for this game

Plummer finds accuracy in second half as Broncos edge Raiders

Nov 13, 2006 - 12:28 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Jake Plummer would not let the Denver Broncos fall into the Oakland Raiders' trap.

Plummer completed 11 consecutive passes at one point in the second half and threw a pair of touchdowns to lead the Broncos to a 17-13 triumph over the Raiders in a classic "trap game."

It was the seventh victory in the last eight games for Denver (7-2), which easily could have overlooked lowly Oakland (2-7) with a matchup against AFC West Division contender San Diego (7-2) next week.

"It's nice to find a way to win when you don't play one of your better football games," said Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, who was fired by Raiders owner Al Davis 17 years ago. "It says something about the character of your team. You've got to find a way to win."

Denver had scored 31 points in each of its last two contests but for the most part was lackluster on Sunday, accumulating just 264 yards of total offense and managing 63 yards on the ground.

Plummer maintained, however, that he and his teammates were not worried about next week's meeting with the Chargers.

"I didn't look ahead at all," he said. "All I heard was they moved the game to Sunday night and that was all I knew. Otherwise, I knew this was not going to be an easy game. They didn't make it easy on us when we played them at home and we knew in their place it was going to be even tougher."

Plummer, who has been heavily criticized for his play this season, got off to a horrendous start Sunday, throwing two of his three interceptions in the first half.

"You hate starting slow, especially here because they get a lot of energy if you start slow and give them anything to get excited about," Plummer said. "We did that, but we hung together as a team. We didn't give up, we stayed together as an offense, defense, special teams."

But the veteran quarterback stepped up when it mattered most, orchestrating a nine-play, 60-yard drive capped by his one-yard touchdown pass to fullback Kyle Johnson on 4th-and-goal to give Denver a 14-13 lead.

"We thought they might be playing to run, and they did," Shanahan said. "I was pleased with the way he threw it. You have two teams with a lot of pride fighting against each other."

Plummer completed all seven of his passes on the pivotal drive and finished the contest 20-of-31 for 210 yards.

"It wasn't a pretty game," Plummer said. "I could play a lot better and I think a lot of guys on offense could say that. But the defense played good enough for us to get it done."

"The good thing about getting a win when you don't play your best is you get a chance to go back home and look at the mistakes you made and try to correct them," said Broncos wide receiver Javon Walker, who had a 39-yard TD catch in the first quarter. "But the most important thing is that we got the win."

Tight end Stephen Alexander hauled in six receptions for 49 yards for the Broncos, who have won four straight against the Raiders and improved to 19-5 against their division rival under Shanahan.

"We feel we are on the right track for what we are trying to do," Oakland coach Art Shell said. "We feel we're doing things to give the players chances to make some plays."

Andrew Walter went 18-of-33 for 214 yards for Oakland, which has scored a total of just 105 points through nine games this season.

The Raiders got the ball back on their own 32 with 1:50 remaining but had their hopes dashed on the first play from scrimmage, when Walter was hit and fumbled. Rookie defensive end Elvis Dumervil recovered the loose ball, clinching the victory for the Broncos.

"I don't know what the problem is," Shell said. "The coverages didn't change. We had some opportunities and we didn't make the connection."

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!