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Broncos 20, Raiders 19: Case Keenum leads a comeback with a little Mile High Magic

The Denver Broncos will host AFC West rival the Oakland Raiders in Week 2 action. Here are the nuts and bolts of this matchup.

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Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos Photo by Bart Young/Getty Images


Welcome back to Mile High Magic, baby! The Denver Broncos put up 20 points in the second half, with Case Keenum leading the game-winning drive with no timeouts for the 20-19 victory over the Oakland Raiders to move to 2-0 on the season.

First Quarter

By winning the coin toss, the Broncos elected to defer to the second half to give the Raiders the ball first to go up against Von Miller and that Orange Rush defense. At kickoff, the temperature was 92 degrees making it officially the hottest temperature at kickoff in franchise history.

On first down, Marshawn Lynch rushed for a quick seven yards, then Derek Carr his a wide open Jordy Nelson for a 22-yard gain. The momentum didn’t stop there as another quick seven-yard pass and a 10-yard run put the Raiders down inside the Broncos 30-yard line on their opening drive.

A 12-man penalty on the Broncos set the Raiders up with a first and five. From the shotgun, Carr tossed it quick outside to Seth Roberts for a 10-yard gain and another first down. From, the Broncos 11-yard line, Doug Martin pushed the line down to the eight-yard line for a three-yard gain.

On second down a eight, Carr hit Jared Cook over the middle for a contested reception down to the Broncos four-yard line. On third and three, the Broncos defense woke from their slumber to blow up a screen pass to Lynch for a four-yard loss to bring the field goal unit out.

Raiders 3, Broncos 0.

Royce Freeman took the opening hand-off and was immediately stuffed behind the line by Bruce Irvin for a one-yard loss. From the shotgun, Case Keenum handed off to Phillip Lindsay who ran it inside for a six-yard gain.

On third and five, Keenum threw it a little behind Courtland Sutton for an incompletion for the teams first three and out of 2018 to bring out the punting unit. Marquette King boomed a 46-yard punt that was not returned to pin the Raiders back on their own 24-yard line.

Von Miller got to Carr on the first play with a strip and sack that Domata Peko recovered. Sadly, Todd Davis was called for what looks like a straight mugging of a hold to negate the big play.

The Raiders went back to the ground with Lynch on the next play where he was stood up at the line for no gain. On second and 10, Lynch got the ball again and bounced it back outside for a short two-yard gain. It was third and long at that point and Carr, with pressure in face, threw it high incomplete for the Raiders first punt of the game.

From their own 25-yard line, Keenum under pressure tried unsuccessfully to hit Freeman on the sideline for an incomplete pass. On second down, Freeman was stuffed at the line again for a short one-yard gain to force a third and nine. From the shotgun, Keenum went quick outside to Jake Butt for an eight-yard gain to bring King back out for another punt.

King boomed a massive punt 66-yards, but it bounced into the end zone for a net of 46. He was visibly angry about the bounce, so look for him to get one deep at some point.

Martin attempted to take a handoff outside and was immediately met by Shaquil Barrett for a one-yard gain. Peko found Martin hanging around for a screen pass and tackled him for a one-yard loss when he caught the pass. However, a penalty by the Raiders for an ineligible man downfield was declined to force a third and 10.

Carr from the shotgun, handed off inside to Martin for a seven yard gain to force another punt that would pin the Broncos down inside their own 23-yard line.

On first down, Lindsay took the first play outside for a five-yard gain. From there, with Lindsay split out wide, Keenum looked deep for Demaryius Thomas who caught it and then had a cornerback knock it free as Thomas was going to the ground. On third and five, Butt caught a pass over the middle shy of the first down marker and was tackled.

King’s punt was returned seven yards by Jordy Nelson to set the Raiders up with better field position at their own 31-yard line.

On the first play, Carr hit Amari Cooper on a deep out for a 12-yard gain and a first down. Another quick pass to Cooper went for seven. The first quarter ended with another Raiders first down conversion on a short five-yard pass from Carr.

Second Quarter

Raiders ball at the Broncos 45-yard line. Marshawn Lynch broke one free for a huge gain, but Seth Roberts was called for a holding penalty to negate the big play. Not that it mattered, Carr would hit Martavis Bryant for a big gain on the very next play on a quick throw outside for 16-yards.

From the Broncos 28-yard line, Doug Martin gained a short two-yards on first down. Carr continued to be fairly perfect in his reads, hitting an open man for another five-yard gain. On third and three from the shotgun, Carr was brought down by none other than Von Miller to force the field goal attempt.

Raiders 6, Broncos 0.

Needing to answer the Raiders multiple scoring drives, the Broncos offense came out looking to finally get things going.

Keenum threw it high on first down for an incompletion, then on second down Lindsay said “enough of this” taking the delayed draw play 53 yards down the field for the biggest play of the game so far.

Freeman took the next hand-off for two yards, then Keenum hit Thomas for another two yards to setup a third and six from the Raiders 18-yard line. Keenum, from the shotgun again, was intercepted on a pass over the middle into the end zone by Rashad Melvin.

With all momentum swinging back into their favor, the Raiders looked to add onto their lead in the second quarter.

After a short five-yard pass to Cooper, Carr handed off to Lynch for another four-yards. On third and inches, the Broncos defensive line penetrated the Raiders line at multiple fronts to stuff Lynch for a two-yard loss that would force another punt from Oakland.

A terrible punt set the Broncos up at their own 36-yard line with an opportunity to reset on offense in this game. Lindsay was stuffed on first down, but caught a short pass from Keenum for a four-yard gain. On third and seven, Keenum took a high snap that was almost over his head forcing him to take a sack.

King decided to trade poor punts with the Raiders punter, booting it just 41-yards to the Raiders 25-yard line.

The Raiders offense kept the pressure building as the Broncos defense has been on the field for most of the first half. Two plays into their next drive, Jared Cook came wide open over the middle of the field for a 20-yard gain out near midfield with just over four minutes to go in the first half.

A quick seven-yard pass to Nelson put the Raiders into Broncos territory. On second and three they pitched it outside to Lynch for a one-yard gain. Adam Jones gifted the Raiders a first down with a defensive holding to keep the drive alive for Oakland.

After the two-minute warning, the Raiders converted a second and five with a big play to Cook over the middle for a 20-yard gain down to the Broncos 14-yard line.

A tired defense proved no match on this final drive in the first half as the Raiders would ultimately punch it in from the one-yard line by Marshawn Lynch with 35 seconds left.

The good news is the Broncos blocked the extra point.

Raiders 12, Broncos 0.

The Broncos did some weird play calls to close out the half. Perhaps they were hoping to give their defense a little extra rest that they haven’t received the entire game to that point.

Third Quarter

The Broncos will receive the ball to open up the second half.

Case Keenum finally found Emmanuel Sanders to open up the half for a 21-yard gain, which Phillip Lindsay then found a hole inside for a five-yard gain. He then took the next hand-off and had his feet knocked out from under him, but landed on a player and bounced back up to gain enough yardage for a first down to the Raiders 43-yard line.

Lindsay then bounced off a big time hit outside and maintained his balance enough to burst through for another five yards and a first down. Lindsay has three carries for 22 yards to open up this drive.

Royce Freeman then got into the action on the next play, taking a pitch outside for 14-yards and another first down. Lindsay took the snap directly, but the wild cat was unsuccessful and went for minus two yards.

To get out of that hold on second down, Freeman took a five-yard run down to the Raiders 15-yard line. On third and seven, Keenum with five wide receivers looked for Demaryius Thomas who made a big time dive for the first down who came up just short. Thomas was injured on the play too.

An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by Bruce Irvin gave the Broncos an automatic first down inside the Raiders 10-yard line. From there, Case Keenum found Tim Patrick who caught the fade in the back of the end zone to finally get the Broncos on the board.

However, while the touchdown was under review it was clear Patrick was unable to maintain control of the football while going down and the call was rightly overturned.

On second an goal from the four-yard line, a quick pass to Thomas went for three-yards and then Freeman punched it in from one-yard out on third and goal.

Raiders 12, Broncos 7.

Lynch opened things up for the Raiders on the next drive with a nine-yard gain and a quick pass from Carr to Cook got them the first down out past their own 40-yard line. Amari Cooper got wide open against Adam Jones for a 30-yard gain to the Broncos 31 yard line on the next play.

Fortunately, a hands to the face penalty on the Raiders set them back 10-yards on the next play. The refs continued to ignore the holding Von Miller is suffering through in this game.

Cooper began to catch fire against the Broncos third cornerbacks. This next big play came with Tramaine Brock in coverage for 20-yards and a first down.

Carr fired a bullet down the middle to a wide open Seth Roberts for the touchdown to blow the game wide open for the Raiders on the road.

Raiders 19, Broncos 7.

After a short run by Lindsay on first down, Keenum went for it all to Courtland Sutton down the sideline for a huge 42-yard gain. Jon Gruden would challenge the call and get it overturned.

On third and nine, Keenum fired a bullet to Sanders out to the 46-yard line for the first down conversion. Keenum stayed in the shotgun on the next play to hit Thomas for a quick seven-yards on first down.

A quick pass over the middle to Thomas was dropped as DT attempted to make his football move inside before he had the ball in his hands. On third and three, Keenum found Sanders wide open down the sideline for 23-yards and a first down at the Raiders 24-yard line.

Thomas caught a poorly thrown screen for just a one-yard gain, then Booker weaved his way down to the Raiders 21-yard line. On third and seven, Sutton made an amazing acrobatic catch for the touchdown.

However, the referees ruled him out of bounds.

Because the call could have been either way, they actually confirmed the call. The call was absurd!

The Broncos settled for the field goal with just under three minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Raiders 19, Broncos 10.

After an eight-yard run from Lynch and an incomplete pass from Carr, the Raiders were able to convert the third and short with an inside slant to Cooper for the first down.

Another quick pass went for six, then a short run by Lynch set up a third and two with time running out in the third quarter. The Broncos defense was unable to stop Cooper who gained four-yards and a first down to end the third quarter.

Fourth Quarter

The Broncos are not playing well. Carr continued to find wide receivers open within his quick three step drop, which negated whatever pressure the Broncos defensive front could muster.

The Raiders drive finally stalled at the Broncos 38-yard line, but on fourth and a foot the Raiders went for it and the Broncos defense made the play finally to stop their offense for the turnover on downs.

With good field position, Keenum went over the middle to Jake Butt for 22-yards to the Raiders 45-yard line.

After a near sack on first down, Phillip Lindsay fought his way for a seven-yard gain on second down. On third and three, Keenum ran the option and kept it himself for eight-yards.

Lindsay ran it on first down for a quick two-yards, then Keenum hit Jeff Heuerman for another six-yards. On third and a long one, Freeman juked Bruce Irvin in the backfield and bounced the run outside for seven yards.

On the very next play, Keenum hit Sanders on a crossing pattern for a 10-yard gain. However, the referees called Matt Paradis for holding to negate the play.

From the Raiders 25, Keenum hit Andy Janovich over the middle for a quick 10-yards to setup a second and ten for the manageable down and distance. A delay to Lindsay went for nine and a half yards for a third and inches at the Raiders 5-yard line.

Keenum fielded a high snap and was able to get the ball into Lindsay’s hands for a first and goal at the four after a one-yard gain.

A poor throw outside from Keenum to Heuerman whiffed the first down attempt, then Lindsay streaked inside down to the one-yard line for a critical third and goal. Freeman came into the game at that point, but was stuffed just short of the goal line.

The Broncos decided they needed that touchdown, but emptied the backfield where Keenum ran the quarterback sneak for the incredible touchdown.

Raiders 19, Broncos 17.

Broncos Country was roaring to start the Raiders next drive, which only continued after Marshawn Lynch was wrapped up for no gain at the line. Derek Carr hit Seth Roberts on a slant for a first down on the next play, though.

With less than five minutes to go, the Broncos defense needs a stop.

Another four-yard gain by Lynch was followed by a deep pass to Cooper that was caught, but the referees called pass interference on both Cooper and Bradley Roby on the play. Not sure if I’ve ever seen that. The reply shows minor hand fighting and a clear push off by Cooper.

The Raiders converted a first down, despite being a half yard short. The referees gave him the yard and the first down.

Thankfully, the officials in New York could see something was amiss and overturned this call on a challenge by Vance Joseph.

On third and a foot, Lynch nearly dragged the pile to the first down marker, but was stop. Yet the referees gave them the first down anyway.

At this point, we can assume the game was over. There is no overcoming these kinds of calls from the zebras.

The game continued, however, and three plays later the Broncos defense with just under three minutes to play had the Raiders in a third and eight. Carr, from the shotgun, hit Bryant on a slant and was immediately tackled by Bradley Roby for a four-yard gain and a punt.

With two minutes to go and one timeout, Case Keenum and the Broncos offense needs a field goal to escape this game with a miraculous win.

Garett Bolles opened up that critical drive with an offensive holding call to set the Broncos back to 1st and 20. Keenum followed it up with an incomplete pass to Thomas over the middle who was draped by a cornerback.

On second and 20, Sanders caught the ball for a 20-yard gain and a first down out to the 31-yard line with 90 seconds left.

After an incomplete pass down the sideline to Thomas, Keenum hit Butt for another first down for a 15-yard gain to the Broncos 45-yard line. A tipped pass on the next throw was incomplete to Courtland Sutton.

With 54 seconds left, Keenum tucked it ran to the Raiders 49-yard line. A quick throw outside to Heuerman got the Broncos a first down with 23 second left.

Thomas had the worst drop in a long time on what would have been the game clinching field attempt of a catch. With 18 seconds left, Keenum went to Tim Patrick for a huge gain for 26 yards and got out of bounds for the game-winning field goal attempt.

Brandon McManus with the 36-yard field goal attempt and the WIN!

Broncos 20, Raiders 19.

Gameday Inactives

The Denver Broncos will deactivate the following players for their Week 2 matchup with the Oakland Raiders: Quarterback Kevin Hogan, Safety Shamarko Thomas, Cornerback Isaac Yiadom, Linebacker Alexander Johnson, Defensive End DeMarcus Walker, Offensive Linemen Elijah Wilkinson, and Sam Jones.

For the Raiders, they will deactivate Defensive End Fadol Brown, Offensive Tackls T.J. Clemmings and Justin Murray, Defensive Tackle P.J. Hall, Wide Receiver Dwayne Harris, Cornerback Nick Nelson, and Running Back DeAndre’ Washington.


The Denver Broncos (1-0) are coming off a Week 1 win in which they committed three turnovers and held on for a three-point victor, while the Oakland Raiders (0-1) had their own mistake-prone second half that led to a 34-13 blowout home loss.

Case Keenum will need to take care of the football, which shouldn’t be too difficult as the Raiders defense has shown an inability to get to the passer. The Broncos should stick to the ground in this game, which will open up passing lanes for Keenum to exploit.

If the Raiders are to have any chance in this game, they will need an inspired defensive effort paired with a big-time performance by Derek Carr who has been struggling over the last season.

Here is how to watch.

TV Schedule

When: Sunday, September 16, 2018 at 2:25 p.m. Mile High time

Where: Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver, Colorado

Channel: CBS

Announcers: Greg Gumbel (play-by-play), Trent Green/Bruce Arians (analyst), Melanie Collins (sideline reporting)

Radio: KOA - 850 AM | 94.1 FM & The Fox - 103.5 FM | Spanish Radio KNVR 1150 AM

Online Streaming

NFL Sunday Ticket

NFL Game Pass



After opening four-point favorites at home over the Raiders, the line has consistently grown and now stands at six-point and even seven-point favorites going the Broncos way. The dysfunction with Jon Gruden has oddsmakers thinking the wheels may soon come off that franchise, which bodes well for the Broncos this week as they look to start 2-0.

Matchup History

Despite starting the 1960s off with 20 consecutive losses to their archrival, the Broncos have slowly chipped away at that deficit with a 51-62-2 all-time record against the Raiders. This includes a 10-4 run since John Elway took over football operations in 2011.

Since 1995, the Broncos own a dominating 32-14 record over the Raiders. They will look to continue that decades-long success.

MHR Radio

Ian St. Clair and Adam Malnati previewed this weekend’s game with That’s Good Broncos host, Brandon Perna.

Social Media Information

MHR Facebook Page: Mile High Report: A Denver Broncos Blog

MHR Twitter: Follow @MileHighReport

MHR Instagram: Follow @MileHighReport

Denver Broncos Fan Group: Denver Broncos Football

Broncos Regular Season Schedule 2018

Wk Date Opponent Time (MT) TV
Wk Date Opponent Time (MT) TV
1 Sep 9 vs Seattle Seahawks W 27-24 FOX
2 Sep 16 vs Oakland Raiders W 20-19 CBS
3 Sep 23 at Baltimore Ravens L 27-14 CBS
4 Oct 1 vs Kansas City Chiefs (MNF) L 27-23 ESPN
5 Oct. 7 at New York Jets L 34-16 CBS
6 Oct 14 vs Los Angeles Rams L 23-20 FOX
7 Oct 18 at Arizona Cardinals (TNF) W 45-10 FOX
8 Oct 28 at Kansas City Chiefs L 30-23 CBS
9 Nov 4 vs Houston Texans L 19-17 CBS
10 Nov 11 BYE
11 Nov 18 at Los Angeles Chargers W 23-22 CBS
12 Nov 25 vs Pittsburgh Steelers W 24-17 CBS
13 Dec 2 at Cincinnati Bengals W 24-10 CBS
14 Dec 9 at San Francisco 49ers L 20-14 CBS
15 Dec 15 vs Cleveland Browns L 17-16 NFLN
16 Dec 24 at Oakland Raiders (MNF) L 27-14 ESPN
17 Dec 30 vs Los Angeles Chargers 2:25 PM CBS