The Raiders fell to the Broncos 41-17 on Sunday afternoon at O.Co Coliseum, but CB DJ Hayden provided a bright spot for the Oakland defense as he recorded his first interception of the season against Peyton Manning.
Hayden's interception occurred on the second play from scrimmage for Manning and the Broncos, as the quarterback tried to find Emmanuel Sanders over the middle.
"I was just on [Emmanuel] Sanders," said Hayden when talking about the play. "I saw the ball in the air and I just tipped it and caught it."
Oakland was able to capitalize on the turnover, and a 41-yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski gave the Raiders an early 3-0 lead.
"It was definitely a good little momentum booster for us," he said. "It gave our team a lot of energy, but we still have to finish and keep that energy throughout the whole game and we couldn't do that."
After missing the first six games of 2014 due to injury, the second-year player made his debut against the Cleveland Browns in Week Eight and had his most productive game of the year on Sunday against Denver.
Hayden's final stat line featured three tackles, the interception of Manning, as well as three passes defensed, and the young corner seemed to grow increasingly comfortable as the game wore on.
"Yeah, I'm just getting more comfortable, and out there playing more. That's all," Hayden said when asked about his performance.
Through most of the first half, the Oakland defense managed to apply pressure to Manning and force the quarterback into some poor decisions, but Hayden said that type of effort needs to continue for a full 60 minutes in order for the team to notch their first win of 2014.
"In the beginning, we were just out there having fun, playing football," he said. "We just have to keep it up though, for the whole game. We just have to go out there and play better fundamentally sound football."
The University of Houston product now has two career interceptions in 11 games played, with his first coming in a Week 5 matchup against the San Diego Chargers during his rookie campaign in 2013.
The Raiders will now look ahead to their match-up next week on the road in San Diego against the Chargers.