LAS VEGAS (AP) — For most of Derek Carr’s career with the Raiders, he’s had to carry a heavy load whenever the team had success.
That’s what made this game so enjoyable with a powerful running game and opportunistic defense stepping up.
“It’s kind of awesome,” Carr said. “As I get older, I let the young guys do more of the work. It’s kind of nice that we can win in multiple ways. Coach preaches it all the time, once we find what’s working, we’re going to keep doing that.”
The Raiders (6-3) have topped 150 yards rushing in three straight games for the second time in the past 10 seasons and the defense has shown signs of improvement of late capped by the four interceptions and one fumble recovery for a team that entered the game tied for the fewest takeaways in the league with five.
“I know that the game starts with the run and ends with the run. That’s a testament to the O-line,” Jacobs said. “The last three weeks in a row we’ve had 150-plus yards on the ground. It’s good to see we’re putting our dominance on the game.”
Heath intercepted Drew Lock twice in the first half, Carl Nassib and Nick Kwiatkoski got picks in the fourth quarter and Nevin Lawson forced and recovered a fumble by DaeSean Hamilton to send the Broncos (3-6) to their third loss in four games.
The game changed late in the first half after Lock appeared to run in for a TD in the closing seconds that would have given the Broncos a 13-10 lead.
Tight end Noah Fant was called for holding in the end zone on the play and Lock threw his second interception to Heath on the next play.
“Obviously, everybody’s disappointed,” Broncos coach Vic Fangio said. “All of our fingerprints are on that game — coaches and players. Nobody’s happy about it, obviously. In fact, everybody’s probably very disappointed and disgusted by it, that a 10-6 game at halftime can turn out like that. But turnovers will do that to you.”
The Raiders then put the game away with two long scoring drive in the third quarter, leading to a 52-yard field goal by Daniel Carlson and a 5-yard TD run for Jacobs’ second score.
Carlson added another field goal and Devontae Booker added two late TD runs against his former team, sending the Raiders to their most lopsided win in the series since a 59-14 victory Oct. 24, 2010.
Las Vegas has now won three straight and is firmly in the playoff hunt with a showdown at home against division-leading Kansas City (8-1) up next.
“We don’t have much time to celebrate,” coach Jon Gruden said. “We have to play the Chiefs. We had 87 punt return yards called back. We had a penalty on fourth-and-inches. We left some plays out there that our guys are capable of making.”
Carr went just 16 for 25 for 154 yards, his third straight game under 200 yards passing. But the Raiders have won all three thanks to an improved running game and defense.
Lock went 23 for 47 for 257 yards, four INTs and a garbage-time TD pass to Hamilton.
“It was pretty normal looks we were expecting,” Lock said. “I just didn’t put the ball in our receivers’ hands. I put it in their hands. Could’ve been some better plays there by me without a doubt.”
Denver receiver Tim Patrick and Las Vegas defensive back Isaiah Johnson were ejected following a scuffle in the fourth quarter. Patrick hit Raiders safety Johnathan Abram in the helmet after getting pushed following a play. Johnson then retaliated with a swing at Patrick.
A couple of special teams blunders by Denver returner Diontae Spencer and a good punt by Las Vegas’ A.J. Cole forced the Broncos to start three of their first four drives of the game inside their 10-yard line. That was the first time the Broncos started three first-half drives inside their 10 in seven years. The results predictably weren’t good with two three-and-outs and an interception.
JEUDY VS. RUGGS
The storyline coming into the game was the two first-round receivers out of Alabama. But neither Jerry Jeudy nor Henry Ruggs III had big games. Jeudy had four catches for 68 yards for the Broncos, while Ruggs had three for 31 yards for the Raiders.
Broncos: Lock appeared to hurt his ribs after a hit in the first half from Arden Key but stayed in the game.
Raiders: RB Jalen Richard left the game with a chest injury after a hard hit on a kickoff return in the first half. X-rays were negative.
Broncos: Host Miami on Sunday.
Raiders: Host Kansas City on Sunday night.
This thread will be updated throughout the game
KICKOFF: Raiders win the coin toss (again) and have deferred to the 2nd half. Denver with the ball first.
FIRST QUARTER: Raiders Josh Jacobs with an 11 yard TD run on Las Vegas’ first possession. RAIDERS 7, BRONCOS 0, 9:44 left in 1Q
Broncos Brandon McManus with a 50 yard FG. RAIDERS 7 BRONCOS 3, midway through 1Q.
SECOND QUARTER: Broncos Brandon McManus with a 33 yard field goal. RAIDERS 7, BRONCOS 6, 8:15 left in 2Q. HALFTIME, 10-6 Raiders lead Broncos
THIRD QUARTER: Raiders Daniel Carlson with a 52 yard field goal. RAIDERS 13, BRONCOS 6 early in 3Q.
Raiders Josh Jacobs with a 5 yard TD run, his second of the game. RAIDERS 20, BRONCOS 6 late in 3Q
FOURTH QUARTER: Daniel Carlson with his 3rd FG of the game. RAIDERS 23, BRONCOS 6 early 4Q.
Raiders defense with 3 interceptions of Broncos Drew Lock. Two by Jeff Heath, one by Carl Nassib.
Raiders Devontae Booker with a 7 yard TD fun following a fumble recovery. RAIDERS 30, BRONCOS 6 with 10 mins. left in 4Q
Raiders Devontae Booker with a 23 yard TD run, RAIDERS 37. BRONCOS 12 with 2 mins. left in 4Q
FINAL: RAIDERS 37, BRONCOS 12.
LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Silver and Black return home to Allegiant Stadium in Week 10 and will host the Denver Broncos for their second of three consecutive matchups against the AFC West. The Raiders have split the season series with the Broncos in each of the last five seasons dating back to 2015, while riding a four-game winning streak at home against the division rival. The Raiders also hold a 64-53-2 lead in the all-time regular season series and will look to improve to 3-0 against AFC West opponents this Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on CBS with Kevin Harlan, Trent Green and Melanie Collins on the call.
In Week 9, the Raiders took flight to Los Angeles for their first of two contests with the Chargers and returned to Las Vegas with a 31-26 victory to move to 5-3 on the campaign. QB Derek Carr registered his sixth game with a passer rating over 100.0 this season, completing 13-of-23 attempts for 165 yards and two touchdowns. RBs Devontae Booker and Josh Jacobs each found the end zone and recorded over 65 rushing yards apiece, leading the way for an offense that combined for a total of 160 yards on the ground while averaging 6.2 yards per carry. WR Nelson Agholor found the end zone from 45 yards out to record his fourth touchdown reception on the season of at least 20 yards, a mark that is tied for second-most in the NFL. TE Darren Waller also hauled in a touchdown pass from Carr, his fourth of the season and a new career high.
On defense, DE Maxx Crosby and tallied his fifth sack of the season, while S Lamarcus Joyner (12) and LB Nick Kwiatkoski (13) each posted career highs in tackles. No one shined brighter than second-year CB Isaiah Johnson, however, as the young defensive player saw extended playing time due to injuries in the secondary. Johnson posted career highs in tackles (six) and passes defensed (two), with his two passes defensed coming in the remaining 10 seconds of the game, in the end zone on consecutive plays to seal a victory for the Silver and Black as time expired.
The Broncos enter Week 10 after suffering a close defeat on the road against the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 27-34 to fall to 3-5 on the season. Following Sunday’s contest, the Broncos will return home for consecutive games against the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints. The Silver and Black will face the Kansas City Chiefs before closing out the season’s schedule against NFC South opponents when they face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 12.