Denver Broncos (3-3) – Las Vegas Raiders (4-2): 24-34
Despite the resignation of their coach, the Raiders delivered a convincing performance against a division opponent.
For the past few days, we’ve been wondering how the Raiders will react after this week’s events. It is clear that the answer is rather clear. They are well, thanks. Their performance in Denver is in any case reassuring. Derek Carr (18/27, 341 yards and 2 TDs) and the attack regained explosiveness, while the defense made life difficult for Teddy Bridgewater (35/49, 334 yards, 3 TDs and 3 INTs) . Rich Bisaccia’s interim starts well.
End of series
This encounter begins, not with one, but with two anomalies. To understand, two statistics should be cited. Before this meeting, Las Vegas had not scored a touchdown during its first drive in 11 games. For Denver, it’s even worse. We have to go back to December 2019. 24 games without reaching the end zone during their first offensive series. It’s simple, here we are in the presence of the two longest series in the NFL. These series are now obsolete.
For the Raiders, it stops on a 48-yard pass from Derek Carr to Henry Ruggs III (3 receptions, 97 yards and 1 TD) for the opener (7-0). In the process, the Broncos stop theirs after an 84-yard drive concluded with a pass from Bridgewater to Tim Patrick on 23 yards (7-7). Unfortunately, the Broncos will have to wait a long time to score more points. The Las Vegas defense is a big hindrance to Bridgewater. The pressure on the quarterback is constant (5 sacks and 17 QB Hits), symbolized by the big game of Maxx Crosby (3 sacks). Result, 4 punts, three small points and especially four loss of balls for number 5 (one fumble and three interceptions).
In the meantime, the Raiders are not waiting. They take advantage of this scarcity and the performance of the defense to widen the gap. Las Vegas is in the wake of a man: Kenyan Drake (4 races, 34 yards and 1 TD + 2 receptions, 39 yards and 1 TD. Running first scores a touchdown in the air by receiving a pass of 31 yards just before half-time (7-17). Before doubling the bet just after the return of the locker room, on the ground this time, with a run of 18 yards (7-24). Derek Carr’s teammates made the hole and the Broncos will never come back.
Raiders buy serenity
The burst of pride will be in vain. The two touchdowns of Courtland Sutton (8 receptions, 94 yards and 1 TD) and Noah Fant (9 receptions, 97 yards and 1 TD), will only be flash in the pan. Because for their part, the Raiders do not lift the foot and add 10 points, especially thanks to a 3-yard run from Josh Jacobs (24-34). A welcome touchdown that shelters them at the end of the match. And even when Denver managed to recover an onside kick in the last two minutes. Las Vegas does not tremble and finishes the work in defense with a final interception.
With this great victory, the Raiders bought themselves a little serenity with this victory. They returned to the top of their division tied with the Chargers and fully revived. On the other side, however, the Broncos are slipping dangerously to the bottom of this West AFC. Denver hasn’t won since September 27, and the hype seems to be history.