The field was muddy and the crowd was rocking as the Raiders kicked off what was touted as potentially their last in the old Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. If so, the Raiders gave the fans on hand something to remember.
Opening with Oakland native Marshawn Lynch lighting the Al Davis torch, the evening was ready to begin.
This game didn’t exactly start out as a barnburner. The Raiders didn’t have a first down in the first quarter and had a net of just 12 yards. And yet they still led the game 7-0 due to an incredible 99-yard punt return by Dwayne Harris.
With the start of the 2nd quarter was the start of the Raiders offense getting going. Their next drive went 89 yards, finishing with a 24-yard run by Oakland native Doug Martin, who barely needed to move from a straight line, going untouched around right tackle for the score.
Still holding a 14-0 lead, the Raiders went on a drive late in the second quarter to add to their lead with a 43-yard Daniel Carlson field goal.
Carlson then kicked off and it went out of bounds, drawing a penalty flag and giving the Broncos the ball at the 40-yard-line with :19 remaining in the second quarter. With a 20-yard completion to Courtland Sutton on third down, the Broncos moved in range of a 58-yard field goal. Brandon McManus’s attempt would fall short and the two teams would head to halftime with the Raiders up 17-0.
It was the Broncos who would score first in the third quarter. They would use the no-huddle to get things moving. First with a 26-yard connection between Case Keenum and Tim Patrick. Then with a 17-yard scramble from Keenum in which he eluded pressure in the backfield from Nicholas Morrow and Clinton McDonald, and broke two more tackles down field. He finished it off with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Daesean Hamilton with the Raiders blitzing and Marcus Gilchrist in single coverage.
Starting in the third quarter, the Raiders went on an 82-yard drive that took 7:20 off the clock. Carr connected with Jordy Nelson twice on third down for conversions. With the ball at the 20-yard-line, Doug Martin took the hand off, went out left, made a couple moves and picked up 14 yards to put the Raiders in first and goal. Two plays later the right side of the line, sealed it with Brandon Parker driving his defender back and Jalen Richard followed him in for the 3-yard touchdown.
That put the Raiders up 24-7 early in the fourth quarter. The Broncos would go on a touchdown drive of their own, but took 4:45 to do it.
A three-and-out for the Raiders would give the Broncos a chance to close the 10-point deficit with just under six minutes remaining. That chance got really slim when on the second play of the possession Case Keenum threw over the middle and was picked off by safety Marcus Gilchrist. The Raiders took over at the Denver 31 and added a field goal to take a 27-14 lead with 4:38 left.
Even the slim chance the Broncos had was dashed with three straight penalties on their offensive line put them in 4th and 19 at their own 9-yard-line. They had to go for it and Keenum aired it out over the middle where he was picked by Erik Harris.
Just a first down was needed and the Raiders got it in strong fashion. Doug Martin went through right tackle absolutely destroying Will Parks and picking up 12 yards. That put the Raiders in first and goal from the five, but no need to score. They could just kneel it out and leave this field – perhaps for the last time ever -- as winners.