OAKLAND, Calif. — After overwhelming another overmatched division rival, Peyton Manning and the streaking Broncos can turn their attention to more meaningful opponents.
Manning was 26-for-36 for 310 yards to join Brett Favre as the only NFL players to complete 5,000 passes 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 Raiders on Thursday.
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 weekend in a game that will help decide who gets a first-round playoff bye.
Carson Palmer threw an interception that thwarted a scoring chance for the Raiders (3-10) and lost a fumble that set up a touchdown for the Broncos as Oakland lost its sixth straight game.
Steelers armor-up Big Ben for start
PITTSBURGH — The Steelers confirmed Ben Roethlisberger will start Sunday against San Diego after missing three weeks with a sprained right shoulder and a dislocated rib.
But the quarterback will take the field with a rib-chest compression shirt and a layer of Kevlar-lined composite in his shoulder pads to help absorb hits to his collarbone and shoulder joints. The padding is similar to what is put in chest protectors for catchers. Roethlisberger took 90 percent of the first-team snaps without any major issues Thursday.
NFL aid for Raiders? Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is willing to contribute funding to help build a stadium in Oakland to keep the Raiders in town. The NFL contributed $200 million toward the 49ers' new stadium, set to open in 2014.
Raven surrenders guns: Linebacker Terrell Suggs surrendered several firearms after his girlfriend filed a complaint stemming from a domestic case, Suggs attorney Warren Alperstein told the Baltimore Sun.
Bengals waive Faine: The Bengals, in need of a kicker because Mike Nugent has a calf injury, signed Josh Brown, which in turn led to the club waiving former Bucs center Jeff Faine.
Giants: Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, a former USF standout, said it is "much easier" to defend against Saints quarterback Drew Brees than the Redskins' Robert Griffin III. Pierre-Paul cited the lack of the option in the New Orleans playbook.
Jets: Backup quarterback Tim Tebow (broken ribs) was limited and may not be able to play against his hometown Jaguars.