On the first play of the second quarter, the Denver Broncos defense came up big. Michael Ojemudia made a big hit on Darren Waller who was on the verge of getting a first down. Kareem Jackson recovered the fumble to set the Broncos up at the Las Vegas Raiders 39 yard line.
O.J. forces a fumble! Broncos ball! pic.twitter.com/2OoQeihrYO— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) January 3, 2021
After a two yard gain on first down by Melvin Gordon, the Broncos would not gain another yard. Brandon McManus from 56 yards out barely missed the upright.
The Raiders drive was helped along into Broncos territory by a questionable illegal contact penalty on Justin Simmons.
Two plays later the Raiders were faced with a third and two at the Broncos 28 yard line. Derek Carr went deep down the sideline to Darren Waller for a touchdown. Waller would redeem himself for the earlier fumble as the Raiders tied things up.
Raiders score a touchdown as Darren Waller catches an endzone shot from the 30. Will Parks in coverage. pic.twitter.com/YrIbpL4JQz— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) January 3, 2021
Broncos 10, Raiders 10.
The Broncos avoided a three and out on their next drive with a great play by Tyrie Cleveland who caught a ball in traffic for a 16 yard gain.
After an egregious hold on Jerry Jeudy that was not called by the referees, Drew Lock rolled out and made a horrific throw to Melvin Gordon that fell incomplete. A neutral zone infraction gave the Broncos a better third and five situation. Lock would hit Cleveland on third down for another first down across midfield.
Back to back runs by Gordon set up a third and five again for Denver. Lock would throw the ball short of the sticks and the Raiders would hold. The Broncos go for it on fourth and one, but Cleveland was unable to hold onto the ball on the short throw for the turnover on downs.
Broncos fail to convert 4th and 1 when Cleveland can't hold on. pic.twitter.com/Fvo9zarJmX— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) January 3, 2021
Henry Ruggs III got involved on the Raiders next drive with an 18 yard reception to open up their possession. Josey Jewell would force a fumble on Josh Jacobs, but Jacobs would recover. A holding call on the Raiders pushed them back anyway on that play.
A 12 yard gain by Theo Riddick got most of those penalty yards back on first down. Then Carr would be almost sacked and then almost intercepted by Jewell to bring up a third down. From the shotgun, Carr stepped up and found Nelson Ahgolor in the end zone who dropped the ball as Parnell Motely made contact to break it up.
Great play by Parnell Motley. Got his head around, which prevented the flag. pic.twitter.com/o053GBjuEi— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) January 3, 2021
The Raiders punt pinned the Broncos at their own five yard line and after two short run plays were faced with a third and six. Lock went back to Cleveland who drew the pass interference call for the first down.
A short pass to Gordon and a short run by Gordon set up another third and medium range as the clock wound down to the two minute warning. After a false start penalty by DaeSean Hamilton, the Broncos needed to gain 11 yards instead of 6 for the first down.
Lock found Noah Fant for the screen pass. Fant would turn it up field for a 10 yard gain just shy of the first down marker.
If you run a tight end screen on 3rd and long, you planned to punt. pic.twitter.com/qvzUqC0Jf5— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) January 3, 2021
Hunter Renfrow returned the punt out to the Raider 44 yard line with 1:39 left in the half. It took the Raiders two plays to get into field goal range from there running just 32 seconds off the clock in the process.
Carr found Ruggs down to the 21 yard line with 50 seconds left giving the Raiders a prime opportunity to take the halftime lead. Two plays later the Raiders were faced with a third and 15 after a false start penalty. Carr went to the end zone for the touchdown and the 17-10 hafltime lead.
Raiders 17, Broncos 10.