DENVER - JaMarcus Russell returned to the Oakland Raiders' lineup in time to hurt the Denver Broncos' playoff hopes.
Russell threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Chaz Schilens with 35 seconds left for a 20-19 scrum-filled win over the Broncos yesterday.
Russell was benched a month ago and passed by Charlie Frye on the depth chart this week.
The former No. 1 overall draft pick entered when Frye was knocked out of the game early in the fourth quarter by a blow to the head from linebacker Andra Davis. He went 5 of 11 for 47 yards.
The Broncos (8-6) are still in the AFC wild-card hunt but they were expecting a win over Oakland (5-9), which won at Invesco Field for the second straight season.
Denver left the door open for a Raiders upset by failing to punch it into the end zone after reaching the Oakland 2 late in the fourth.
Brandon Stokley hauled in a 63-yard reception but was horse-collared at the 4 by cornerback Sanford Routt, who saved the sealing touchdown and was whistled for a 2-yard penalty.
From there, the Broncos couldn't score and Matt Prater's fourth field goal made it 19-13, leaving the Raiders within a touchdown with less than six minutes left.
The Broncos were outgained on the ground by 241-80, with Michael Bush gashing Denver for 133 yards on 18 carries and Darren McFadden gaining 74 yards on a dozen handoffs.
Frye was 9 for 17 for 68 yards and an interception, plus a 26-yard scamper on his only keeper. His last start was for Seattle on Oct. 12, 2008, against Green Bay.
Denver's Brandon Marshall, who caught an NFL-record 21 passes last week at Indianapolis, settled for seven receptions vs. Oakland.
Denver again struggled in the red zone, committed silly penalties and piled up too many whiffs on blocks, including one particularly bad one by running back Knowshon Moreno, who failed to pick up a linebacker blitz that got quarterback Kyle Orton leveled and killed a drive. It was LaMont Jordan in on third downs after that.
Oakland 0 13 0 7 – 20
Denver 6 0 10 3 – 19
Den–FG Prater 23, 8:40.
Den–FG Prater 43, 4:10.
Oak–Bush 23 run (Janikowski kick), 13:01.
Oak–FG Janikowski 54, 6:40.
Oak–FG Janikowski 28, :32.
Den–FG Prater 51, 10:07.
Den–Marshall 6 pass from Orton (Prater kick), 3:48.
Den–FG Prater 21, 5:54.
Oak–Schilens 10 pass from J.Russell (Janikowski kick), :35.
First downs 22 19
Total Net Yards 343 337
Rushes-yards 34-241 28-80
Passing 102 257
Punt Returns 4-48 4-45
Kickoff Returns 2-41 1-23
Interceptions Ret. 0-0 1-11
Comp-Att-Int 14-29-1 19-34-0
Sacked-Yards Lost 1-13 3-21
Punts 4-53.8 6-44.2
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 9-62 7-72
Time of Possession 31:26 28:34
Rushing: Oakland, Bush 18-133, McFadden 12-74, Frye 1-26, Fargas 3-8. Denver, Moreno 19-42, Jordan 5-27, Orton 4-11.
Passing: Oakland, Frye 9-17-1-68, J.Russell 5-11-0-47, Losman 0-1-0-0. Denver, Orton 19-34-0-278.
Receiving: Oakland, Schilens 5-37, Stewart 3-27, Murphy 2-21, Higgins 1-12, Bush 1-11, Myers 1-6, Lawton 1-1. Denver, Marshall 7-73, Moreno 3-39, Royal 3-28, Stokley 2-67, Scheffler 2-48, Graham 1-15, Gaffney 1-8.