Graphic Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media


FSM Essential Recap: Raiders vs Broncos – Week 11

Las Vegas Raiders (3-7) | Denver Broncos (3-7)

Franchise Sports Media


Under the chilly winds of Mile High, the Raiders defeated the Broncos 22-16 in overtime to notch their sixth consecutive win against Denver. A highlight reel finish, Davante Adams’ 35-yard walk-off touchdown will live in Raider lore forever.


Raiders vs Broncos
Photo Credit: Jack Dempsey/AP

Whether or not these two sides are near the top of the standings or in the league’s cellar makes no difference when pitted against one another; Raiders vs Broncos is a rivalry where the resentment is deep-rooted. Supporters of the Silver & Black can’t stand John Elway’s face, just like BroncosCountry used to shiver at the sound of the late Al Davis’ voice. It’s just like that.

Entering Week 11 with 2-7 and 3-6 records leaves little to play for except organizational pride against a divisional rival (which is actually a whole hell of a lot). Having won eight of the past ten head-to-head matchups (and the last five games consecutively), LV has had the upper hand as of late.

If you read my Raiders at Broncos preview from Thursday, you know my keys to the game revolve around Vegas sticking to what they do well on offense, along with amplified roles for TE Foster Moreau and WR Mack Hollins. With that said, playing at elevation (a mile high), both sides of the ball will need to focus on conditioning when on the field for extended drives.

Denver QB Russell Wilson, who is currently operating the NFL’s worst offense, will be without a couple of his downfield targets in this game. Receivers Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler were both ruled out while dealing with lower body injuries.

I know one thing for sure; A lopsided win on the road over the Broncos would do wonders for the Raiders‘ locker room atmosphere. Remember: The Raiders are still looking for their first win away from Allegiant Stadium in 2022. Also, be sure to check the updated 53-man roster before diving into this week’s recap. We all know much has changed since August.


Previous contests

HOF game: Raiders 27 – Jaguars 11
PRE1: Raiders 26 – Vikings 20
PRE2: Raiders 15 – Dolphins 13

PRE3: Raiders 23 – Patriots 6

WK1: Chargers 24 – Raiders 19 (L)
WK2: Cardinals 29 – Raiders 23 (OT)/(L)
WK3: Titans 24 – Raiders 22 (L)
WK4: Raiders 32 – Broncos 23 (W)
WK5: Chiefs 30 – Raiders 29 (L)
WK7: Raiders 38 – Texans 20 (W)

WK8: Saints 24 – Raiders 0 (L)
WK9: Jaguars 27 – Raiders 20 (L)
WK10: Colts 25 – Raiders 20 (L)


1st Quarter


Raiders vs Broncos
Photo Credit: Jack Dempsey/AP

In the brisk Rocky Mountain air, an eager football crowd filed into Empower Field at Mile High. As has been standard for the Raiders these past few games, their opposition won the opening coin toss. With Denver’s decision to defer their possession to the second half, it’s Raider ball to start!

Las Vegas hit the field by handing off to RB Josh Jacobs, who was able to churn forward for five yards. A couple of plays later on 3rd & intermediate, QB Derek Carr navigated the pocket long enough to find WR Davante Adams on a slant in traffic for 1st down yardage all the way to the midfield stripe.

With some momentum, the Silver & Black could rush the ball onto the Broncos’ side of the field. From there, Carr floated a touch pass along the left sideline that fell perfectly in Adams’ basket for another 1st down.

Of course, on the very next play, the Raiders would be flagged for holding, leaving them behind the sticks. An incompletion and a stuffed run followed before Adams took a WR screen and picked up a few yards on 3rd down, but not nearly enough to move the chains. Faced with a potential 57-yard field goal try (and K Daniel Carlson’s made FG streak on the line), the Raiders elected to punt instead, pinning Denver back on their own 8-yard line.

QB Russell Wilson marched his offense out and picked up a 1st down on their initial play from scrimmage (via a reception from TE Greg Dulcich). Two plays later, Wilson had WR Courtland Sutton running open on a PA post, but CB Sam Webb’s pass interference penalty prevented the completion while still allowing the chains to move. From there, Wilson went back to Sutton on a slant, who made the catch for a 1st down.

Having established some rhythm, the Broncos scored their first touchdown a few moments later after WR Kendall Hinton caught a crosser from Wilson, shook off his defender (Webb), and continued to take the ball to the LV 1-yard line. An official review ruled him down before the goal line, but former Raider RB Latavius Murray punched it in for a score on the next play. After a possession each, it’s 7-0 Denver.

After a drive where Jacobs touched the ball on over 80% of the plays, the Raiders advanced the ball into Denver territory. However, on theme with last week, the Raiders again induced self-inflicted wounds, drawing another holding penalty followed by a 9-yard sack on Derek Carr. WRs Mack Hollins and Adams added positive plays, but Vegas was forced into a field goal try. First, that’s all for the opening quarter; 2Q, here we come.


2nd Quarter


Raiders vs Broncos
Photo Credit: Jack Dempsey/AP

To the shock and awe of everyone, Carlson missed the 46-yard attempt, ending his streak of 41 consecutive made field goals (dating back to Week 8 of 2021). Could things get any worse for Raider Nation?

After Carlson’s first missed field goal in over a calendar year, Denver was able to salvage the mishap into points. Wilson returned to the field with his offensive unit and utilized runs from RB Melvin Gordon with Murray sprinkled in.

Continuing his efficient passing on the day, Wilson connected with Sutton, Dulcich, and TE Eric Saubert to keep their drive rolling. Eventually, the possession would stall deep inside Raider territory after Wilson narrowly missed a touchdown pass to Sutton in the corner. Still, the Broncos and K Brandon McManus were able to convert the short-field goal, increasing their lead to 10-0.

Yet again, the Raiders are faced with adversity in the first half (down two scores). Vegas was penalized early in the drive with another hold, but Carr established some rhythm from there. Naturally, the Silver & Black leaned on Jacobs, Adams, and Hollins, and they chipped their way into Bronco territory. Once on the opposing 31-yard, Carr and Adams made magic as the All-Pro WR beat CB Pat Surtain II on a post right to the end zone. Finally, some life from the Raiders; It’s back to a one-score game with Denver leading 10-7.

However, the Broncos would nearly mount another scoring effort of their own before going into halftime. Wilson orchestrated a drive all the way down into the Raiders’ red zone, thanks to nice receptions from his skill group. It looked like Denver was going to find the end zone again, but the drive stalled, and to make matters sweeter, McManus missed the ensuing field goal. Heading into the locker rooms, the Broncos are still ahead, 10-7.


3rd Quarter


Raiders vs Broncos
Photo Credit: Jack Dempsey/AP

The Broncos would restart the game with their most frustrating offensive series of the day, going three-and-out after DE Maxx Crosby was able to sack Wilson for a 2-yard loss. Finally, the Raiders would be able to respond with points.

After a 15-yard run off left tackle from Jacobs, Carr dinked and dunked his way into field goal territory. Forced into a 4th down, Carlson would return to action to (hopefully) start a new field goal streak, converting a 52-yard kick to knot the game up at 10. Raider Nation: Get ready for another second-half nail-biter.

The next possession for Denver would be as equally underwhelming as their last. It was not another three-and-out, but it might as well have been. Going only 15 yards over six plays, the Broncos would be forced into another punt. Can the Raiders start to pull ahead in the Mile High?

Vegas’ next offensive drive would not contribute much to that goal. After Carr completed a few passes over the middle to spot that ball near midfield, the Broncos’ defensive unit would rally, forcing an expeditious punt from the Silver & Black. Upon getting the ball back, Denver would be able to sustain an offensive drive thanks to physical running from Murray and a fine reception from Sutton for 23 yards. However, the Raiders would be able to rally once the Broncos entered the red zone. Before Denver could send out their FG unit, the 3Q clock expired; We’re headed to the final period all tied up!


4th Quarter


Raiders vs Broncos
Photo Credit: Jack Dempsey/AP

On the first play of the fourth quarter, McManus trotted out to convert a short field goal, putting Denver back ahead, 13-10. The Raiders have been in this situation nearly every week (down one score in the fourth quarter); How will the Silver & Black respond this time around?

The rest of this game played out rather oddly, but what else would you expect from a Raiders’ game in 2022? Vegas was able to string together a couple of 1st downs on their next drive (thanks to a pivotal PI call on Denver CB Essang Bassey) but ultimately stalled just past midfield.

Thankfully, Carlson is on the roster and has been unbothered since breaking his streak of 41 straight FG makes. Now lining up for a career-long 57-yard try, Carlson kicked a beauty, re-tying this game at 13 each way!

As irony would have it, the Broncos came out and orchestrated a drive similar to the one the Raiders’ offense just produced. After moving the ball moderately, Denver would be aided by a costly pass interference penalty on Webb (who had his most brutal game at the pro level on Sunday). A few plays later, McManus was back out on the field to try a 48-yard field goal, which he converted easily. With only 3:30 left to play, the Broncos reclaim the lead, up 16-13.

Surprisingly, the Raiders and Broncos both had enough time to possess the ball again, with both sides punting in less than five plays. However, those speedy series left enough time for the Raiders to have one more offensive drive in regulation. Now with less than 1:45 left in regulation, Carr finally got his offense moving by connecting with Hollins and WR Keelan Cole for a combined 30 yards on back-to-back plays.

Continuing with the no-huddle, Carr’s next pass was to Jacobs down the left sideline on a wheel route; Jacobs made the catch, made a defender miss, and nearly ran it into the end zone before being tackled in bounds at Denver’s 7-yard line. Unfortunately, Carr would follow the big play with three straight incompletions, calling for a game-tying field goal from Carlson. From 25 yards out, Carlson did not disappoint. With 16 seconds left in 4Q, we are all tied at 16.

The Broncos would run three plays with the remaining splinter of time, but all to no avail. On a frosty afternoon in the Mile High, we are headed for overtime!




Raiders vs Broncos
Photo Credit: Jack Dempsey/AP

For Denver, this is their third overtime contest of the 2022 season. For Raider Nation, this marks their second game to run into the extra period (we all remember Week 2 vs ARZ).

So, in what ended up being the most important 50-50 call of the day, punter A.J. Cole correctly guessed “heads” for the overtime coin toss, giving the Raiders the initial possession. As I’m sure you know now, Denver would not see the ball again in Week 11.

Having been in this “make or break” position several times this year, it’s hard to stay comfortable when you consider that recent track record. Still, the Raiders took the field with intention, finding the end zone in only three plays. The winning score? You’ve seen it all over ESPN by now; Adams ran a nasty sluggo route, whipped his man, and hauled in the walk-off touchdown right at the goal line (his second score of the day). With a massive sigh of relief from Raider Nation, Vegas is victorious (22-16), ending a three-game losing streak against the Broncos for the second time in 2022.




Raiders vs Broncos
Photo Credit: Raiders Wire

A win’s a win. No need to get too pretty or fluffy here since this win was anything but that, but at least this Raider team finally came away with a victory in a hostile environment. Shamefully, it took the Silver & Black 11 weeks of the 2022 season before winning their first away game. Can the Raiders build off this and steal one next week in Seattle? We shall see. But hey, as many terrible moments as there have been this year, at least one of them isn’t “remember when we lost to Wilson and the Broncos?”

Sunday’s victory in Denver was a great example of keeping it simple. In my preview article for this game, I highlighted a couple of offensive tactics to keep things easy on the surrounding talent, and the Raiders seemed to follow suit. Davante Adams was featured early and often (7/141/2), while Mack Hollins and Foster Moreau also made big plays in their spots. Additionally, Josh Jacobs eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark (109) for the first time since Week 7. Typically, offensive production like that should translate to victories.

How about the D? It was not an overwhelming showing from Vegas’ defense by any metric, but the unit buckled down in the second half against a poor offense. DE Maxx Crosby (six tackles w/ two sacks), LB Denzel Perryman (six tackles, two for a loss), and DT Andrew Billings (seven tackles) did well to pinch down on Denver’s ground attack, as the Broncos were held to 94 yards rushing yards as a team. On top of that, the Raiders were able to hold the Broncos’ offense to a dismal 3-12 on 3rd down. Of course, games are won and lost on 3rd down.


Next week, the Raiders will stay on the road, heading to the Pacific Northwest for a matchup with a former-AFC West team, the Seattle Seahawks. Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 27, at 1:05 pm, with the game airing locally on CBS channel 8 (radio play-by-play on RNR AM920).

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-Gabe Santiago – Franchise Sports Media

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