The wait is over, it’s Week 1 and the second half of a opening week Monday Night Football double header with the Oakland Raiders at home against the Denver Broncos. Derek Carr and the Raiders started with the ball first after Oakland received the opening kickoff and they gave us an opening drive to remember. They put together a 10 play, 72 yard opening drive that culminated in a Tyrell Williams touchdown catch. Carr looked especially eager to forget about a certain diva receiver, he went 5 of 5 for 58 yards and the 8 yard touchdown pass to Williams which made the score 7-0 Oakland.
Defensively the Silver and Black came out with a lot of energy too to force a 3 and out on Denver’s first possession of the game. Unfortunately Oakland’s offense got stalled after a holding penalty on Rodney Hudson pushed them back so they weren’t able to add to their lead after the quick stop on Denver. It looked like Broncos were going to at least get a field goal until DE Benson Mayowa got a huge strip sack to end the Denver threat. Denver recovered the fumble but it still forced another Broncos punt.
Despite starting at their own 5 and then having two straight false start penalties the Raiders still put together a huge 95 yard touchdown drive. It included a 43 yard pass to Tyrell Williams and several other 3rd down conversions. One of the conversions was an amazing Hunter Renfrow catch that set up the 3 yard Josh Jacobs touchdown run to make the score 14-0.
In a truly up and down final drive of the half, Denver was able to get as far as the Raiders 30 before their drive was stopped. They ended up stopping themselves though with a holding penalty on 3rd down to push them to try a 64 yard field goal as time expired. The kick fell short so the Raiders went to the half leading 14-0. The best defensive play of the drive came from rookie Johnathan Abram who laid a big hit on a sideline catch that forced the receiver out of bounds on what would have been a big catch for Denver.
Daniel Carlson kicked off to Denver to start the second half and this time the Broncos did end up getting a field goal. It could have been worse because they were driving deep into the red zone with a lot of momentum before Oakland’s defense came up with the big goal line stop. The last play may have been a strip sack but the refs called the play dead after the Raiders recovered the ball and were returning it for a would be touchdown. The play was challenged but upheld as it was too close of a call to change the ruling on the field, but the replay did show a missed facemask penalty on the Raiders. After the failed challenge Denver kicked the 26 yard field goal to make it 14-3.
Denver got the ball back quickly thanks to a 3 and out from the Raiders offense and Oakland paid dearly for it. Top cornerback Gareon Conley got injured and carted off the field after a scary hit to the head from his own teammate Johnathan Abram sliding into him on a tackle. Conley did have movement and gave a thumbs up as he was carted off. The Raiders got lucky after that thanks to a dropped touchdown pass on 3rd down from the Broncos. Denver did kick another 26 yard field goal though to make the score 14-6.
Again the Raiders offense could not add to their lead though they did get to midfield before punting. The defense came up with a huge 3 and out though to get the ball right back. This time Oakland did add to their lead thanks to their two biggest new weapons of Tyrell Williams and Josh Jacobs. Jacobs started the drive with a 28 yard catch and run and he ended it with a bulldozing 5 yard touchdown run. That run was set up by a beautiful pass from Derek Carr to a double covered Tyrell Williams on 3rd down. Josh Jacobs 2nd touchdown in his Raiders debut made the score 21-6 Raiders.
Denver responded by hitting Emanuel Sanders on a 53 yard reception to get them into Raiders territory very quickly. However, the Raiders defense again came up with a big stop inside the red zone which included Clelin Ferrell’s first sack. It was a huge sack too because it came on a 3rd and 2 which forced another Denver field goal. This kick was from 39 and made the game 21-9 Oakland.
Dwayne Harris showed why he made the team without question by returning the ensuing kickoff 72 yards to the Bronco 30 yard line. They couldn’t add another touchdown off the great field position but they did get a 29 yard field goal from Daniel Carlson to make the score 24-9. They also ran off 4 minutes in just 6 plays on the drive leaving 4:38 left in the game with a 15 point lead.
Denver didn’t go away easy though, they put together a touchdown drive in just 2:23 of clock. They scored on a 3 yard pass to Emanuel Sanders to make the score 24-16 with 2:15 left. With 2 timeouts and the 2 minute warning to stop the clock still, the touchdown definitely kept them still alive in the game.
That is if they got the ball back they could have still been alive. That didn’t happen thanks to another huge 3rd down reception from Tyrell Williams. That catch sealed the Raiders victory at 24-16 over the Broncos.