It has been speculated by some Broncos faithful that former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan was far more interested in beating the Oakland Raiders than in how the team did during the rest of any given season. It would be an understatement of monstrous proportions to say that there was bad blood between Shanahan and former Raiders owner Al Davis. In Shanahan's first four years as the Broncos head coach, he posted a 7-1 record against the Raiders. After Elway's retirement, he continued to pump the Broncos up to play Oakland and built up a 14-6 record for an overall record of 21-7 versus the Raiders. In his fourteen seasons as Denver's head coach, Shanahan swept the Raiders eight times and was only swept by them once. By way of comparison, the Shanahan Broncos went 14-14-0 versus Kansas City and 17-11 versus the Chargers. The last five meetings between the teams (four under head coach John Fox and one under interim head coach Eric Studesville) have not been quite as dominant, with the Broncos losing the first two meetings of that series and winning the last three.
On Week 15 of the 2010 season, Eric Studesville and Tim Tebow led the 3-10-0 Denver Broncos into Oakland-Alameda Coliseum to face the 6-7-0 Oakland Raiders. Initially, the teams looked to be evenly matched. Oakland went up 7-0, the Denver tied it at 7-7. The Broncos went ahead 14-7 but the Raiders were able to tie it at 14-14 at the end of the first quarter. The teams exchanged field goals to make it 17-17 at the half. The teams exchanged field goals in the third to advance the score to 20-20. The Raiders posted a second field goal in that quarter to take a 23-20 lead. Early in the fourth quarter, the Broncos surrendered a 73-yard pass and catch play for a touchdown to fall behind 30-20. A field goal cut that deficit to 30-23. A safety made it 32-23 and the Raiders were able to follow up the ensuing free kick with another touchdown drive for the final margin of 39-23.
The Broncos -- now coached by John Fox -- and Raiders split their games in 2011. Oakland came into Denver on Week 1 and, after falling behind 3-0, built a 16-3 halftime lead, assisted by a Broncos' fumble, missed field goal and an interception. In the third quarter, Eric Decker returned a punt 90 yard for a touchdown to cut the lead to 16-10. A Denver field goal cut the lead to 16-13 at the end of three quarters. In the fourth quarter, a Denver fumble led to another Oakland touchdown, making the score 23-13. The Broncos rallied for a touchdown of their own to make the score 23-20, but were unable to prevent Oakland from running the last 3:43 off the clock to secure the victory.
Week 9 of the 2011 season saw a very different matchup play itself out in Oakland. The Raiders had built up a 17-10 halftime lead and then broken a 17-17 tie to take a 24-17 lead with 6:38 left in the third quarter. A Matt Prater field goal narrowed the gap to 24-20. The Raiders next possession was ended by an interception and the Broncos capitalized on that with a 60-yard touchdown run by Willis McGahee to take a 27-24 lead. In the fourth quarter, Denver added two more touchdowns -- the first on an 85-yard punt return by Eddie Royal, the second on a 24-yard touchdown run by McGahee -- to take a 38-24 lead. Oakland's final possession was ended by a Champ Bailey interception
In 2012, the Broncos swept Oakland for the first time since 2006. The first time came when Denver hosted the Raiders on Week 4. This game was a beat-down, pure and simple. When the dust had settled, the Broncos had outgained Oakland 503-237 and outscored the Raiders 37-6. Denver built a 10-3 lead by the end of the first quarter then saw the Raiders edge closer to 10-6 at the half. The second half opened with an Oakland 3-and-out that was followed by a Broncos' touchdown drive that made the score 17-6. Another 3-and-out was followed by another Broncos' touchdown and a 24-6 Broncos' lead. Oakland's third possession of the third quarter was a third 3-and-out while Denver's third was, you guessed it, a third touchdown drive. When the clock expired on the third quarter, Denver held a 31-6 lead. The Broncos added two field goals in the fourth quarter to reach the final margin of 37-6.
The second meeting in 2012 was somewhat closer, though the Broncos still dominated that game as well. Denver took the opening kickoff and drove 68 yards -- burning 4:25 off the clock -- for a touchdown. An Oakland 3-and-out was followed by a Broncos' field goal for a 10-0 lead. An interception late in the first quarter by Champ Bailey led to a field goal early in the second quarter and a 13-0 lead. The Raiders rallied a bit and turned an interception of Peyton Manning into a touchdown to trail 13-7 at the half. Denver stifled the Raiders' offense in the third quarter and added two field goals and a touchdown to take a 26-7 lead. Oakland tried to battle back, scoring a touchdown with just under six minutes left to cut the deficit to 26-13 (a two-point conversion attempt failed). An on-side kick attempt was recovered by Denver's Jacob Tamme. Denver was able to run out the remaining 5:36 to secure the win.
Overall, Denver is 44-59-2 in the regular season versus the Raiders and 1-1 in the postseason. How do you like the Broncos chances in September -- and again in December?