A wet day in Oakland started out with some ugly play and turned into a pretty insane day which featured a big fight, several turnovers, both teams losing starters, and a Raiders defense that beat up Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch
Both teams started the game with a three-and-out on offense. When the Raiders got the ball back, things got a little nuts.
On a run play to Marshawn Lynch, Michael Crabtree blocked Aqib Talib, who immediately pull his happy horse shit by ripping off Crabtree’s gold chain, just as he had in their last meeting last season. He wasn’t penalized or fined the last time, so why wouldn’t he do it again?
The move started a brawl on the sideline that had Crabtree and Talib both ejected along with starting right guard Gabe Jackson who was penalized for pushing an official.
Late in the first quarter, Broncos linebacker Shaquille Barrett got around Raiders left tackle Donald Penn to strip sack Derek Carr. Barrett recovered the ball in scoring position at the Oakland 20-yard-line.
On the first play of the second quarter, Paxton Lynch completed a pass to running back Devontae Booker on a wheel route. Initially it was ruled a touchdown, but on replay Booker was ruled down at the one.
The Broncos ran it on first and goal and were stuffed at the line, led by Cory James. The next play, the Broncos went to the air, with Lynch throwing for tight end Virgil Green. Raider middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman caught up to his man and batted the ball, it bounced off Reggie Nelson and Bowman caught it laying on the turf for the interception and the touchback to give the Raiders the ball at the 20.
Taking advantage of the turnover, the Raiders drove 80 yards for the score. On the drive, Marshawn caught a dump pass over the middle and drove through several Broncos defenders and went 20 yards before his forward progress was stopped. The Raiders finished off the drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr to a wide open Amari Cooper in the left side of the end zone to take a 7-0 lead.
The ensuing Broncos possession ending with a sack by Denico Autry up the middle and a three-and-out. The stop gave the Raiders great field position to start their next drive at their own 48-yard-line.
A few plays into the drive, disaster struck. Amari Cooper leapt to pull in a Derek Carr pass over the middle and was met helmet to helmet with Bradley Roby. Cooper laid on the turf, unconscious for several seconds. The cart immediately came out onto the field as everyone feared the worst.
Cooper would thankfully get up off the turf and refuse the cart, walking off the field with minimal assistance from trainers.
With Cooper out with a concussion and Crabtree having been ejected, the Raiders were down to three wide receivers -- Seth Roberts, Johnny Holton, and Corarrelle Patterson.
Roby was flagged for roughing on the hit on Cooper, putting the Raiders in first down at the Denver 11. A Marshawn Lynch 7-yard run was followed by a Broncos pass interference penalty to put the Raiders in first and goal at the one-yard-line. Two plays later, Marshawn ran behind Kelechi Osemele for the touchdown to give the Raiders a 14-0 lead.
Lynch already was making his 1.3 yards-per-carry first meeting with the Broncos a distant memory, running for 38 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown.
Another sack for the Raiders — this time by Bruce Irvin — would keep the score at 14-0 at the half.
After Autry and Irvin had sacks on consecutive drives in the first half, they both had sacks on the Broncos’ first possession of the second half.
Once again, the Raiders drove for a touchdown, picking up 47 yards on a bomb from Carr to Johnny Holton. The play set the Raiders up in first and goal at the 6-yard-line and on the next play, Richard caught a short pass and crossed the goal line for the touchdown.
With the Broncos down 21-0 to the Raiders and Paxton Lynch having completed just 9 passes for 41 yards, he left the game with an injured ankle not to return.
It didn’t take long for Trevor Siemian to outdo his predecessor. He drove the Broncos for a touchdown on his second series of the game early in the 4th quarter. The score came on 4th and 7 from the 25-yard-line. Siemian threw for Cody Latimer with TJ Carrie in coverage for the 25-yard touchdown to make it a 2-score game.
Taking 4.5 minutes off the clock, the Raiders would drive into scoring range, but Giorgio Tavecchio would miss the 35-yard field goal attempt to keep the game within two scores at 21-7.
With 5:46 remaining, the Broncos would need to a touchdown on their next drive. And they got it, thanks largely to Karl Joseph letting an interception go right through his hands where it was caught by Cody Latimer for a 15-yard gain. Siemian would find Bennie Fowler over the middle on the next play for a 22-yard touchdown.
From a 21-0 shutout to a one score game. With 2:39 remaining and the Broncos with two timeouts, the Raiders would need to get at least a first down, if not more in order to secure the win.
They got the ball at their own 13-yard line. Two runs picked up just 2 yards, but more importantly forced the Broncos to take both of their timeouts. On third and 8, Derek Carr was pressured, threw a high arching pass off his back foot that dropped right into the arms of Cordarrelle Patterson who broke a couple tackles and went for 54 yards.
That brought it to the 2-minute warning and with no timeouts left, the Raiders kneeled out the clock to finish it off with a 21-14 win that got way too interesting in the final minutes.
It sends the Broncos to 3-8 on the season and to the bottom of the division with their 7th straight loss. The Raiders improve to 5-6 on the season, one game out of first place in the AFC West.
Marshawn Lynch finished with 26 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown. Derek Carr goes 18 for 24 for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The defense puts up 5 sacks — 2.0 each for Autry and Irvin and 1.0 by Mack and that key interception in the end zone.