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Raiders at Broncos recap, final score 20-19 : Raiders defense can’t hold off Broncos furious comeback

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Week 2 of the NFL Season with the Raiders taking the opening kickoff from the Broncos at Mile High Stadium in Denver. Just like last week, Oakland’s offense again looked good in their opening drive with Jon Gruden’s scripted plays to start out the game. Unlike last week though the Raiders drive came to a stop inside the red zone so they settled for a 26 field goal by Mike Nugent. The drive lasted 9 plays for 67 yards and made the score 3-0 Raiders.

Neither team was able to earn a first down (1 by penalty though) over the next 5 drives in a row, all 5 drives were 3 and outs except for a defensive holding penalty that nullified a Von Miller strip sack on Derek Carr. It took until the end of the first quarter before the Raiders got some excitement going again on offense. They managed to drive down to the Denver 21 before a sack on third down by Von Miller. Mike Nugent kicked a 46 yard field goal through though to make the score 6-0 Raiders.

After that the Broncos looked to be heading to points themselves after a Denver rookie RB Phillip Lindsay scampered 53 yards down to the Oakland 22. However, the Raiders defense came up big after a bad decision to throw into double coverage from Case Keenum led to an interception by Rashaan Melvin.

Both teams traded off 3 and outs again after the next two drives. Raiders rookie Maurice Hurst got his first career sack on the Broncos 3rd down which kickstarted some momentum for the Raiders. They went 10 plays, and 75 yards in 4:51 on the drive that ended with a 1 yard touchdown run from Marshawn Lynch. The drive also featured a couple of big plays to TE Jared Cook who continues to have excellent chemistry with Derek Carr. The extra point was blocked so the score after the touchdown had the Raiders leading 12-0 at the half.

Denver got the ball to start the 2nd half and drove right down the field utilizing their two rookie running backs. Both Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman looked good on the drive for Denver. The Raiders did come up with a 3rd down stop on the drive but Bruce Irvin got a very costly unsportsmanlike penalty for berating the official. The very next play the Broncos appeared to score a touchdown but the play was overturned after an official scoring review. It didn’t matter anyway because Royce Freeman punched it in 2 plays later anyway to make the score 12-7 after their 11 play, 75 yard drive.

Oakland took the punch from the Broncos though and immediately fought back with a 5 play, 75 yard touchdown drive of their own. Derek Carr has been fantastic in this game but especially so on the bullet 20 yard touchdown pass to Seth Roberts to make the score 19-7. The drive also had a big 30 yard reception from Amari Cooper, and at this point Carr is an amazing 21 of 22 for 213 yards and a touchdown.

The smothering defense of the first half some how completely disappeared so far in the 2nd half for the Raiders, though they did hold the Broncos to a field goal this time. It was lucky though because they got a favorable call on what was awfully close to a great touchdown catch from Broncos rookie Courtland Sutton who just barely stepped out. Still, Denver was able to kick a 39 yard field goal to make the score 19-10.

Oakland’s offense finally sputtered on their next drive after getting down to Denver’s 33 yard line. Instead of attempting the 50 yard field goal, Jon Gruden went for it on the 4th and inches play. Unfortunately, FB Keith Smith dropped the wide open screen pass so the Raiders turned over the ball on downs. The play was drawn up perfect, but the dropped pass ended the Raiders drive with a thud.

Again, Denver relied on their talented rookie running backs to gash the Oakland defense for big chunks of yardage. It pains me to say that Phillip Lindsay especially looks impressive with his speed, balance and Mighty Mouse strength. Lindsay led the Broncos all the way down to the 1 but it was Case Keenum who got the running touchdown on a 4th and goal play. The Broncos gutsy call to go for it was rewarded with the touchdown to cap off the 14 play, 67 yard drive. The touchdown made the score 19-17 with 5:58 left in the 4th.

Oakland’s offense needed a big drive with just the 2 point lead with less than 6 minutes to go in regulation. They got a huge 1st down on a 3rd and 1 run with just over 3 minutes left from Marshawn Lynch refusing to be denied as he carried tacklers to get the single yard he needed. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough, they went 3 and out after that and had to punt with 2 minutes left in the 4th.

It was up to the defense after that, they needed a huge stop because the Broncos only needed a field goal to snatch the victory away from Oakland. The Raiders defense couldn’t do it, the Broncos made their way into Raiders territory in the final seconds. The 36 yard field goal was good, Raiders lose 20-19.