It wasn’t pretty, but the Las Vegas Raiders snapped a terrible three-game losing streak and swept the Denver Broncos for the season in a 22-16 overtime road win.
Let’s look at eight keys to the game:
Explosive plays late:
The Raiders’ offense was pretty dormant for most of the second half. But after Denver gave the Raiders a late chance, the unit came alive. Derek Carr hit running back josh Jacobs for a big pass play that gave the Raiders a first down inside Denver’s 10-yard line in the final minute. A field goal sent it to overtime. Then, after winning the overtime coin flip, Carr hit tight end Foster Moreau for a big play and then Carr connected with star receiver Davante Adams for a 35-yard touchdown to end the game. All of these plays were wide open.
Big game by Maxx:
Raiders’ star pass-rusher Maxx Crosby was brilliant and he played a huge role in the win. Crosby had two sacks, a forced fumble and blocked a field goal at the end of the first half.
Simply put, the Raiders would not have won the game without him and he’s a real contender to win the Week 11 AFC Defensive player of the Week award.
Maxx Crosby is first #Raiders player with a sack, a forced fumble and a blocked FG in the same game since 2000— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) November 20, 2022
Too bad they can’t play Denver again:
Man, the Broncos are awful. Coach Nathaniel Hackett is making Josh McDaniels look like Vince Lombardi. The decision to have quarterback Russell Wilson throw on third and 10 just after the two-minute warning was ridiculous and it cost the Broncos the game. Every win is nice, but Denver is just so completely beatable. They are headed to have a top draft pick, but the awful Wilson trade makes that moot. This franchise in trouble for the foreseeable future.
The Raiders’ offensive line has been a jumbled mess for much of the season, but left tackle Kolton Miller has been a constant. Until Sunday, that is. Miller couldn’t play because of injuries and Jermaine Eluemunor moved over from right tackle and rookie Thayer Munford played right tackle. It was the 12th combination the Raiders have used on the offensive line. this season. The line had its moments Sunday and survived without Miller.
Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson missed a 46-yard field-goal attempt in the second quarter, snapping a string of 41 straight field goal attempts made dating back to last season, ending a run at a league mark. The NFL record was is owned by Adam Vinatieri, who booted 44 straight field goals spanning 2015-16. Carlson has made his first 18 field goal attempts this season. The streak began in Week 8 of last season. Carlson has become one of the elite kickers in the NFL. Carlson, 27, has been with the Raiders since 2018 and he has become known for his long and accurate leg. Of course, he rebounded and kicked three field goals Sunday to help win the game.
Masterson gaining more trust:
Undrafted rookie Luke Masterson started in place of the injured Denzel Perryman last week and had a solid game. Perryman was back in the lineup Sunday. However, The Raiders still used Masterson on passing downs over Perryman at Denver. Masterson, a safety at Wake Forest, may continue to get more playing time as the season winds down and perhaps put himself in position for a bigger role in 2023. Masterson wasn’t the only Las Vegas backup getting some new playing time on defense. Backup safety was working as the big nickel at times and Tashawn Bower played some in front of high-dollar veteran Chandler Jones at defensive end. Defensive tackle Jerry Tillery, claimed on waivers last week, played some and had a decent push as a pass-rusher at times. Young defensive backs Tyler Hall and Isaiah Pola-Malo also played some.
After the Raiders’ first-drive stalled (Denver won the coin flip and deferred and the Raiders have lost the coin flip in all but one week this season), the Broncos started their first drive at their own 8-yard line. Denver, which has been bad all season on offense, cruised down the field for a touchdown. It was its first opening drive touchdown of the season. And the Raiders gave up a touchdown on a goal-to-go situation for the 31st straight time. Rookie cornerback Sam Webb was picked on on the drive and gave up a costly penalty.
Good day for Josh Jacobs:
Raiders’ running back Josh Jacobs had his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season and his first in four games as he had 109 yards rushing on 24 carries. He had 253 yards rushing against the Broncos this season. Whether it’s from the Raiders or in free agency, Jacobs is going to make a lot of money in 2023.
RB Josh Jacobs has now eclipsed 850 rushing yards on the season, becoming the 10th player in NFL history with 850+ rushing yards and 7+ rushing touchdowns in each of his first four seasons.— Raiders PR (@RAIDERS_PR) November 20, 2022
7 of the other 9 players to accomplish the feat are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.