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Plummer, Williams lead Denver past Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Jake Plummer threw a slant pass toward
Rod Smith when Kirk Morrison stepped in front, seemingly poised for
an interception and maybe even a touchdown return.

He dropped the ball. That's the kind of season it's been for
Plummer: Even when he makes mistakes, somehow he escapes unscathed.

Now, his Denver Broncos are in command of the AFC West.

Plummer passed for 205 yards and a touchdown, had no
interceptions and wasn't sacked all day, and Jason Elam kicked
three field goals to lead Denver past the Oakland Raiders 31-17 on
Sunday.

"You saw it today, there was somebody looking out for me,
football love, or something like that," Plummer said. "That ball
was in No. 52's hands. He should have run it back for a touchdown,
but it fell to the ground. There have been a lot of balls that have
been tipped up during my time in the league that have sat up there
and hovered like a spaceship. I've been marked as a guy who has
thrown a lot of picks."

Twenty last season. He has three this year.

Plummer worked tirelessly to eliminate all the mistakes that
plagued him in the past. He's been near perfect, catching some
long-awaited breaks.

"I just dropped the ball," Morrison said. "You have to make
that play, especially at that time of the game. I could have helped
our team swing the momentum and help us win the game."

Darrent Williams did that for Denver. He had a 52-yard punt
return to set up the Broncos' first touchdown, then made an 80-yard
interception return for a fourth-quarter score that ended Oakland's
chance at a comeback.

Ashley Lelie caught passes of 41 and 38 yards as the Broncos
(7-2) took a two-game division lead after the Kansas City Chiefs
lost 14-3 at Buffalo. Mike Anderson ran for a 1-yard score and
Denver looked sharp coming off its bye week, methodically handling
the Raiders (3-6) on both sides of the ball.

Plummer completed 10 of 13 passes in the first half and had
plenty of time to throw on most of his chances thanks to the strong
play of his offensive line.

"That's what we do, we make plays when necessary," said
Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, who enjoyed his first career
matchup with Randy Moss. "We got it done, and that's what matters.
There's nothing we can do except win games."

Moss had a 29-yard touchdown among his six receptions, his most
catches since joining the Raiders from Minnesota in March. He now
has five TDs, but that didn't seem to matter to Moss. While the
rest of the players shook hands afterward, a seething Moss walked
off the field alone. He hasn't spoken to the media since the season
opener Sept. 8 at New England.

Quarterback Kerry Collins couldn't do much right in his worst
game of the year. He completed 26 of 50 passes for 310 yards,
doubled his season total with three interceptions and was sacked
four times. Collins connected with Moss in the opening minute of
the fourth quarter for one of the few highlights by the Oakland
offense.

Moss, again playing in a limited role because of bruised ribs, a
strained groin and bruised pelvic area from a fall against San
Diego on Oct. 16, caught the ball in the corner of the end zone
just over the outstretched hand of Domonique Foxworth.

The Raiders got another chance right away when Smith fumbled
after a catch and Fabian Washington recovered, but Oakland settled
for a 40-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski after Collins was
sacked and fumbled.

"I'm real disappointed in the way I played," Collins said.
"It's pretty simple. I need to play better. I can't do the things
I did today."

The Raiders, trying to bounce back from a demoralizing
last-second 27-23 road defeat to the Chiefs, are 2-14 against the
division since losing the Super Bowl to Tampa Bay after the 2002
season and winless in four games against the AFC West this season.

Collins was picked off by Bailey on Oakland's second drive of
the game when Collins threw behind Jerry Porter in Denver
territory, but the Broncos went three-and-out.

On Denver's next drive, Williams returned the punt 52 yards to
the Oakland 30. Two plays later, Plummer hit Smith on a 27-yard
touchdown pass.

Plummer completed a 38-yard pass to Lelie on the Broncos'
following possession, again exploiting the injury-depleted Oakland
secondary. That set up Elam's 22-yard field goal. He also kicked
field goals of 38 and 25 yards.

Game notes
Elam's 11 points give him 193 for his career against the
Raiders, moving past Nick Lowery (189) for the most ever against Al
Davis' team. ... The visiting team has won the last four meetings
in this rivalry -- the longest stretch of road teams winning in the
series.