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At the death, Broncos pull off thrilling comeback win over Raiders

Andre Simone Avatar
September 17, 2018

All wins are sweet, especially against the hated Oakland Raiders, but for most of the Week-2 bout, it was pretty sour for the Denver Broncos.

In comeback fashion, the men in Orange and Blue pulled off a one-point victory, with a 36-yard field goal from Brandon McManus putting the Broncos ahead 20-19 with six seconds remaining. Those six seconds were the only time Denver held the lead all day.

If last week started off shaky, this week was an utter disaster out the gate, with everything going Oakland’s way. Denver’s offense sputtered with three consecutive three-and-outs, as the Raiders blitz packages frustrated and confused Case Keenum and company. The one drive that didn’t end in a punt, was a costly interception down in the red zone after a wonderful 53-yard run by rookie sensation Phillip Lindsay.

The defense was better, but not by much, playing sloppy football, losing receivers underneath and playing soft off-coverage that Derek Carr and Jon Gruden exploited with ease. A crucial Marshawn Lynch touchdown at the end of the first half put Oakland up 12-0.

As the teams entered the locker rooms, the Broncos needed a big jolt.

The offense came out swinging with a scoring drive that the Raiders responded to quickly, and so the heated battle began, with the Broncos scraping and clawing their way back into things.

After an aggressive 4th-and-1 attempt, that Raiders fullback Keith Smith dropped, Denver had new life. Red-zone struggles and a few dubious calls from the referees hurt, but Denver kept fighting.

After another costly call by the refs—denying Denver a Courtland Sutton touchdown and forcing the home team to settle for a field goal, putting them down 19-10 after three quarters—the fourth quarter had to be Denver’s, and it was.

The Broncos found their tempo offensively, as Keenum started to move the chains, stringing together a 14-play drive that the QB scored on with a dramatic 4th-and-goal TD run.

It all came down to the defense to stop Gruden’s men with 5:58 left on the clock. Despite Lynch seeming impossible to bring down, and Derek Carr only throwing three incompletions all game, the ‘D’ prevailed, forcing a punt with just over two minutes remaining to give Keenum the ball back.

With everything riding on the final drive, it wasn’t always pretty, as a holding call set the Broncos back immediately, but the offense was resilient, with a 21-yard completion to Emmanuel Sanders and a 14-yard throw to Jake Butt getting Denver going.

The play that sealed the victory came when Keenum found Tim Patrick in the flats at the Oakland 44, as No. 81 took off for 26 yards, setting Denver up in field goal position, right when they needed it most.

McManus’ kick denied Gruden a win two weeks into his NFL return, making a sloppy-but-gutsy win for the Broncos that much sweeter.


When the offense needed a jolt, Phillip Lindsay was there to give it to them, and when things got tough for Denver in winning time, the rookie runner broke off big runs to keep the sticks moving and hope alive.

Finishing with 111 total yards on 15 touches, there was nothing the diminutive runner couldn’t do. Run outside, run inside, catch the ball, always with a relentless attitude, breaking off tackles with consistency.

Simply put, Denver couldn’t have won on Sunday if Lindsay wasn’t on their team. No. 30’s legend keeps on growing.


The game was on the line, on 4th-and-goal with the Broncos down two scores. Vance Joseph could have easily kicked a field goal to make it a one-possession game. Instead, he put the game in his new quarterback’s hands, and No. 4 rewarded him.

At the one-yard line, the Broncos lined up in a four-wide formation with Keenum in shotgun, the quarterback put RB Phill Lindsay in motion, emptying out the Raiders backline. Watching live, it was easy to wonder, “What are they doing?” But Keenum took the snap and ran it straight up the gut, diving into the end zone for the crucial TD.


“I’m going to wake up in the morning and stretch my arms saying, ‘Ahhhh feels good to be 2-0.”

– Emmanuel Sanders


1 – After dominating the Seattle Seahawks offensive line, the Broncos pass rush wasn’t itself with the Raiders ahead till the very end, as Denver got to Derek Carr only once.

8-of-16 – After starting the game off 0-for-4 on third down, the Broncos offense managed to convert 50-percent of their opportunities, and they needed every single one of them.

4-to-6 – The Raiders are sloppy and have been sloppy early under Jon Gruden, yet, Oakland managed to get fewer penalties than Denver, who did not play their best.


Keenum and the Broncos face their first road test of the season, flying to the east coast for an 11 am game against the Baltimore Ravens. It’s still unclear who the Ravens really are after two rollercoaster first weeks but a win in Baltimore will tell us a lot more about who the 2018 Broncos truly are.


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