Post-game recap of the Oakland Raiders Week 9 victory over the Denver Broncos.
In what might have been the biggest game for the Oakland Raiders since the 2002 Super Bowl, the divisional rival Denver Broncos were in town.
With both teams standing at 6-2, first place of the AFC West was on the line. And beyond that, for the Raiders, it was a chance to prove in primetime that the Raiders were back.
Oakland got off to a fast start, and nearly as good of a start as they could have hoped for. A quick three and out — just 27 seconds for the Broncos — gave the Raiders an opportunity to strike first.
Derek Carr marched the Raiders 47 yards downfield, all the way down to Denver’s 5-yard line. But they failed to find the end zone and had to settle for a Sebastian Janikowski 24-yard field goal. After deferring to start the game, being up 3-0 was a nice start.
The Raiders defense came back out for the second possession and looked just as good as they did on the first drive, again forcing a three and out. Just like the offense’s first drive, they got downfield but stalled in the red zone, and again settled for a field goal. 6-0 lead.
After another pair of three and outs for the Broncos, the Raiders offense again marched downfield. 9 plays and 57 yards later, Latavius Murray punched it in from a yard out. And just like that, the Raiders were up 13-0 early in the 2nd quarter.
A few drives later, the Broncos offense showed signs of life (and then some). An impressive drive of 84 yards on just 7 plays was capped by a Jordan Norwood 36-yard touchdown reception, which was setup by a play action that fooled both David Ameson and Karl Joseph. That comfortable 13-point lead quickly turned into a 6-point nailbiter.
Janikowski would go on to miss a field goal on the ensuing drive, and it felt like all the momentum shifted in Denver’s favor.
But Oakland’s defense held strong on the next couple of drives, and the Raiders again found the end zone. Latavius Murray setup the score with a big 42-yard gain, and he was able to find paydirt from 1-yard out a few plays later.
Denver was able to get in field goal range before the end of halftime, and Brandon McManus converted from 55 yards out. 20-10, Raiders.
The story of the first half was Oakland’s run game, which totaled 124 yards on just 18 carries (6.9 YPC) and two scores. Latavius led the way with 11 carries for 76 yards and both touchdowns.
The third quarter slowed the game down from a scoring standpoint, as neither team put points on the board. Although the Broncos drove up the field at the end of the third quarter, and kicked a field goal to start the fourth. Oakland’s lead was down to 7.
But as they’ve done all season, the Raiders responded. 10 plays for 58 yards over 6:37, Oakland tacked on three more points to extend the lead to 23-13.
A few drives later, Oakland placed a nail in the coffin and hammered it about halfway down. Latavius Murray recorded his third score of the day, which put the Raiders up 30-13. The touchdown came after Khalil Mack logged his second sack of the game, which was also a fumble that the team recovered.
But the reason that nail was only hammered halfway down was because Broncos running back Kapri Bibbs scored on a 69-yard gain on the following drive. With about five minutes to go, Denver trailed by 10 points. Comfortable, but not insurmountable.
That would be the last time either team scored…
Which means the Oakland Raiders moved to 7-2 on the season, and into sole possession of first place in the AFC West.
I’ll say it one more time.
The Oakland Raiders moved to 7-2 on the season, and into sole possession of first place in the AFC West.
Sure, it’s only Week 9 of the regular season game, but for Raiders fans, this is a long time coming.
Latavius Murray finished the game with 20 carries for 114 yards (5.7 YPC) and 3 TD’s. As a team, the Raiders ran the ball 43 times for 218 yards and 3 TD’s.
Khalil Mack added 2 more sacks to his season total, and now has 7 sacks in the last six games.
The Raiders have a bye week, and then will play the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football on 11/21.
Just Win, Baby.