The Raiders and Broncos battled for AFC relevancy on Sunday, and Las Vegas came out on top, overcoming turnovers and a near injury to quarterback Derek Carr to win, 17-13.
After a fumble from running back Josh Jacobs and an interception from Carr led to 10 Denver points just before halftime, the Broncos took a 13-7 lead into the locker room. But the Las Vegas defense didn’t allow any more points and the Raiders run game came alive.
Now, their record sits at 8-7, and Las Vegas is still in playoff contention after its second straight win. Here are the winners and losers from this big home victory for the Raiders.
Jacobs recovered from his silly second-quarter fumble in a big way. At the end of the day, he tied his career-high in rushing with 129 yards on 27 carries.
His fumble was inexcusable — he carried the football with just one hand as he ran in the open field after a desperation shovel pass from Carr was successful. But after the Raiders fell behind at halftime, they turned to Jacobs on the first drive of the second half and the run game delivered, leading to a red-zone rushing TD from RB Peyton Barber.
But it was Jacobs’ day. It was his first 100-yard rushing performance of the season. Plus, he helped run the clock out late, putting an exclamation point on his performance.
Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow had an incredible touchdown to start the day’s scoring for the Raiders, and he also made some franchise history.
First, here’s the touchdown, with the chemistry between Carr and Renfrow on full display.
That was a sensational grab. Plus, Renfrow crossed the 90-reception mark. He joins Hall of Fame wide receivers Tim Brown and Jerry Rice as the only wideouts to have 90 or more catches in a season for the Raiders. Not a bad day of work for Las Vegas’ most reliable pass-catcher down the stretch.
Defensive end Maxx Crosby hadn’t notched a QB sack since Week 6. That changed on Sunday with this takedown of Broncos QB Drew Lock.
Crosby led a defense that only allowed eight first downs and 158 total yards on the day, including just 18 rushing yards. Defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson also tallied a QB sack, and linebacker Denzel Perryman returned from injury and made a positive impact for Las Vegas, as he has in every game he’s played his season.
Once again, offensive tackle Brandon Parker was outclassed on the edge and put Carr in danger of serious injury. Here he is coming up empty on a line stunt resulting in a strip-sack from ex-Raider Shelby Harris.
Carr got up grabbing his chest in apparent pain after this play and got attention from the trainers. For a minute, it looked like QB Nate Peterman would have to relieve Carr. The starter returned without missing a play, however.
But Parker simply has to do better. If you look at the later part of the video clip above (28-second mark), you’ll see him bang the turf with his fists in disgust. It wasn’t an encouraging display.
Carr wasn’t perfect either. Even on Parker’s inept miscue, Carr’s awareness was lacking a bit. It was Carr’s interception with fewer than 30 seconds left in the first half that is the real cause for concern, however.
That was probably a bad play call from the coaching staff, too. But ultimately, that’s Carr’s mistake. It cost his team seven points, with Denver scoring on the next snap.
The Raiders have a choice to make with Carr’s contract soon, and unsightly turnovers like this can’t be good for his long-term prospects in Las Vegas, despite his always solid passing numbers.
Linebacker Divine Deablo had a part in allowing a 40-yard catch by Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy in the first half. Jeudy appeared to run wide open in Deablo’s assigned area in the Raiders’ zone defense.
Plus, Deablo had just one tackle, though the Broncos ran just 40 plays on offense all day.
And the defense definitely helped quell the Broncos’ momentum they built by halftime. Jacobs’ big post-fumble effort on the ground, with an assist from the offensive line, sealed the win.
Now, the Raiders face a big test against the Colts (9-6) on the road next week. Could they get their third-straight win and further revive their season? It’s possible. But if Las Vegas keeps turning the football over at such a poor rate, a third-consecutive victory will be hard to come by.
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