OAKLAND, Calif. -- Tim Brown was around for Oakland's years of futility against the Denver Broncos. When the Raiders finally got the best of their archrivals, the veteran receiver led the way.
Brown caught two touchdown passes as the Raiders emphatically snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Broncos, beating Denver 38-28 on Monday night in a victory that affirmed the westward shift of power in the AFC West.
The Raiders (6-1) won the division last season but lost twice to Denver, adding to a string of 11 defeats in 12 meetings with the Broncos and coach Mike Shanahan, who has taken extra pleasure in repeatedly beating the team that fired him more than a decade ago.
Jon Gruden, snarling and screaming on the sideline, got his first victory over Denver (4-4) with a game plan that made ample use of Brown and Jerry Rice, his veteran receivers. With the Raider Nation roaring its approval in a packed Coliseum, Oakland won its ninth straight regular-season home game.
With two scores among his nine catches for 95 yards, Brown passed Don Maynard for fifth place on the NFL's career list with 89 touchdowns receiving. Brown and Rich Gannon communicated almost flawlessly during several lengthy scoring drives that broke down Denver's defense.
Zack Crockett rushed for two scores, including a 3-yard plunge with 7:06 to play, while Rice caught three key passes for 47 yards. Gannon was 25-of-34 for 243 yards and three TDs.
The bad feelings between the franchises trickled down to the field on Monday night. Denver's Kenoy Kennedy and Oakland's Greg Biekert delivered hard hits on the borderline of legality, while Denver's Bill Romanowski and Oakland's William Thomas got personal fouls for nasty blows.
In their first home game in more than four weeks, the Raiders won their fifth straight, matching St. Louis and Chicago for the NFL's best record.
The Broncos couldn't capitalize on the running of former MVP Terrell Davis, who looked sharp in his return to Denver's lineup after missing six games following knee surgery. Davis had 70 yards rushing on 17 attempts, while Rod Smith caught 10 passes for 91 yards and two TDs.
Brian Griese shrugged off his balky shoulder to go 22-of-32 for 221 yards, but he threw two fourth-quarter interceptions that helped Oakland clinch the win.
Oakland opened the game with a 75-yard scoring drive that ended on Brown's 11-yard TD catch. Oakland's defense held the Broncos to two early field goals by Jason Elam, who became the 30th player in NFL history to score 1,000 points.
The Raiders went up 14-6 on Crockett's 1-yard TD run at the end of yet another long drive. Gannon, who briefly left the game after a questionable hit from Kennedy, completed six straight passes on another drive that ended with Jon Ritchie's 4-yard TD catch shortly before halftime.
Denver kept it close in the second half on receptions by Smith and Desmond Clark. A 2-point conversion after Clark's catch cut the lead to 28-20 with 10:41 left.
But after Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 31-yard field goal, Thomas intercepted Griese's first pass on the next drive, returning it 33 yards to the 3. Crockett bulled into the end zone on the next play.
Gus Frerotte replaced Griese and drove the Broncos to one last score on a 26-yard pass to Smith.
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