Brock Osweiler and the Denver Broncos came out efficient on offense and dominant on defense in Week 14. In the first half, Denver took a 12-0 lead over the Oakland Raiders behind 22 Osweiler completions and a record-breaking defensive performance. Oakland's -12 yards were the lowest for any team in any half in NFL history.
But Denver's red zone woes kept Oakland in the game, and the Raiders were able to come back in the 2nd half. Critical drops, turnovers, and a total failure at pass protection led to brutally inefficient offense in the 2nd half for Denver. The Raiders took a 15-12 lead, which they held for the rest of the game thanks to five Khalil Mack sacks.
The first quarter could have hardly gone better. Brock Osweiler went 10/12 for 82 yards and led the Broncos on two scoring drives. Both drives ended in field goals, which certainly left some room for improvement, but Denver's defense kept the Broncos firmly in control.
The Broncos punted to start the second quarter, nearly recovering a muff by Jeremy Ross. Then the second quarter continued to be more of the same: impressive Broncos offensive drives falling short. Utterly dominant defense. Raiders shutout. In the end, the Broncos had four field goals to show for some solid offense, taking a 12-0 lead, but red zone woes were concerning.
Vernon Davis had five catches for 65 yards, while Demaryius Thomas had seven catches for 77. As for Big Brock...
At halftime, Brock Osweiler is 22 of 29 for 199 yards (6.9 avg), 0 TD, 0 INT, and a 93.9 rating. #Broncos— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) December 13, 2015
Since started being tracked in 1991, the -12 yards for the #Raiders are fewest ever in any half per STATS— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) December 13, 2015
The Raiders came out like gangbusters after a historic first half shutout, with Derek Carr making some big throws. Ultimately Carr found Seth Roberts in the end zone for the first touchdown of the game for either team, and Denver's dominant first half was pretty much wiped away, 12-7 Broncos.
A handful of minutes later, the score was totally wiped out. Michael Schofield repeatedly got owned by Khalil Mack (three sacks through early in the fourth quarter), one resulting a safety. The Raiders then scored a TD to take their first lead of the game, 15-12.
Then the Broncos entered comeback mode, and we tried to write the book for them. Step One: Block a human person. Step Two: Catch an *oblong leather cylinder. Step Three: Repeat.
Instead, Khalil Mack went crazy and got some more sacks. He had five sacks by the time the game was over.
Step One yo— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) December 14, 2015
Then instead, Demaryius Thomas dropped a huge 3rd down pass and Vernon Davis did the same on a 4th down.
Step Two yo— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) December 14, 2015
Denver's offense got nothing going in the second half and lost the game.