OAKLAND, Calif. — After overwhelming another overmatched division rival, Peyton Manning and the streaking Denver Broncos can turn their attention to much more meaningful opponents.
Manning threw for 310 yards and had his 30th touchdown pass of the season on the opening drive to help the Broncos roll to their eighth straight victory, 26-13 over the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night.
Knowshon Moreno ran for 119 yards and a score on a career-high 32 carries, and Matt Prater kicked four field goals to help the Broncos (10-3) move a half-game ahead of New England and Baltimore for the second-best record in the AFC. Denver visits Baltimore next week in a game that will help decide who gets a first-round playoff bye.
Carson Palmer threw one interception that thwarted a possible scoring chance for the Raiders and lost a fumble that set up a touchdown for the Broncos as Oakland lost its sixth straight game.
Roethlisberger to start against Chargers
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will start on Sunday against San Diego.
Roethlisberger missed the past three weeks with a sprained right shoulder and dislocated rib but practiced for the second straight day on Thursday without incident.
Plan would eliminate kickoffs
Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league’s competition committee would consider in the offseason replacing the kickoff.
Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano suggested that instead of kickoffs, teams would have the option of punting from the 30-yard line and going for a first down in a fourth-and-15 situation. Schiano witnessed one of his players at Rutgers, Eric LeGrand, get paralyzed on a kickoff in 2010.
Goodell said he also did not know when former commissioner Paul Tagliabue would rule on whether to reduce suspensions in the Saints bounty case.
Buffalo offensive lineman Chris Hairston has been placed on injured reserve and will miss the rest of the season with a bruised right ankle. ... Kansas City placed defensive lineman Allen Bailey on injured reserve with an ankle injury and signed linebacker Leon Williams to fill his place on the roster. ... Cincinnati signed kicker Josh Brown to fill in for the injured Mike Nugent.