchdown. Decker’s return put the Broncos back in the game 16-10.
Oakland took over after the return and the offense did nothing against the Broncos defense and was forced to punt again after eight plays. The Broncos moved the ball 75-yards on the ensuing drive and got into field-goal range. Their drive stalled when Orton was sacked by Richard Seymour, and Prater came on to kick a 30-yard field goal to make it 16-13.
Denver’s defense forced the Raiders to go three and out and punt the ball again with 1:55 left in the third quarter. The Broncos took over and three quick first downs before Orton got sacked and forced loss the ball. Lamarr Houston sacked Orton to cause the fumble and recovered it as well giving the Raiders the ball back.
Campbell hit Darrius Heyward-Bey (4 receptions, 44 yards) with a 17-yard pass and McFadden had 47-yard run that put the Raiders on the 1-yard line. Campbell finished the drive when he pushed his way up the middle for a touchdown to take a 23-13 lead.
The Broncos took over and struggled to move ball as they lost 2-yards during that drive and ended up punting the ball away. The Raiders went three and out, and gave the Broncos time to score as there was 7:39 left in the game. The Broncos did just that, they put Orton in shotgun formation and moved the ball down the field at will. Orton moved the Broncos 80-yards in 12 plays to get a touchdown. Orton hit Lance Ball for his only catch of the night on a 9-yard touchdown pass.
With the Broncos back in it with the score 23-20, the Raiders took over and ran out the clock using Michael Bush (9 carries, 30 yards). Campbell took a couple of knees and the Raiders took a close 23-20 victory over the Broncos to open the season.
The Denver Broncos will host the Cincinnati Bengals next week while the Oakland Raiders will go on the road again but face the Buffalo Bills.
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