The first half was all about Trevor Siemian and getting that bad taste out of his mouth from last weeks trouncing against the Kansas City Chiefs. With the Oakland Raiders needing a win to secure the division and a first round bye, they at least were playing to win.
It didn’t take long for him to get going with an 18 yard pass to Jeff Heuerman, but then Emmanuel Sanders went down with a lower leg injury.
The drive would not stall this time as Siemian and the Broncos marched down the field gaining six first downs along the way ending with a Devontae Booker touchdown. The 8-play, 84 yard drive only needed one third down conversion that was aided by a fask-mask penalty.
The Broncos first real third down attempt came on their second drive. On a third and five from their own 15, Siemian nearly threw an interception. Had Demaryius Thomas not leaped to bat the ball down it would have been an easy pick.
Demaryius Thomas wide open for his entire route, Trevor Siemian somehow manages to throw him into coverage and that's a punt.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) January 1, 2017
Poor field position on the Broncos third drive is something that happens when you go three and out deep in your own territory on the second drive.
From their own 11 yard line, Siemian handed off to Booker for a four yard gain. Another handoff to Booker netted 10 yards and a first down.
It was nice to see the Broncos sticking to a ground game for a change.
Siemian made his second audible of the game on the next play and checked right into a run at Khalil Mack for no gain. On the next play, Justin Forsett broke through the line for a huge 64 yard gain into the red zone.
Looks like Siemian just called an audible @MileHighReport— Brandon Perna (@BrandonPerna) January 1, 2017
On third down, Siemian hit Thomas well short of the sticks for the field goal attempt.
To start their next drive, a nifty screen pass from Siemian to Juwan Thompson who took it for a twelve yard gain was wiped out by a holding call. Thomas drew a pass interference call on the next play for an automatic first down.
However, they could not convert a third and one as the Raiders entire defensive line seemed to be in the backfield on that play.
From there, Siemian got really hot to close out the half.
Siemian went deep to Thomas on the first play of their next drive, but the ball was overthrown a bit out of reach near the goal line. Siemian’s next pass over the middle to Jordan Taylor for a big 20 yard gain was a beauty.
After a fumble that was recovered by Matt Paradis and a short run, Siemian was faced with a third and eight as the game came to the two-minute warning. Siemian fumbled the ensuing snap, but was able to throw it away. There was a holding call on the play that push the Broncos out of field goal range, however.
On third and 18, Siemian hit Booker on a screen pass that he then took to the house for a 43-yard touchdown.
Siemian 11-of-13 for 141 yards today. 137.5 rating. Broncos with a 231-42 advantage in yardage, 11-3 in first downs, 17-0 on the scoreboard.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) January 1, 2017
That’s how you get the bad taste of defeat out of your mouth.