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Denver Broncos looked competent and efficient on offense; still score 16-points and lose vs. Las Vegas Raiders

The Denver Broncos played well in Week 1, but somehow still found a way to lose a close game. They dropped their seventh-straight game to the Las Vegas Raiders in 17-16 defeat.

Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The 16-point curse is still alive and in effect for the Denver Broncos. Sure they looked competent and more efficient, but the results under Sean Payton were exactly the same as it was under Nathaniel Hackett — 16 points.

They missed extra point by Wil Lutz in the first half came back to bite them as did the missed 55-yard field goal. The first is a given, but the latter is anything but. The result was the same — 16 points. Sixteen freaking points.

This 17-16 defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders is their seventh-straight loss to their hated AFC West rival and yet another one-score loss. They just can’t seem to figure out how to win games and that is troubling heading into Week 2.

Broncos vs. Raiders final score

TEAM 1st 2nd 3rd 4th FINAL
TEAM 1st 2nd 3rd 4th FINAL
Las Vegas Raiders 7 3 0 7 17
Denver Broncos 6 7 0 3 16

First Quarter

An onside kick to start the game led to the Broncos recovering, but an illegal touching penalty gave the Raiders the ball early. The penalty was a Bill Vinovich special, to be honest, as the ‘touch’ was right at the line on the television camera angles.

That call gave the Raiders life who drove down the short field and converted on third and goal for a short touchdown pass from Jimmy G to Jakobi Meyers to put Las Vegas up early.

Raiders 7, Broncos 0.

Denver put together a good drive after starting deep due to a holding call on the kick off. Russell Wilson would methodically drive the team down the field converting several third downs with big time throws. On a second and goal from the give, Wilson fired a bullet into the back of the end zone to Lil’Jordan Humphrey to potentially tie the game up.

Wil Lutz whiffed on the kick, though, keeping a one-point lead in tact for Las Vegas. Even so, is was an impressive 14-play, 86 yard scoring drive on their first offensive possession of the game that would leave just 44 seconds left in the first quarter.

Raiders 7, Broncos 6.

Second Quarter

Early in the second quarter, the Broncos suffered a significant injury on defense as co-starting safety Caden Sterns went down with a knee injury that required him to be carted off the field. The team immediately ruled him out for the rest of the game, which is never a good sign.

The Raiders went on to drive down to a first and goal opportunity on that possession, but Denver’s defense held to force a field goal.

Raiders 10, Broncos 6.

Denver’s second offensive possession was looking really good, but as soon as they made it into field goal range disaster struck. First a holding call, then a sack, then a blown up screen pass setup a third and 34. They would ultimately punt it back to the Raiders and pinned them deep inside their own 5-yard line.

After an early stop on defense, the Broncos did get one more offensive possession with just over two minutes left in the first half.

Wilson and the Broncos would quickly get into field goal range before momentum began to peter out a bit. From inside the Raiders 40-yard line, Wilson went deep to Courtland Sutton who was breaking free for a potential touchdown pass. It fell incomplete, but Sutton was interfered with to set the Broncos up with a first down at the 20 yard line with 33 seconds left in the half.

A quick pass inside to Sutton for as 15-yard gain setup a first and goal at the five. After spiking the ball, Wilson rolled out and fired a pass in to the back of the end zone to Sutton for the lead-changing touchdown with just a few seconds left in the second quarter.

Broncos 13, Raiders 10.

In the first half, Russell Wilson was 17/19 for 125 yards and two touchdown passes.

Third Quarter

The Broncos avoided disaster after a fumble on a third-down scramble by Russell Wilson after a Raiders defender was called for illegal contact on that play to negate the disastrous play and give Denver a first down. They took advantage of that fortunate play to get into Raiders territory on the next play.

The drive stalled a bit after that, which brought Wil Lutz out for a 55-yard field goal attempt to extend the Broncos lead. He had the distance, but he pushed it wide right to give the Raiders excellent field position.

Las Vegas put together a very long drive from there. After a holding penalty push them back, they ended up faced with a third and nine at the Broncos’ 21-yard line. Jimmy G threw the ball up to Davante Adams against Pat Surtain. Both players were gong for the ball, but Surtain was called for pass interference to set Las Vegas up with a first and goal.

Denver’s defense then came alive with an incredible stand. On third and goal, a tip ball drill resulted in a Kareem Jackson interception in the end zone to end the Raiders drive.

After that huge turnover, the Broncos used up the last bit of the third quarter to get out near midfield thanks in large part to a huge catch and run by Samjae Perine.

Fourth Quarter

That drive would end rapidly to start the fourth quarter though and they’d punt it away ... or so we all thought. A personal foul from roughing the kicker set the Broncos up pretty just outside field goal range.

They methodically drove down the field from there and after a monster 12-yard run by Perine, they were setup with a first and goal at the eight-yard line. The Raiders defense stiffened a bit and then on third and goal from the six, Wilson was flushed out of the pocket and was forced to throw the ball away to bring out the field goal unit.

Broncos 16, Raiders 10.

The Raiders got the ball back and streaked 75 yards down the field in just two minutes before Jimmy G hit Jakobi Meyers on a quick slant for a touchdown to take the lead.

Raiders 17, Broncos 16.

With under six minutes to go in the game, the Broncos offense had their first three-and-out of the game and it could not have come at a worse possible time. They ended up punting it right back to the Raiders with just two timeouts left in the bag. The Raiders sealed the deal from there.

Denver will start the season 0-1.


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