The end of the Raiders' forgettable 2014 season ended with a whimper in Denver Sunday. From the very start the Raiders offense could do nothing while the defense could stop nothing. And the result was familiar.
The Broncos got on the board first with a drive for a field goal. It was assisted by a rather questionable holding penalty on linebacker Ray Ray Armstrong and Connor Barth converted on the 49-yard field goal.
They kept getting on the board from there, with a drive for a touchdown on their next possession. They were assisted by great field position after the Raiders second-straight three-and-out. They did it in four plays. After an incompletion, they had a 13-yard completion to Emmanuel Sanders, 27-yard completion to Demaryius Thomas, and an 11-yard touchdown run by C.J. Anderson to take a 10-0 lead.
After a third-straight three-and-out for the Raiders, they gave the ball back to the Broncos. Then on the second play, Peyton Manning threw a backward pass that was tipped by Justin Tuck, picked up by Keith McGill and returned for a touchdown.
Despite the Raiders offense yet to convert a single first down, the Raiders were on the board, down just 10-7 with 3:42 left in the first quarter.
Undeterred by the turnover for the score, Peyton Manning drove the Broncos right back down the field for another touchdown. The big play on the drive was a 31-yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders who beat McGill on the route. Then it was finished off with Demaryius Thomas getting behind D.J. Hayden for a 23-yard catch to the 1-yard line and C.J. Anderson would again finish it off with a touchdown run and the Broncos brought the lead back to ten at 17-7.
The Raiders offense would get its first first down of the game at the 8:07 mark of the second quarter. They would punt three plays later. It was their only first down of the entire first half on seven possessions.
Meanwhile the Broncos would add a field goal in the second quarter to head into halftime up 20-7.
It would get worse very quickly. On the opening kickoff of the second half, Omar Bolden returned it 76 yards to put the Broncos in scoring position right away. They would score the touchdown in two plays - a 5-yard run followed by a 25-yard touchdown run - his third of the day.
For the first time in this game, the Raiders offense was able to respond. Derek Carr hit Latavius Murray on a short cross and Murray took it 46 yards to the Denver 15-yard line. After an 8-yard pass to James Jones set the Raiders up in first and goal at the 4-yard line, they finished it off with a touchdown pass to a wide open Jamize Olawale to pull to 27-14.
Once again, the Raiders defense couldn't keep the Broncos offense from scoring as they drove for another field goal to go up 30-14. The Broncos would add another field goal later in the fourth quarter.
Late in the game, Broncos safety David Bruton was carted off the field with what was later ruled to be a concussion on a hit on a hit on special teams. The following play, James Jones was hit hard and laid on the field for a few minutes. Then the Broncos literally added insult to injury when Derek Carr was hit from behind while attempting to throw and it was picked up and returned for a touchdown to make it 40-14.
The Broncos weren't finished though. After a 33-yard punt from Marquette King gave the Broncos great field position at their own 44-yard line, Peyton Manning's day was done in favor of Brock Osweiler. But even with Manning out, the Broncos weren't going conservative. Osweiler went to the air and hit tight end Virgil Green for 38 yards and finished it off a few plays later with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Green. They were officially pouring it on at 47-14.
The Raiders finish the season winless on the road. Their final three road losses would lopsided, with a point differential of 130-27.
They finish with a record of 3-13 on the season which is one less loss than they had the past two seasons (4-12). It wasn't exactly a merciful end to the season for the Raiders, but it is at least over.
|Oakland Raiders (3-13-0)|
|Denver Broncos (12-4-0)|
To buy tickets, visit the NFL Ticket Exchange.