A moment of silence for No. 44 Floyd Little. pic.twitter.com/imeAqxyHGv— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) January 3, 2021
Despite only have four players who have started all 16 games this season on defense, they forced the Raiders into a three and out to open up the game.
Melvin Gordon opened things up early with back-to-back runs for seven and five yards to pick up Denver’s first first down of the game. After a neutral zone infraction on the Raiders, Drew Lock hit Jerry Jeudy on a quick slant for a first down and a seven yard gain.
After a three yard run by Gordon and a five yard scrambled by Lock, the Broncos faced their first third down of the game. From the shotgun, Lock hit Tim Patrick in the flat up turned it upfield for a first down and a 17 yard gain to the Raiders 23 yard line.
Lock then hit Troy Fumagalli down to the Raiders 9 yard line for a first and goal opportunity. After an incompletion, Gordon ran inside for a five yard gain down to the four. On third and goal, Lock had his pass broken up by Jeff Heath in the end zone.
The Denver Broncos did not score a single touchdown on opening possessions in 2020. pic.twitter.com/xiwv1wbi6X— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) January 3, 2021
Brandon McManus would boot the field goal through the uprights for the early lead.
Broncos 3, Raiders 0.
The Raiders were about to be forced into a three and out again on their next drive, but they elected to go for it on a fourth down and about a foot. Derek Carr was able to get the first down on the quarterback sneak.
Carr then found Nelson Ahgolor wide open deep for a 57 yard gain and a first and goal opportunity.
Malik Reed drops off in coverage as the Broncos send four. No one gets to Carr and Michael Ojemudia is burnt. Again. pic.twitter.com/qCgUFnd8qm— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) January 3, 2021
The Denver defense held strong from there and forced the Raiders to kick the field goal to tie the game up.
Broncos 3, Raiders 3.
After a short run on first down by Gordon, Lock missed Patrick who was wide open deep that could have gone for a touchdown. The third down, however, was converted by Lock who made a nice pass to Tyrie Cleveland on the sideline who toe tapped it.
Royce Freeman than burst through a hole and was dragged down only after a 20 yard scamper to get the Broncos into Raiders territory.
An end around to Dionte Spencer for a short gain preceded a deep pass over the middle to Patrick who gained 29 yards to the Raiders 8 yard line.
Drew Lock finds Tim Patrick on a slant for 30 yards. pic.twitter.com/uuWdm8bxqt— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) January 3, 2021
Two plays later on a third and goal from the three, the Raiders were called for a hold to give Denver a first down at the two. Lock would find Fumagalli on the next play for the Broncos touchdown just before the end of the first quarter.
Lock hits a wide open Fumagalli and the Broncos lead 10 to 3. pic.twitter.com/sv89EKoohC— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) January 3, 2021
Broncos 10, Raiders 3.