Broncos Keep the Raiders Winless
The Denver Broncos once again kept an opponent out of the end zone in a 13-3 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night at Denver, where the Broncos found barely enough offense to go with their suffocating defense.
The Broncos (4-1) are the first team since the 1934 Lions to start off a season by yielding just one touchdown through five games, something Coach Mike Shanahan miscalculated in his congratulatory chat with his team.
“ ‘Thirty-four?” Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams said. “Coach got it wrong! Coach Shanahan told us ’42. Just think about that, something that hasn’t happened since ’34 and it’s 2006. That’s just amazing, being able to do that. There have been a lot of great teams, even the Baltimore team in 2000 didn’t do this, and they won the Super Bowl basically winning it by defense.”
Detroit shut out its first seven opponents in ’34.
Shanahan got it wrong with the media too, telling reporters that it was 1940.
“I know it hasn’t happened in a while,” safety John Lynch said. “But I know one TD in five games is pretty darn good.”
Shanahan may be sketchy on his dates, but at least he’s not on the wrong side of history like the Raiders, who are 0-5 for the first time since 1964.
They’re also the only team left in the NFL that hasn’t won a game this year.
“This is the first game where I felt that we lost our composure,” Coach Art Shell said after his team committed 13 penalties. “We lost our focus.”
Oakland has lost 11 in a row dating to last season.
Jason Elam kicked two field goals, Tatum Bell scored on a short touchdown run, and Champ Bailey once again picked off a key pass to thwart a scoring drive.
Jake Plummer isn’t fretting over Denver’s continued offensive ineptitude.
“The offense will come,” he said. “We have Mike Shanahan, one of the best offensive minds in football.”
The Raiders’ worst start came in 1962, when they lost their first 13 games.
Pittsburgh 45, Kansas City 7: The Steelers revived everything they displayed in winning the Super Bowl as Ben Roethlisberger threw his first two touchdown passes since the AFC championship game in a rout at Pittsburgh.
Despite being without three injured regulars -- one of whom, guard Kendall Simmons, fell asleep with an ice pack on his leg and sustained frostbite -- the Steelers never resembled the team that could barely gain a first down in a 9-0 loss to Jacksonville, or ran only 18 plays in the second half of last week’s 23-13 loss at San Diego.
Roethlisberger was among the NFL’s lowest-rated quarterbacks with no touchdown passes and seven interceptions until Sunday, while Damon Huard of the Chiefs (2-3) was among the highest rated.
It changed in a momentum-shifting few hours in which Roethlisberger could again do little wrong and Huard, a longtime backup, could do little right while completing only 16 of 32 passes for 162 yards and an interception.
Roethlisberger had no touchdown passes and nine interceptions in his last four starts, counting the Super Bowl.
Questions were raised about his soundness after his violent June motorcycle crash and his appendectomy last month.
But he was as sharp and polished as in the playoffs, going 16 for 19 for 238 yards and touchdowns of 47 yards to Nate Washington and 13 yards to Hines Ward.
The Steelers (2-3) have never started 1-4 since Coach Bill Cowher was hired in 1992.
New York 20, Miami 17: Laveranues Coles caught two touchdown passes and Mike Nugent kicked a pair of 33-yard field goals, and the Jets barely held on at East Rutherford, N.J. Miami had a chance to tie, but Olindo Mare came up short on a 51-yard field-goal attempt.
After taking a 20-3 lead, the Jets (3-3) had to sweat this one out as Joey Harrington led the Dolphins on two long scoring drives in the fourth quarter, getting within a field goal on Ronnie Brown’s one-yard touchdown run.
Harrington, making his second straight start in place of injured Daunte Culpepper, had one more chance and marched the Dolphins (1-5) down the field again in a last-minute effort to tie the score.
But Mare, who was one for three this season on kicks of 50-plus yards, came up short, the ball landing in the end zone as the Jets cheered.