Oakland Raiders throw away potential upset over Broncos


It was a game the Oakland Raiders should have won for the second straight week, and it was a thrown away opportunity that may hurt for the rest of the 2015 season as the Silver and Black wasted a chance to end their lengthy losing streak to the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. Two brutal missed field goals from Sebastian Janikowski leading to a Pick-6 thrown by Derek Carr at the worst possible time in the fourth quarter allowing the Broncos to escape with a win that arguably should have been the Raiders.

The Raiders defense kept Peyton Manning from scoring a touchdown all game, with Charles Woodson forcing two interceptions in the best game of the season for the defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.’s unit. A focus on blitzing and generating a pass rush giving the Raiders a far better defensive performance than in the first four games of the season to help the team stay in the game despite struggles from the offense.

Unfortunately for the Raiders on Sunday, Week 5 was the offense’s first poor performance since the first half of Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals. One touchdown drive to Marcel Reece serving as the lone score in a game in which the offense had ample opportunities inside of Denver territory to score some points.

Sebastian Janikowski’s two field goal misses likely will serve as the turning points as on the opening drive Janikowski missed a chip shot on a low kick that was blocked before missing a 40 yarder in the second half that came after Charles Woodson’s second interception of the game to kill all momentum for Oakland.

On the following offensive drive after Janikowski’s second miss, Carr had the offense back into scoring territory before a pass under pressure on a crossing route went directly to Chris Harris Jr. who returned the Denver interception for a touchdown. Continuing a theme of the Broncos defense winning games late with big plays so far in the 2015 season.

Harris. Jr’s interception to make the game a two-score lead for the Broncos was enough for the Raiders hated rivals to remain undefeated, all despite the Broncos offense failing to score a touchdown on a day where Manning threw two interceptions. Costly miscues to take points off the board, and give the Broncos a touchdown late in the game proving to be the difference as this young Raiders team was dealt a heartbreaking loss rather than a memorable upset.

Janikowski would make a 50 yard field goal with 1:45 left to just slightly redeem himself, but the onside kick was unsuccessful and the Broncos officially escaped with a 16-10 win despite only scoring three field goals as an offense. A game that was fairly one-sided to the Raiders in many ways falling right through their hands.

All was not negative as the Raiders remained competitive, but Janikowski’s misses and Carr’s interception were just too much to overcome in a game that if Oakland executed they would have won. Going into the bye week this group will ask themselves how they can win the close game after two tough losses and hope to regroup. For now it is a disappointing way to lose a rivalry game that fans will think this team deserved to win if not for mental mistakes that handed the Broncos yet another win over the Raiders.

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