After a short run inside by Royce Freeman, it looked like Joe Flacco was going to be sacked. However, an illegal contact penalty on the Raiders gave the Broncos an automatic first down at the 31-yard line.
A holding penalty on Ronald Leary set the Broncos back 10 yards on the next play, but more concerning was Ja’Wuan James went down with an injury. After some time, he was able to walk off under his own power with Elijah Wilkinson coming in to replace him.
With no running room to be found anywhere up to this point, the Broncos soon found themselves in a 2nd and 17 hole. An offsides penalty made it a little better, but Flacco overthrew Sutton on 2nd and 12 to setup a third and long. Flacco was sacked and stripped on third to knock them out of field goal range.
Another fine punt from Colby Wadman pinned the Raiders back to their own 5 yard line. A false start penalty right off the bat set them up at the 2 and a half yard line. Then another false start penalty pushed them back to the 1.25 yard line - yes, the 1.25 yard line.
Josh Jacobs bought them some breathing room on first down with a six yard gain. On second down, Carr from the shotgun went outside to Darren Waller again on a slant for a nice gain to setup a short third and one that the Raiders easily converted.
On the next play, Adam Gotsis broke through the line to trip up Jacobs for a two yard loss on first down. With no pass rush, Carr just kept picking apart the defense with an 11 yard catch and throw on second down. On third and short, the Raiders went deep to Tyrell Williams for a huge gain of 43-yards.
A short run and a quick pass to Waller and the Raiders have another third and short that he - once again - easily converted for another set of downs.
Denver’s pass rush finally showed up a little two plays later, but Derek Carr rushed out for a few yards. On third and five, they converted down to the two and scored on the very next play to go up two touchdowns.
Raiders 14, Broncos 0.
With a little over three minutes to go, the Broncos came out with back to back runs to Phillip Lindsay that gave them a fresh set of downs. Then just prior to the two minute warning, Flacco hit Sutton for a five yard gain.
A few plays later, the drive almost ended when a pass to Sutton bounced off his arms and up into the air, but DaeSean Hamilton was there to snag the ball out of the air for the first down and a new set of downs.
Poor clock management ate up 12 seconds before they called a timeout and an illegal formation penalty killed all momentum. The drive could have ended, but Emmanuel Sanders skillfully drew a pass interference to get the Broncos near field goal range with 24 seconds left in the half.
Two incompletions later set up a third and 10 where Flacco hit Royce Freeman for a short gain. However, an offensive holding penalty on Noah Fant wiped out the field goal range. Brandon McManus went for a 64-yard field goal attempt to end the half that put a nice bow on a pretty shitty outing for the Broncos through the first 30 minutes of football.