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Raiders set team scoring mark, rout Broncos 59-14

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By Arnie Stapleton, AP Pro Football Writer

DENVER (AP) — 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.

The Raiders kept the Broncos (2-5) guessing until announcing shortly before kickoff that backup Jason Campbell would start at quarterback despite a sore knee in place of Bruce Gradkowski (sore shoulder).

It didn't seem to bother him one bit, and McFadden certainly showed no ill effects of a recent hamstring injury in scoring 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 got the handoff on a 1-yard TD run in the third quarter that made it 59-14. The only other time the Raiders ran for five touchdowns was at Indianapolis a decade ago.

The Raiders had never scored eight touchdowns before, and since the franchise's inception in 1960, they had never piled up more than 52 points.

Born that same year, the Broncos allowed this many points only one other time, in the 1963 season opener, which they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 59-7.

It got so bad that after McFadden's 57-yard jaunt down the Broncos' sideline, the stream of fans heading to the exits became a rush, leaving the stadium with just a smattering of die-hard supporters witnessing a historic defeat.

Many of them must have been wondering, ''Can the NFL also crack down on beatdowns?''

The last two times the Broncos lost at home to Oakland by three or more touchdowns, there was a coaching change after the season. Wade Phillips left following a 48-16 whipping in 1994, and his successor, Mike Shanahan, was fired not long after a 31-10 loss to Oakland in 2008.

Shanahan was replaced by Josh McDaniels, who is 4-13 since starting his first season with six wins.

The Broncos, who have played the league's toughest schedule so far, emerged from a meat grinder of a month hopeful of turning things around with their first game against a divisional opponent from the middling AFC West, and they harped all week about a fast start being the key.

Instead, it was the Raiders who jumped out, scoring early and often.

Campbell found tight end Zach Miller uncovered for a 43-yard walk-in touchdown after linebackers Joe Mays and D.J. Williams both bit on the pump fake for a 7-0 lead less than five minutes in.

Then, cornerback Chris Johnson stepped in front of Jabar Gaffney and picked off Kyle Orton's pass on Denver's first snap, returning it for a touchdown that made it 14-0.

An inadvertent whistle was the only thing that prevented a second defensive touchdown on Denver's second snap. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas coughed up Tim Tebow's pitch when he was stripped by safety Michael Huff, and defensive end Lamarr Houston scooped up the ball and rumbled in for the score.

The officials ruled the ball dead, but a challenge resulted in a reversal of possession. Three plays later, McFadden trotted in untouched from 4 yards out for a 21-0 lead.

McFadden finished with 165 yards on just 16 carries.

The Broncos - who were without their emotional leader, safety Brian Dawkins (knee), for the second straight week - showed little passion on their silent sideline as they were getting pummeled and the mistakes and miscues piled up.

The biggest cheer - albeit mockingly - came when Gaffney caught a 17-yard pass for a first down in the waning minutes of the second quarter.

The Broncos finally reached the end zone when Orton hit running back Knowshon Moreno from 7 yards out. Moreno skipped across the end zone, then motioned for his teammates to come celebrate with chest bumps, and rookie right tackle Zane Beadles complied.

Moreno was equally demonstrative when he scored on a 27-yard pass to open the third quarter. He lunged over the goal line as he was being tackled and then kicked around like a turtle turned upside down as Gaffney pulled him to his feet.

By the fourth quarter, the Raiders were resting their starters while the Broncos weren't - and they still couldn't chip away at the huge deficit.

Oakland receiver Louis Murphy and Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox both left the game after a collision in the third quarter. Cox had a head injury, although it didn't appear the play would draw interest from the league after its crackdown on illegal hits. Murphy walked off on his own.

Game stats

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