Broncos Beat Raiders By 3 In Overtime

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The Denver Broncos may never have called a smarter timeout.

Jason Elam's 23-yard field goal with 5:48 left in overtime gave the Broncos a 23-20 win just minutes after the Raiders had been celebrating what they thought was their own wild win.

Sebastian Janikowski nailed a 52-yard field goal at 11:13 of overtime. But as the Raiders rushed the field in celebration and the Broncos hung their heads in defeat, the officials ruled Denver called a timeout just before the snap.

On the retry, Janikowski's kick hit the left upright, giving the Broncos new life and the ball at their 42. They drove to the Oakland 6 and Elam nailed it on first down - and the Raiders didn't bother calling their own timeout.

Elam's winner was his second in a row. He hit a 42-yarder as time expired to give Denver a 15-14 win at Buffalo in the opener. This one wasn't nearly as frenetic a finish as that one, when the Broncos had no timeouts and only 10 seconds to get off the miracle kick.

But it was just as satisfying to the Broncos (2-0), who won their eighth straight home opener and handed the Raiders (0-2) their 11th straight loss overall.

Janikowski had missed three field goals last week in 32-year-old coach Lane Kiffin's debut.

The Raiders overcame a two-TD halftime deficit and grabbed a 20-17 lead with 8:55 left in regulation. Linebacker Thomas Howard intercepted Jay Cutler's pass that was tipped by defensive end Jay Richardson and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown.

Josh McCown then hit Ronald Curry for the 2-point conversion despite 12 defenders on the field.

The Broncos tied it on Elam's 20-yard field goal after Denver's 17-play, 78-yard drive stalled at the 2.

Dre' Bly, burned for a 46-yard TD by Jerry Porter earlier, intercepted McCown's deep pass to Porter in the final minute.

Gerard Warren, traded from Denver to Oakland in the preseason when he didn't grasp Jim Bates' new defensive scheme fast enough, sacked Cutler in the end zone in the fourth quarter for a safety that cut Denver's lead to 17-12.

Warren bulled past Chris Myers, who's been starting in place of Ben Hamilton (concussion), on third-and-long from the 9 and dumped his former teammate to cut Denver's lead to five with 14 minutes remaining.

That play culminated a dominant stretch for the Raiders, who caught a break when Brandon Marshall was called for pushing off on what would have been a 24-yard touchdown and a 24-3 Denver lead late in the third quarter.

Elam then missed a 45-yard field goal try and the Raiders pulled to 17-10 when McCown hooked up with Porter after two other passes intended for his top target were intercepted.

Following LaMont Jordan's 10-yard gain on fourth-and-1, McCown got Bly to bite on a pump fake and tossed a 46-yard touchdown pass to Porter.

Chris Carr then recovered Oakland's first successful onside kick since 1996, giving the Raiders the ball at their 42. They had to punt, but Shane Lechler pushed the Broncos back inside their 10, setting up Warren's big play.

Jordan gained a career-best 159 yards on 25 carries.

The Broncos took a 17-3 lead into the locker room after a first half that was delayed for 25 minutes by lightning.

Quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who last week signed a six-year deal, $61 million contract, the richest ever for a rookie, watched in sweats from the sideline as McCown started despite a small fracture on the index finger of his right hand and a sore right foot.

McCown's first interception was snagged by Champ Bailey, who tied for league lead with 10 INTs last season, at the Denver 29, setting up Cutler's 9-yard TD strike to Brandon Stokley.

The second one bounced off safety John Lynch's shoulder pads and high into the air, where rookie lineman Marcus Thomas snared it.

When the teams returned after the lightning delay, Cutler quickly threw the ball away to Kirk Morrison, whose subsequent fumble was smothered by Howard.

That led to Janikowski's 38-yard field goal.

Cecil Sapp scored his first career touchdown, a 4-yard run, and Elam's 23-yard field goal gave the Broncos their two-touchdown cushion at halftime.