To start the game, the Denver Broncos lost the opening coin toss. However, the Las Vegas Raiders decided they wanted the ball to start the game. Denver would get the ball to start the second half. On the opening kickoff, Broncos’ safety P.J. Locke was injured. He would be carted to the locker room to be evaluated for a possible concussion.
Derek Carr and the Raiders’ offense worked from the no huddle on their first drive. Josh Jacobs gained a quick five on first down, then Carr dumped it off to Jacobs who turned it up field for a seven yard gain and a first down.
Two plays later, Carr found Davonte Adams who was being perfectly covered by Pat Surtain. However, the throw was perfect and it resulted in a 20-yard gain into Broncos territory. Carr was flushed on the next play and was forced to throw it away to avoid a sack. Adams secured another reception with Jonas Griffith in coverage for an eight yard gain. A pitch to Jacobs netted another quick ten into the red zone as the Raiders put together a strong opening drive.
From the Broncos’ 13-yard line, Carr went over the middle to Darren Waller for a quick six on first down. D.J. Jones fought through the line for a tackle for a loss on Jacobs on second down. On third and five, Carr went back to Adams in the end zone, but Surtain was there this time to knock the ball away to force a field goal attempt.
Raiders 3, Broncos 0.
Russell Wilson went straight to Courtland Sutton on a quick slant for 15-yards on first down. A three yard loss by Javonte Williams on second down was blown by poor blocking at the next level from Lloyd Cushenberry to bring up a second and 13. Wilson hit Sutton again on second down for a five yard gain where the Broncos again found themselves in a third and long. An all-out blitz would result in a sack on Wilson and a punt.
A 52-yard punt was aided by a muff that the Raiders recovered deep in their own territory. Jacobs ran for two yards on first down, then a false start pushed them back five yards to their own 10 yard line. Kareem Jackson blanketed Darren Waller on a deep shot down the field where it fell incomplete. On third and 13, Carr was sacked by D.J. Jones who powered up the middle pulling Carr down at the one yard line to force a punt deep in the end zone.
Montrell Washington took the punt for a huge 30-yard return back to the Raiders 34-yard line to set Denver up inside field goal range.
Wilson immediately looked for tight end Eric Saubert down the middle of the field for a 25-yard gain to the Raiders nine yard line. After back to back runs netted just four yards, the Broncos faced a third and goal from the five yard line. Wilson found Sutton in the end zone for the lead on a bullet to the back of the end zone.
Broncos 7, Raiders 3.
The first quarter would end with the Raiders driving.