OAKLAND, Calif.** – Following a 16-10 win in Oakland, the Broncos are 5-0 to start the season and just sealed their second divisional road win of the season.
But for fans and critics alike, the fact that each of the five wins have been sealed in the final minutes of the fourth frame by the defense comes as a surprise, especially for an offense helmed by veteran quarterback Peyton Manning. Although it may seem one-sided and Manning knows the offense needs to improve, the win is not for the defense – it's a win for the entire team.
"The Broncos won the game today," Manning said. "I know it's hard -- everybody wants to divide it. You have Broncos offensive commentary, defensive commentary, Broncos special teams … but we kind of lump it all together as a team win. It's a good team win."
In the second half of play in O.co Coliseum the Broncos have fought back to beat the Raiders, 16-10.
Manning and the offense experienced some woes against the Raiders, highlighted by the lack of offensive touchdowns on the day. The Broncos made three red zone trips on the day, but failed to get in the end zone on all three chances.
"We want to play better offensively, we want to do our job and somehow, someway, it's about helping the Denver Broncos get a win," Manning said. "But there's no question, offensively, we certainly want to play better. We're going to stay committed to it, and everybody wants to try to do a better job and that certainly starts with me. I want to do a better job and do a better job playing quarterback to help our team get into the end zone more."
Manning said the team is getting close to the production he hopes for and sees positives in all three red zone opportunities. The team is moving the ball, but now it needs to work on connecting.
"I think we're doing some good things. We're moving the ball," Manning said. "It would be one thing if we weren't getting down there at all. So we're able to get the ball down there. We've got to find a way. Like I said, I think a couple close plays here or there and probably we'd have some touchdowns."
Most importantly, the Broncos found a way to win their fifth-straight game and will now look ahead to Cleveland on Sunday.
In the meantime, Manning can't summarize what the offense is struggling at in one short answer, but he does know what needs to be fixed right away: "We've just got to find a way to get into the end zone. [That] is probably the simple answer. Somehow, some way, we've got to find a way to get the ball into the end zone for touchdowns."