Denver Broncos 41 - Oakland Raiders 14 - Post Game Notes


Final - 9.8.2008 1 2 3 4 Total
Denver Broncos 7 10 10 14 41
Oakland Raiders 0 0 0 14 14

Complete Coverage >


OPENING THOUGHTS

* - With the win, the Broncos improve to 31-17-1 in season openers for a .633 winning percentage, third-best in NFL history.

* - Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan improves to 12-4 in season openers in his career, second-best all-time among coaches who began their careers in the Super Bowl era (min. 14 games).

Highest Winning Percentage in Opening Day Games
Mike Ditka 11-3 (.786)
Mike Shanahan 12-4 (.750)
Bud Grant 12-6 (.667)


A ROYAL INTRODUCTION

* - Broncos rookie WR Eddie Royal finished with the most receiving yards (146) and the fourth-most receptions (9) of any NFL player in Week 1. Royal added two rushes for 9 yards, two punt returns for 19 yards and a kickoff return for 11 yards, bringing his all-purpose yards total to 185.

* - Royal’s 146 receiving yards marked the sixth most by a player in his NFL debut in league history with those records dating back to 1960. He posted the first 100-yard receiving game by a player in his debut since Anquan Boldin had an NFL-record 217 receiving yards in his first game with the Cardinals (9/7/03). His 146 receiving yards also were the second most by a Broncos rookie in his first game with that record held by WR Rick Upchurch (153 on three receptions with 1 TD) vs. K.C. (9/21/75).

* - Royal’s nine receptions were the most by a Broncos rookie in his NFL debut.

BRONCOS GAME NOTES

* - QB Jay Cutler led the Broncos on a 10-play, 76-yard touchdown drive to start the game. The drive, which took 5:01, saw the Broncos convert on two third down attempts: a 13-yard reception by WR Brandon Stokley and a 26-yard touchdown reception by Royal. A rookie, Royal accounted for 51 of the Broncos’ 76 yards on the drive (9 rushing, 42 receiving). Cutler completed 3-of-5 passes for 55 yards on the drive and finished the game 16-of-24 for 299 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and no sacks (137.3 rtg.).

* - Royal finished the first half with seven receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown. He also has 119 all-purpose yards in the opening half (99 receiving, 9 rushing, 11 return).

* - The Broncos’ touchdown on the opening drive was club’s first touchdown scored on initial drive of the regular season since the 2002 opener against St. Louis when WR Rod Smith capped off a drive with touchdown catch from QB Brian Griese.

* - With two carries for nine yards in the first half by Royal, it marked the second consecutive game dating back to last season that a Broncos wide receiver rushed twice in a game (WR Brandon Marshall, 2 carries, 31 yds., long of 24 vs.
Minn., 12/30/07).

* - The Broncos held a 243-95 advantage in total yards in the first half, including a 202-34 advantage in passing yards.  They also held a 12-5 advantage in first downs. The Broncos ended the game with 441 total yards to the Raiders’ 317.

* - Broncos DE Ebenezer Ekuban’s first quarter forced fumble (Russell) was his first forced fumble since 10/02/05 at Jacksonville.

* - Broncos TE Tony Scheffler’s 72-yard reception in the second quarter was the longest of his career. His previous long was a 41-yard reception at Chicago (11/25/07). His reception was the longest by a tight end since TE Shannon Sharpe
had an 82-yard touchdown reception at Kansas City (10/20/02).

* - K Matt Prater connected on his first field goal as a member of the Broncos (second career field goal) with his 26-yarder in the second quarter. His only other career make was a 45-yarder as a member of the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 (at
Min., 9/9/07). He later connected on a 43-yarder for the Broncos in the third quarter, doubling his career output before the game.

* - LB D.J. Williams recorded the Broncos’ first sack (Russell) of the season in the second quarter, marking the second consecutive season he recorded a sack in Week 1 (1-14, at Buffalo, 9/9/07).

* - FB Michael Pittman’s 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was his first rushing touchdown as a Denver Bronco and his first since 2006 as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Cleveland, 12/24/06). Pittman added a second touchdown in the fourth quarter, tallying his first multiple-touchdown game since Nov. 21, 2004, (vs. San Francisco, 2), as a member of the Bucs.

* - Broncos WR Darrell Jackson had his first reception and touchdown as a member of the Broncos with a 48-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. Jackson’s previous touchdown reception came in his last game as a member of
the San Francisco 49ers (at Cle., 12/30/07).

SHUTOUT THROUGH THREE

* - The Broncos held the Raiders scoreless for the first three quarters, marking the first time they accomplished the feat since shutting out Cleveland through three (10/22/06) in a 17-7 win.

YOUNG GUNS

* - With his start against the Raiders, T Ryan Clady became the first rookie to start a season opener at tackle for the Broncos since T Russell Freeman started all 16 games as a rookie for Denver in 1992. WR Eddie Royal became the first rookie to start at wide receiver in a regular season opener for the Broncos since WR Vance Johnson started as a rookie in Denver’s opener in 1985. Johnson went on to start eight games for the Broncos that season.

* - Royal was of just two rookies to start at wide receiver in an NFL game in Week 1 and Clady was one of five rookies to start at tackle in Week 1.

* - With T Ryan Clady and WR Eddie Royal in the starting lineup, the Broncos are the first non-expansion team in the NFL to start a rookie at both tackle and wide receiver in a regular-season opener in eight seasons. In 2000, Pittsburgh started WR Plaxico Burress and T Marvel Smith in its season opener. Houston, during its expansion season in 2002, started WR Jabar Gaffney and T Chester Pitts in its season opener.

* - The Broncos’ roster features 10 rookies, the most rookies on the opening day squad in the Shanahan era and the most since 1989 (10). The 1984 season, with 12 rookies on the opening day roster, is the last time the Broncos had more
rookies. Of the 10 rookies on the 53-man squad, three of them were undrafted college free agents: P Brett Kern, T Tyler Polumbus and LB Wesley Woodyard. This marks the first time in the Shanahan era the Broncos have had multiple college free agents make the club’s Week 1 active roster during their rookie year.

SERIES STUFF

* - With the win, the Broncos improve to 40-54-2 (.417) all-time against the Raiders and 5-0 all-time in season openers against the franchise. Denver also improves to 8-6-1 against the Raiders on Monday Night Football.

* - Mike Shanahan, who coached the Raiders from 1988-89, is now 21-6 (.778) against the Raiders (10-4 on the road) since he became head coach of the Broncos in 1995. Shanahan would have to lose his next 50 games against the Raiders to have a worse winning percentage against the franchise than the Broncos had before Shanahan’s arrival.

Denver Broncos All-Time Record vs. Raiders Franchise
1960-1994 19-48-2
1995-Present 21-6*
Total 40-54-2
*Shanahan Era

* - The Broncos’ 27-point margin of victory over the Raiders is the most by Denver in the series since a 28-point margin(31-3) at Oakland (10/17/04).

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