Any doubters of the Las Vegas Raiders this year just had to swallow a tough pill that they may be for real, after they beat the brakes off the Broncos 37-12, solidifying their second place status in the AFC West. From the opening kickoff, to the very end of the game the Raiders were locked in, with an impressive ground and air attack form Josh Jacobs and Derek Carr, respectively.
The Las Vegas Raiders actually didn’t play that well in the first half offensively. They started out rolling in the first possession and marched to an easy touchdown and it looked like the Broncos had absolutely no answer to the offense. However, the Raiders’ offense was relatively lethargic throughout the rest of the first half, and only mustered up 10 points, missing out on several opportunities to capitalize on some bad Denver Broncos possessions. However, in the second half the raiders ground game and run game leveled up and ran away with the game.
The offense didn’t do bad, and it wasn’t their lack of defense that led to their demise, but the amount of turnovers that the Broncos were forced into and the timing was even worse. One huge turnover that really crushed the Broncos was the goal line interception by Jeff Heath. On this possession, the Raiders were up 10-6 and were trying to close the half with the lead still intact, but the Broncos had marched down the length of the field in less than 90 seconds and appeared to be on the verge of scoring. However, Broncos quarterback Drew Lock made a costly mistake and threw a pick that took away their chances of getting the lead going into the half. That was pretty much the story of the game. Every time Denver seemed to be knocking on the door of opportunity, a turnover would doom them, and this pattern ultimately took away any chance of them winning the game.
The Denver Broncos’ defense wasn’t really that bad, and for a team that had a sub-par defense, they were holding their own for much of the game. Unfortunately, when their offense continues to turn the ball over and forces the defense to be on the field for over 60 percent of the game, things are bound to collapse eventually, and that’s exactly what happened. The Broncos defense was able to hold the Raiders’ offense to only 10 points in the first half, but gradually got worn down and exhausted as the game progressed, likely due to the immense time spent out on the field against a relentless Raiders offense.
The Raiders’ defense was scary all afternoon yesterday and couldn’t be stopped. They held Lock to a less than 50 percent pass completion rate and forced the quarterback into four interceptions. Not only was the Raiders’ defensive line applying pressure all night, but the secondary was even sharper and were able to hunt out many intended passes. It was such a defensive beat down that at one point in the third quarter the Raiders defense held the Broncos to only one total yard.
The Raiders simply had a dominant performance, and it was the best outing of the season on both sides of the ball. With the Kansas City chiefs rolling into town next week, it was important for the Silver & Black to stay sharp and pick up the win. However, next week against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs will tell whether this Raiders team is truly legit.