In ugly fashion, the Denver Broncos defense regressed to the mean badly against the Las Vegas Raiders. They were gashed all game long, but were able to hold on by a thread by forcing field goals for much of the game. The offense looked terrible for long stretches - again - and the result was an ugly 32-23 road loss to the smug Josh McDaniels and his Raiders.
At 2-2, the Broncos have a short week before hosting the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5 on Thursday Night Football.
The Raiders came out firing on all cylinders as they put together an 11-play drive to open the game. However, Pat Surtain came up big on third and goal with a pass breakup on Davonte Adams to force a field goal.
On their next possession, the Broncos’ defense came up big with a D.J. Jones sack on Derek Carr at the one yard line. The ensuing punt was returned by Montrell Washington 30-yards all the way down to the Raiders 31-yard line.
From there, Russell Wilson found tight end Eric Saubert for a 25-yard gain then fired a pass three plays later to the back of the end zone to Courtland Sutton to take the lead.
Broncos 7, Raiders 3. Full first quarter recap.
The Raiders closed out a drive in the early second quarter with a touchdown and Denver would answer with a field goal to keep the score tied. However, with great field position and Denver looking to take the lead, Melvin Gordon got his first carry of the game.
Predictably, this happened...
After a missed PAT, the Broncos would get one more chance to do something in the first half getting the ball back with a little over three minutes left in the half. They quickly moved the ball out near midfield where Wilson would make back-to-back throws to tie the game. The first a 35-yarder to Kendall Hinton and the second on a deep slant for a 20-yard touchdown to Jerry Jeudy.
Las Vegas would add a field goal to end the half to take a lead.
Raiders 19, Broncos 16. Full second quarter recap.
The second half began with disaster as the Broncos would lose running back Javonte Williams to a knee injury. He would be carted to the locker room, which is never a good sign.
It looked like the Raiders would give Denver their first touchdown given up in the second half as they put together a 10-play, 77 yard drive that was broken open by a 42-yard run by Josh Jacobs. However, with a first and goal from the one yard line the Broncos defense came alive. The Raiders would settle for a field goal and the score would remain a one score game.
Raiders 22, Broncos 16. Full third quarter recap.
The Denver Broncos opened up the final quarter with a huge stop to give the offense another chance to get back into the game. Denver’s offense would barely avoid getting out of their next possession with a safety, so there was that kind of positivity to think about.
Las Vegas would focus on routes against the Broncos’ inside linebackers and Denver was getting burned. They found themselves in field goal range in short order on their next drive, but the defense would stiffen - again - but the lead continued to grow.
Raiders 25, Broncos 16.
Denver’s next drive was looking like an embarrassing shitshow. Back to back holding penalties had them in a 1st and 30. After a 5 yard penalty on Las Vegas, the craziest thing happened. Russell Wilson saw Courtland Sutton open for an 18 yard gain, then on the next play he found KJ Hamler for a 55-yard bomb to the Raiders one yard line. Wilson would punch it in himself on the next play to cut the Raiders lead to 2.
Raiders 25, Broncos 23.
The defense finally began to break down after holding the line for so long. The Raiders could not be stopped on their next drive. It coincides with Randy Gregory leaving the game with a knee injury and ultimately carted to the locker room. They would be unable to stop the Raiders after that.
Josh Jacobs would get 22 and 7 to put the Raiders back up by nine points. A complete defensive collapse. Jacobs had 25 carries for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
Raiders 32, Broncos 23.
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