DENVER – Snowball effect? This was more of an avalanche.
The Oakland Raiders scored touchdowns 8 seconds apart to kick-start a rout of the Denver Broncos that recalled so many of the lopsided scores between these former AFL teams in the 1960s.
Behind Darren McFadden’s four touchdowns, the Raiders scored the most points in their 50-year history Sunday with a 59-14 thrashing of the demoralized Broncos.
The Raiders (3-4) won for the third straight time at Invesco Field, fueled by a 38-point outburst in the first 22 minutes that staggered the Broncos, who allowed 328 yards rushing.
“I expected this to be a street fight,” Raiders coach Tom Cable said. “It started like that and we made sure it didn’t go any further.”
This one was decided in the opening minutes.
“You blinked and looked up and it was out of hand,” said Denver defensive back Nate Jones.
The Broncos (2-5) had no answers for backup quarterback Jason Campbell, who started despite a sore knee in place of Bruce Gradkowski (sore shoulder), or McFadden, who showed no ill effects of a recent hamstring injury. He scored on a pair of 4-yard runs and a 19-yard reception in the first half and on a 57-yard run in the second.
Michael Bush’s 1-yard TD run with 27 seconds left in the third quarter made it 59-14 and broke the Raiders’ franchise scoring record of 52 points. The fifth TD rushing tied a team record and their eight TDs established another mark.
The Broncos talked all week about a quick start being the key. Instead, it was the Raiders who jumped out and never let up.
Campbell found tight end Zach Miller uncovered for a 43-yard walk-in touchdown for a 7-0 lead. Then, cornerback Chris Johnson stepped in front of Gaffney and picked off Kyle Orton’s pass on Denver’s first snap, returning it for a touchdown that made it 14-0.
On Denver’s next snap, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas coughed up Tim Tebow’s pitch and defensive end Lamarr Houston recovered. Three plays later, McFadden trotted in untouched from 4 yards out. 21-0.
“It was definitely a snowball effect today,” Gaffney said.