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FSM Recap: Raiders vs Broncos – Game 17 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Raiders (8-9) | Denver Broncos (8-9)

It was the Raiders vs Broncos in the season finale for both teams. The Raiders dominated Denver in front of an electric crowd at Allegiant Stadium and saw Las Vegas win 27-14 to close out the 2023 season.

 

Raiders vs Broncos | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

The Raiders hosted the Denver Broncos in the final game of the 2023 NFL season on Sunday afternoon at Allegiant Stadium. The Raiders were looking to extend the winning streak against Denver to 8 straight games. They were also looking to finish strong under interim head coach Antonio Pierce, whom the players are advocating to become the Raiders permanent head coach.

But the Raiders were also coming off a very disappointing loss last week to the Indianapolis Colts, which eliminated them from making the playoffs. So the Raiders were playing for pride, to continue to build a positive, winning culture in the locker room, and the players were playing for their guy, Coach Pierce.

It’s been fun. Like I told the guys, I’m a little hoarse. I had a cigar in there; it got me all choked up. But I was having fun as a linebacker coach. That was cool, right? But it’s really cool being the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. It’s really cool being in front of a room of men who buy in and believe what you’re telling them, what you’re saying, how to do things, how to do things maybe differently than everybody expects you to do it. Maybe not the norm. And I love football, man,Pierce told reporters after the game.

I’ve said it before, it’s my first love. Football never cheats on me, doesn’t talk back to me. It’s always there. And that’s something I appreciate about it because when you walk away from it, it always tells you right back. And to be with this organization, and the men, and the staff, and the people I work with every day and watch them now smile and have that kind of enthusiasm about going to work every day. And just like we talked about it in pressers, you guys smile. You guys are cracking jokes with me now. You guys have fun, too. That’s good. Don’t take life so seriously. It’s okay. There’s going to be tomorrow.”

Pierce has changed a lot inside the Raiders organization. You can see how different they play on the field, but discipline has been something he’s preached, and it has translated well with the team. For just a third time since 2000, they had two games with no penalties. That’s a far cry from teams past, which were near the top of the league when it came to being called for penalties.

Yeah, I’m hoping now, and we’ll get the final stats here in a second, that we finished number one as far as the least penalized team in the National Football League. And I’m sure that’s a Raider record,Pierce said after the game.

Not only have the Raiders grown, but Pierce has as well, both in life as well as as a coach.

Yeah, patience, a little bit more poise, getting ahead of the game. It is different when you’re the head coach than just being a linebacker coach or a defensive guy. You have to figure out where your special teams coordinator, where your special teams guys are at, where’s the kicker, where your o-line at, everything. Clock management, obviously, situational football end of half, end of game, timeout usage, red flag, challenges. It’s been a learning experience,” Pierce said when asked about his growth as a coach.

I don’t know how anybody goes into this saying that they’re ready for it. You need live reps. You can mimic everything in practice, but there’s nothing like live reps and going through those situations. You can prep them; you can watch them, but when that clock’s ticking, it goes a little bit faster. But for me, I think the process of working with our staff, our analytical people, and getting better each and every game has been my goal, and now it continues to be my goal as I’m in this seat.

So now, Raiders owner Mark Davis will conduct his search for his next head coach. Pierce will be a candidate and is expected to be interviewed. 

I’ve had some time now to reflect on that now that the season is over with. We’ll handle our exit physical and interviews here over the next couple of days, and obviously, I have some other stuff to handle,” Pierce said after the game. “And then I’ll have a chance to reflect over these last nine to 10 weeks, which have been very humbling and an honor for me.”

But Sunday afternoon was about the Raiders finishing strong in front of Raider Nation, and that’s exactly what they did in the 27–14 victory.

 

Raiders vs Broncos – 1st Quarter:

 

Raiders vs Broncos | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

The Raiders kicked off to start the game, with Denver taking over at the 35-yard line. The energized Raiders defense forced the Broncos to go three and out and punt the ball. But the raider offense also couldn’t get going as they punted it on their first possession. 

The Raiders took over at their 22-yard line after that Broncos punt. O’Connell led a drive that went 78 yards on 13 plays, ending with Jakobi Meyers’ 5-yard touchdown. Myers took the ball in reverse and looked to pass, but the play was well covered, so he reversed field and managed to dive into the end zone to give the Raiders a 7–0 lead.

Allegiant Stadium was rocking, and the Raiders were feeding off of the crowd’s energy.

 

Raiders vs Broncos – 2nd Quarter:

 

Raiders vs Broncos | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

Denver scored a touchdown to tie the game at  7. Jerry Jeudy caught a short pass and weaved his way through missed tackles and the Raiders defense for a 24-yard touchdown. That 11-play drive went for 84 yards and took 6:10.

But the Raiders came right back and had an 8-play, 44-yard drive of their own, then ended with a Daniel Carlson 49-yard field goal. The Raiders took a 10–7 lead midway through the second quarter. Critical on that drive was when the officials reversed the fumble ruling against Aiden O’Connell, allowing the Raiders to keep possession.

After each team punted, the Raiders scored another touchdown just before halftime. O’Connell hit Davante Adams for a 3-yard touchdown with 11 seconds to go in the first half to give the Raiders a 17–7 lead. 

 

Raiders vs Broncos – 3rd Quarter:

 

Raiders vs Broncos | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

The start of the third quarter was pretty lifeless, with the Raiders and Broncos punting after their possessions. 

There was an interesting moment in the third quarter. Jimmy Garoppolo took over for Aidan O’Connell. Raiders PR said it was because O’Connell had to get his throwing hand looked at. 

On Garoppolo’s only drive, the team went three and out and punted the ball away. After Denver’s possession was ended by the Raiders‘ defense, forcing the Broncos to turn the ball over on downs, O’Connell was inserted back into the game.

 

Raiders vs Broncos – 4th Quarter:

 

Raiders vs Broncos | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

On the very first play of the fourth quarter, O’Connell hit Myers for a 33-yard touchdown to give the Silver and Black a 24-7 lead. But Denver came right back and scored on an 8-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to bring the score to 24–14.

But on the Raiders‘ next possession, they drove down the field on a 15-play, 72-yard drive that was finished off by a Daniel Carlson 21-yard field goal to extend the Raiders‘ lead to 27–14.  

From that point on, there was nothing that the Broncos could do as the Raiders iced the game when Trevon Moehrig intercepted Jarett Stidham to close out the 2023 season.

 

The Raiders season is officially over. Keep coming back to FSM for all your offseason Raiders coverage. Thanks for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news today.

 

Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas sports news about Las Vegas Sports teams.

-Joe Arrigo   Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on X, Threads, and Instagram: @JoeArrigoFSM

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