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Broncos Fall to the Raiders in Season Opener 17-16

Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos

DENVER, COLORADO - SEPTEMBER 10: Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos warms-up prior to a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Empower Field At Mile High on September 10, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)Photo: Justin Edmonds / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

The Denver Broncos their 7th straight game to the Raiders 17-16. Below is the recap and postgame interviews:

Broncos won the coin toss and deferred to the second half so we saw the defense face the Raiders offense to kickoff the 1st game of the 2023 NFL Season...or so we initially thought as Sean Payton attempted an onside kick and, Essang Bassey recovered it but an illegal touch penalty gave the Raiders offense the ball.

The Raiders began their first drive of the game at the Broncos 44 yard line and were able to move the ball efficiently down the field on a 10 play drive, capping it off with a 3-yard touchdown pass on the left side to Jakobi Meyers beating Damarri Mathis on the coverage. Raiders off to an early lead 7-0.

Now it was the Broncos offense opportunity to answer and they looked VERY sharp as Russell Wilson went 7-8 for 68 yards, capping off a 14-play drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Lil'Jordan Humphrey. The drive featured impressive passes to Brandon Johnson, Greg Dulcich and Adam Trautman who helped the Broncos convert a couple of key 3rd downs. Unfortunately, Wil Lutz was unable to convert the extra point so the Broncos still trailed 7-6.

The Raiders offense, back on the field, went back to work with a mix of run/pass including a couple nice plays to Jakobi Meyers, who seemed to have a lot of success vs Damarri Mathis. Justin Simmons missed a tackle on Josh Jacobs on a catch and run that put the Raiders goal to go and threatening once again. This time, the Broncos defense denied the Raiders offense and they settled for a Daniel Carlson 24-yard field goal, extending their lead 10-6.

The Broncos offense had their 2nd shot with a little under 11 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter. Javonte Williams got things off to a good start with great running off the right side for a 1st down. A promising drive as the Broncos marched into Raiders territory but a holding call on Chris Manhertz, a Maxx Crosby sack and a TFL moved the Broncos backwards and ended in a Riley Dixon punt.

Special teams helped out by sticking the Raiders deep in their own territory at Las Vegas 5 yard line. The Raiders offensive drive stalled at their own 26 yard line so, after a 49-yard punt, the Broncos offense had an opportunity to score points before the end of the 1st half starting from their own 25 yard line.

Russell Wilson quickly moved the ball to mid-field with completions to Courtland Sutton, Greg Dulcich and Samaje Perine. After a big pass interference call that Courtland Sutton drew on rookie CB Jakorian Bennett, the Broncos offense was on the move into the Red Zone. With 12 seconds remaining in the half, the Broncos offense capped off a 9-play 75 yard drive with a 5 yard touchdown to Sutton, giving the Broncos a 13-10 lead at the half.

The Broncos offense received the second half kickoff and we finally saw a bit more of the power run game as Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine pushed the pile into Raiders territory. The drive stalled at the Las Vegas 37-yard line and new kicker Wil Lutz was in to attempt a 55-yard field goal. Unfortunately, it was wide right so the score remained 13-10.

Las Vegas, with great field position at their own 45 yard line, started their first drive of the 2nd half and were quickly into Denver territory with Josh Jacobs. A key play of the drive was a 13-yard completion to Davante Adams on 3rd and 12 to the Broncos 34 yard line. A couple of borderline pass interference calls went against Pat Surtain and Damarri Mathis, setting up the Raiders at the Denver 1 yard line. An illegal formation penalty backed up the Raiders to the 6 yard line and on 3rd down, Alex Singleton tipped a pass intended for Abdullah and Kareem Jackson came up with a HUGE interception.

Starting from their own 25 yard line, the Broncos went back to their running backs in both the run and pass game. Samaje Perine was a catalyst for a few impressive plays including a catch and run of 20 yards and an angry run for 12 yards, eventually leading the Broncos in a goal to go situation. The drive stalled, ending with a 24-yard Wil Lutz field goal and extending the Broncos lead 16-10.

It felt like a missed opportunity for the Broncos to move ahead by two scores and the Raiders made them pay. With a drive that took only 2:20, the Raiders moved quickly down the field with big chunk completions to Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers and Austin Hooper and capped off a 6-play drive with a 6 yard touchdown to Meyers giving the Raiders the lead back 17-16.

With 6:34 remaining, the Broncos offense were unable to gain much traction and went 3-and-out, punting the ball back to the Raiders with 5:08 remaining in the game. As has been the case many times over the past several seasons, the Broncos never got it back. Jimmy Garoppolo with a key scramble on 3rd and 7 gave the Raiders a 17-16 win, sending the Broncos to a 0-1 record to start the season.

The next broadcast is Sunday, September 17th as the Broncos host the Commanders at Empower Field at Mile High. Coverage begins at 8am on KOA 850AM/94.1FM.

Below are postgame interviews with Sean Payton, Russell Wilson and Kareem Jackson.

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